James Hinchley

(at KEGS to 1983) writing in 2021

L-R Neil Richards, Richard Cooke, James Hinchley

I left KEGS in the summer of 1983 and spent much of my working life in the manufacturing industries living and working predominantly in Lancashire and Yorkshire up until 2006. Then as per the modern world my position and I became redundant. I found myself at a crossroads in life with little/no responsibility, a terraced house with no mortgage and a yearning to travel.

On a whim I decided to volunteer to work in rural Nepal for 5 months and loved the experience and the people. I worked in a rural school teaching my interpretation of English. Over the next few years I returned on a number of occasions and have developed a deep affinity with the country and people.

James Hinchley middle row, second from left – but where are the others now?

In 2011 I decided that I would do a CELTA qualification to enable me to teach english as a qualified TEFL teacher. That got the old grey matter working on an intensive 4 week course in Leeds.

On one of my wanderings in NZ in 2012 I was doing some work for accommodation (painting some campsite buildings) when I was approached to look after someone’s house, chickens, cat and pig hunting dogs. Little did I know this was to be the start of my latest life style and choice. Whilst looking after this first house I investigated the “House sitting” opportunities available globally and thought it could be a good fit with how and what I wanted in the future.

As I sit and write this in the wilds of NZ I can recount 80+ house and pet sits across the world in the past 8 years with hundreds of pets, farm animals, wildlife and even the occasional teenager. For the past 5 years I have been joined on this nomadic, gypsyesque and very different lifestyle by my partner Clare who I also met in NZ. We love what we do, the pay is more often than not non-existent, but the opportunity to stay in some awesome places as a local with loving animal company is more than enough for us.

Manor house , UK
Walking the gang

We have looked after Grade 1 listed manor houses in the UK through to adobe mud huts in the Argentinian desert, beachside houses in Uruguay, Ecuador, Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica, New Zealand, UK, City apartments in San Francisco, Buenos Aries, London, and others. Our real passion is for rural properties in out of the way places and we have sat some amazing properties in the UK, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy, North America, Panama and many more. My parents still live in Bury St Edmunds, and we often combine housesitting in the area with visiting them, so have looked after houses in Barningham, Bardwell, Norton, Depden, Cockfield and other villages.

Feel free to look at our blog at www.jamesandclare.blogspot.com
or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/coddiwomplersinc