Granny sitting in the South of France

All Expenses Paid (Fact meets Fiction)


Granny sitting in the South of France

40 year old Laura decides to ditch the 9-5 and go ‘granny sitting’ in the South of France for six months with hilarious results.

THE JOB: Six months granny sitting in the South of France
Separate en-suite accommodation.
Ideally 40+ and non smoker.

ME: Been divorced longer than married = single.
No dependents. Lease just ran out on cottage.  Sales job going nowhere.

So, I decided to go for it. I mean what could be simpler than looking after an 82 year old English lady? I had visions of gentle strolls to the boulangerie, compulsorily siestas. But this was before I met Betty. She looked like everybody’s favourite grandmother until Jean Louis arrived to pick her up on his Kawasaki 1200!


Leicestershire. March 1995

“So why don’t you give it a go. It’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time.”

This was Grace my neighbour, newly returned from the Middle East after twelve months as a mother’s help and an eighteen thousand pound cheque to show for it.

She had been working happily enough as a medical secretary and then reading the Lady magazine one lunchtime she saw an advert. No formal qualifications, just lots of experience, willing to take sole charge, six days per week.

“For goodness sake mother, do it. Think of it as the gap year you never had.” This had been Grace’s daughter’s advice. “You spent years looking after us. It’s like riding a bike!”

So that’s how it all started. I didn’t have any children but I had always worked with people and decided that the other end of the age spectrum would suit me.

“At least they won’t move so fast!” agreed Grace.

I contemplated the idea of six months working away but I much preferred the idea of three weeks on and one week off. A holiday once a month.  I always thought; work forty eight weeks and have four weeks off if you’re lucky. Nope, there has to be a better way. Okay you get week-ends.  Friday night euphoria.  Saturday, catching up, shopping, housework. Sunday lie in, because you can and before you know it you’re thinking, hey up, back to work, in so many hours. Somehow, having seven days and seven nights stretching before you seems like a much better deal.

Unless you see an advert for granny sitting in the South of France…

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