Bill The Housesitter – Open For Business Again Soon

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Bill The Housesitter has not crossed a provincial border since 26 March 2019.

There is no 13 month timespan in my 53.8 years on this planet where I could truthfully state this, prior to wheels-down on that late March day last year.

I’ve acclimated at a rate of knots. It came slowly, and while Darwinners, Palmigardeners, and those in the ruuuural area were starting to look forward to the explosion of wonderfullness that is the dry season, I was melting into the pavement.

By 1.30pm that day, I was in the Melaleuca YHA, whipping off my long trousers, stepping into my shorts – and my limbs would not be covered again by long pants, long-sleeved shirt, or jacket for another one year, three days, six hours.

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Picture: Ted E. Quinn and me, in the back of the NT Police divvy van. My landlady had called the police out to the place where I’d been renting a room since 18 May 2019. Within six seconds of my approaching their van, they’d summed up the situation, didn’t initially want to see the ID I’d proffered, told me, “Yeah, we’ve seen this situation before,” and asked me if I was OK.

After talking with the landlady, they agreed that getting me away from there post-haste was necessary. The only reason that Ted and I were in the back was that of the possesions I’d been able to flee with (the clothes I was wearing, some papers, and what I thought was a bag of food), I had taken a lighter for my incense and tea candles. That rode in the crew cab; Ted and I got our first ever ride in a police van. (They didn’t lock the door.)

That was 29 March 2020. Sunday night.

Since then, I’ve spent one night with a couple in Wanguri. Were it not for #pandemic I’d have been housesitting for them and their red cattle dog from 10 April to 10 May.

Then two weeks at Quest Parap. Hmmmm. So much feedback to give there.

Four nights with some other housesitting clients in Wanguri. They kindly allowed me to stay five nights, but I cut it to four. Wow! Did I learn some amazing things about their respective Australian stories from a few short wine/beer times on the veranda. Just mind-blowing stuff.

I did my first live weekly cross to 2EAR-FM Eurobodalla Access Radio that night while floating around in their pool.

Tune in on Thursday nights from 6-10pm AEST for Ian Traynor’s Still New And Looking For A Name Radio Show. Bill The Gypsy drops in from about 7.15pm-7.40pm AEST. www.2EARFM.weebly.com

Then seven nights in a shared rental arrangement back in Ludmilla which all came to a screaming halt less than a week after my arrival when I found out by pure accident that sub-letting there was strictly verboten under the terms of the lease. Repacked in less than three hours and on the road again.

One week minus a few hours near Casuarina Square. I’m nominally there, paid up to this coming Friday.

Now out in the semi-rural area of Darwin. 06:51am, 21 degrees celcius, feels like 21C, and I’m quite cold. My full acclimation to Top End weather took about 12 months.

Culturally? That’s a whole other story for another time and place.

Back on weather, I’ve had to step back inside and wait for the sun to pour into the backyard. It’s decidedly nippy. Not joking.

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See you down a dusty or frosty road, and here on the intrynetz zooper dooper highway.

Bill Q.

Palmerston, NT

09:58 Sunday 3 April 2020 ACST

[Reference] Thornleigh, New South Wales – One energetic greyhound and a very attentive moggie

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This is the blog section of the Bill The Housesitter site. See above tabs for ‘About’, ‘Availability’, ‘Contact’ and ‘References’.

Occasionally I return to a suburb to housesit, sometimes for the same homeowner, sometimes for another.

But Thornleigh in Sydney’s far northern suburbs was a first for me: I housesat in three houses consecutively, all within the space of a couple of hundred metres on the same side of the street!

I was initially booked for one residence for a period of seven weeks (reference still on the way for that one), but before I’d arrived, the homeowner had been chatting to friends three doors down, and they booked me in for another couple of weeks to follow directly after the initial housesit.

Then while I was there, we jointly agreed on my filling in for a few days in between at the house directly next door to the initial housesit. This was very handy as late May to mid August, my transitions allowed me to pack my bag and move next door and then subsequently just four doors down. My Opal transport card got to feel extremely neglected.

This reference is from the last of those housesits, looking after a very low-maintenance greyhound who loved her walks and the occasional visit to the dog park, loved that I was around most of the time, but made very few demands of me.

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[Video] Bill The Housesitter’s 2017 Clients – From A to Y

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This is just about a comprehensive collection of all the pets I looked after in 2017 as Bill The Housesitter.

With the exception of a few fish and hamsters. And several chooks.

It literally is a collection from A to Y.

As I was compiling these photos, I realised I’d inadvertently put them in alphabetical location order: from Algester (Qld) to Yeppoon (Qld)!

In housesitting years gone by, I could have told you at any tick of the clock how many housesits I was up to for that year at that point in time.

But 2017 was such an absolute mess, I totally lost track along the way.

Just now, I’ve used a very scientific method (i.e. counting on fingers as this video ran through its paces) to come up with the definitive count for the year: twenty three (23).

From Machan’s Beach (Cairns) in the north to Baulkham Hills (Sydney) in the south.

(2017 housesit locations. Not pictured: Baulkham Hills (Sydney), New South Wales.)

So, with a little favourite music in the background, and arrayed in alphabetical order, here are my feathery, furry, and finned clients of 2017:

Here’s to 2018 and all who sail in her!

Bill Quinn
Bill The Housesitter

Sydney, New South Wales

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[Reference] Scarborough, Queensland – One Very Small Jack Russell With a Very Big Character

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This is the blog section of the Bill The Housesitter site. See above tabs for ‘About’, ‘Availability’, ‘Contact’ and ‘References’.

Scarborough was yet another one of my short housesits, however, at eight nights it was starting to hit median length for my 2017 records.

I was already in wind-down mode in Queensland, with this being my penultimate housesit, divided by a week in my old faithful haunt, the Brisbane City YHA.

The small unit at Scarborough was ideally suited for a quiet, relaxing week before heading back into the city, perched pretty much at the absolute tip of the Redcliffe peninsula. From the front gate, there was a road, some parkland, and the bay. Pretty hard to take.

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Misty the Jack Russell was in that mama bear range of being not too young, not too old. She liked to be around me, but was perfectly happy to keep her own company as well. Though come sundown, the back door was locked because, left to her own devices, she’d be out there chasing down anything that went bump, rustle or squeak in the night.

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[Reference] Wynnum West (Brisbane), Queensland – One lazy, friendly old Labrador and two fairly sociable Bearded Dragons

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This is the blog section of the Bill The Housesitter site. See above tabs for ‘About’, ‘Availability’, ‘Contact’ and ‘References’.

A question I get asked more and more these days is, “What’s been your favourite housesit?”

Try as I might, I never have a good and/or definitive answer for this. There are just too many variants: location, number of animals, sociability of those animals, comfort level of accommodation, TV and media choices in the home, and so and so and so.

I can honestly not pick one.

However, there are other metrics I can easily use to pick ‘The Most Something’ of a housesit and this is one. Namely, it’s been the shortest!

Bearded Dragon2Initially intended to be a little over 24 hours, this short housesit at Wynnum West ended up falling about five hours short of two whole days. The family had forgotten that they had a Saturday morning obligation or two for their kids, and so rather than meandering slowly back from the Gold Coast on a pleasant Saturday morning/afternoon, they came barrelling back up the M1 early, and I’d barely (in two senses of the word) stepped out of the shower when they were back.

25 minutes later I was on the westbound platform at Lindum train station!

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[Reference] East Ipswich, Queensland – Two energetic Kelpie crosses

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This is the blog section of the Bill The Housesitter site. See above tabs for ‘About’, ‘Availability’, ‘Contact’ and ‘References’.

I was a little wary of returning to the Ipswich area after two previous housesits in the region had proven to be… challenging! To put it diplomatically. But, to quote a mantra from my old HR days, there are no such things as problems, only opportunities. Allegedly!

I shouldn’t have worried. This one was an absolute delight.

After seeing my ad on Gumtree, Emily had contacted me earlier in the year, about the time I was in the north of Brisbane and about to head way, way up north of the state. We met on my return in July, and locked in this two and a half week sit spanning October and November.

EastIpswich1I had no other obligations or responsibilities during that time, other than to see the end of the baseball World Series on their fabulous cable sports TV (yay!), reunite with a local social group and attend a few trivia nights, and of course spend a lot of quality time with my two furry clients: Sandy and Piper the Kelpie crosses.

Being Kelpies, they were both of course incredibly intelligent and savvy. Sandy in particular had that amazing quality some dogs have: she honestly knew sometimes what I was about to do before I did it, and would move herself into place accordingly.

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