Mandy Melrose, 54, a mum of three and gran of two from Edinburgh, blogs about her holidaying experiences on her Facebook page, Diary of a Housesitter.
Mandy, a professional dog walker, loves using social media to post stories of her travels and keep tabs on what her family and pals are up to.
Here, she shares her favourite Instagram pictures…
The write stuff
It’s great when I can find the time to pick up a book.
I loved Stephen King, but I had to stop them as I was getting terrible nightmares. I then moved on to lighter, more humorous work by authors like Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. For me, reading is a way of relaxing, escaping and broadening my knowledge.
I love nothing more than snuggling up with a good book in bed where there are no distractions.
The best book I’ve ever read? To Kill a Mockingbird.
Who needs a hotel?
Last summer, we found this Winnebago on land where we were house-sitting. They had eight rescue dogs, six cats and some chickens…oh and a lovely pool! “Proper” holidays bore us now. With house-sitting, we have enough stuff to keep us busy and enough time to relax. We have also met some great people along the way.
My beautiful mum
I love this picture of my mum in her 20s. She passed away in 2002, aged 64.
I’m proud that, as a young mum in the early ’70s, she decided to go to college to learn how to type. She could then work in an office and earn more money to buy a house with my dad, who worked equally hard as a joiner. They bought a lovely three-bedroom new build in 1978.
I just loved her determination.
I love dogs but I don’t have one of my own. Little Arthur is the closest thing. I love him as if he were my own. I’ve been boarding Arthur a lot as his owners are busy, so he takes up a lot of pictures on my phone.
I love to walk around all the interesting places near my home, such as the Dean Village. As we know the weather is Scotland can be unpredictable, so I am prepared for the snow in April and a heatwave in September. It’s a dogwalker’s life!