2017 has been a year of repeat sits, a few fallow times, and an extended return trip of several thousand kilometres comprising the Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Cairns at the zenith, then six nights in Yeppoon before falling into a plane at Rocky and landing back in Brisbane.
As the clock is ticking down on this public library computer – where I cursed my itinerant status and had to plead for an extension to my library card to access this PC* – I’ll just drop in the reference for now and add some other vignettes from the great Queensland north at a later date.
* Brisbane City Council are very wary and circumspect about issuing library cards to tramps, vagrants, housesitters, and other suspicious wandering folk. 😑
It was a funny old couple of months, as in funny peculiar, and only occasionally funny ha-ha.
First stop was a handful of nights in Buderim which were ok and uneventful enough. However, much as trying to watch football in licensed premises in Queensland on Good Friday is a wasted exercise, I’d counsel that not try to travel on Anzac Day as in similar company as an exercise fraught with pitfalls. A five minute hold-up by a delivery person as I was leaving the premises threw a $50 taxi fare spanner into the works. Ouch.
From there, it was 11 hours $150 on a bus to go 350kms to Gladstone, and from there the surreal and frustrating just kept piling on. The next few weeks were an amalgam of killing time late night and early mornings in roadhouses, a housesit cancelled one week into a four week stay, then a very haphazard string of nights in caravan parks, youth hostels and even one night couch-surfing with a French Russian and Ukrainian Australian in Townsville.
After a few nights in Cairns itself, I finally arrived in Machans Beach, literally across the road from the ocean.
And pretty much stayed there for two weeks!
With the owners’ car at my disposal, I’d like to say I ventured forth to make day trips to Port Douglas, the Atherton Tablelands, Karunda and the caves. I would!
But after the preceding five to six weeks of mayhem, I pretty much plonked myself on the couch with easy access to the owners’ groaning bookshelves, and the excellent company of two affectionate little Staffies and enjoyed the soothing sounds of the breaking waves, the mild winter weather, and the proximity to the kitchen for a thousand cups of tea and coffee.
Possibly a bit of a waste, maybe. But I know where Cairns is and continental shift notwithstanding, it’s not going far. The weeks at Rockhampton youth hostel, two caravan parks, and Cairns youth hostel hadn’t broken the bank, but they had had a draining effect, so I wasn’t really in a position to just flounce onto a passing boat out to the reef. I’ll be back when I’m cashed up.
If I’d had more cojones, I might have taken one of my clients for a ‘walk’, but that was the pleasure of the owners on their return, much to the awe and delight of passing children.
The owners returned from their two weeks in Tasmania and treated me to dinner at the local restaurant on the water. They were happy with my oversight of their place and gave me this reference within hours of my jumping on the bus to Rockhampton:
Bill was the standout applicant for our housesit. Out of the 28 applicants in the first 24 hours, there was only one which really made us sit up and pay attention – and that was Bill!
Our decision was made almost instantly that we spoke with him, and the house sit became reality. We were away for around two weeks and left easy in the knowledge that Bill is capable, calm, confident and quiet. He absorbed the myriad often confusing instructions about snakes, fish, dogs, plants, yard, chickens et al with aplomb.
On our return all I can say is – the dogs were happy, the snakes were happy, the fish were happy, the chickens were happy hence WE were happy!
And that is the aim – return home to a happy household. When you book Bill, that is exactly what you’ll return to – a happy household! And you can’t ask for more.
Thanks Bill, your efforts are sincerely appreciated.
Graham and Melissa, Cairns