A Trying Time For Bill The Housesitter

I need to get on the front foot with this one as within the space of a few days:

1. A four-month housesit starting at Easter, booked since last June, was cancelled by the homeowners as their daughter is returning from Europe – they were just a little slow to share that information with me.

15 days’ notice. Ok.

2. Following on from two horrific weeks in Surry Hills in the worst housesit of my experience, one that required police visits and really should involve an ‘apartment condemned’ declaration, and culminated in my spending five awful hours in the Westmead Emergency Department on the last day of the housesit, a friend of the housesit ‘host’ threatened this week to get a group of hackers to destroy my online presence.

She was a bit careless, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and after my reports to a couple of authorities, I’m hoping she’s in more trouble than Speed Gordon.

All that signs, symbols and colours stuff I bang on about comes in handy.

She shouldn’t have been wearing a company t-shirt.

But I’ve taken my Facebook page down as a pre-caution and it remains down until further notice.

3. The cherry on top of these sorry episodes was that my housesitting provider showed their true colours as not being the most professional player on the park.

People, if you’re in business and you don’t offer a phone number as a point of contact, you’re not worth my dealing with.

If your preferred method of contact is Facebook Messenger, I will ask you this:

Are you 13 years old?

I was dragging my heels on amassing a mountain of documentation, photos, videos, etc. plus my discussions with Police Hotline, LAC Surry Hills Police, Family and Community Services, the housing commission*, NSW Finance, RSPCA NSW, Animal Welfare League, Petbarn, and probably others.

So on the Ides of March – Thursday 15 March 2018, they summarily cancelled my membership.

More fool me for not checking this guy out far more closely and for not realising it was a housing commission flat. Call me naive.

I won’t housesit in a housing commission flat. I want to, because frankly there are solid, reliable, honest, friendly, gregarious people as neighbours, but the compliance and insurance issues preclude it.

The NSW Police who attended at Surry Hills told me that the particular area is infamous for noise complaints, crime, vandalism, alcohol and drug abuse, and other social niceties. Great.

Sadly, the housesitting providers I have dealt with in the last four years have an institutional bias to home owners, or in this case, the subsidised rent-sometimes-paying client of FaCS.

For my sins, I now have deep vein thrombosis, elevated levels of hypertension, hypotension (that was very scary – nearly killed me twice), and those on their own WERE playing merry hell with a couple of very otherwise manageable conditions. I cut down the salt, and two weeks later, I’m out dancing on nights off and doing somersaults on the back lawn with the dog, cat and rabbit.

It’s been emotional. It’s been instructive. It’s been charactet-building.

Juggling all of this has been atv times horrendous, because I also have a life to lead which is very full right now.

I’m trying to kickstart a new business phase that includes tonnes of work from home, but I’m forever putting out fires elsewhere.

8.45pm on St Patrick’s Day and I am ready for bed and to sleep for a week. 😪

Luckily, my current housesit is absolutely fabulous.

But between sorting out Chummy in Surry Hills with his maverick hacker friend, and the usual fiery hoops I have to somersault through financially until my inheritance comes through – 18mths now it’s been, and it was all supposed to be squared away at end 2016 when I was green-lit for $15K in business funding.

So, if you’re with this housesitting provider, you may get some form of notice from them about my being a naughty, naughty boy. I haven’t, I’ve just prioritised staying alive in preference to filling out a 36 page report with video attachments and the 72 8×10 glossy foto’s***.

I’m been disheartened and frustrated, but it just means I paddle harder to get past the obstacle.

Pick the knots out of those metaphors!

Right now I’m… well, see the video below from one of my favourite artists. Touring right now in Australia.


If you have questions, please contact me.

I really appreciate the lovely support I’ve had from past clients who value my services, and don’t buy the nonsense this provider (and another from last year) have put me through – just because they want to believe the best about the homeowners at the expense of their housesitters WHO PAY FOR THEIR MEMBERSHIPS.

I don’t get upset any more. I just go off and find more suitable options. I’m getting heaps. Forza Blue Mountains!

And I take appropriate action to protect my name and reputation. And the worse I cop it, the harder I push back. 😠

Thanks for your time.




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


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


[Reference] Berrinba (near Brisbane), Queensland (One very autonomous but friendly Manx cat)


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

Following a trend for taking housesits in relatively far-flung parts of Brisbane, I spent two weeks in the deep south in a suburb called Berrinba with Cinnamon the Manx cat.

To be honest, I hesitated when it came up on my pick list. Just across the freeway from Berrinba are the localities of Woodridge and Logan, which have a reputation for being a bit dicey. If you’re familiar with the work of Jim Croce, and in particular his ballad of Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, then imagine his depiction of the south side of Chicago!

But I suspended disbelief, let my fingers do the walking to Google Maps Street View, and found the pictures of its streets uncluttered by pictures of knife-wielding gangs or cars on fire, and within a few days I was meeting with Annette and Bob.

Berrinba1Cinnamon definitely had the run of the joint, especially since as a 23.5 hours a day inside cat, she was absolutely queen of her domain. Her first couple of days were spent in master’s bedroom, but by and by she started spending more time with me on my sole pursuit for much of the two weeks: the league championship series and start of the World Series of baseball on their glorious Fox Sports cable TV.

For the other half an hour a day, Cinnamon got to have time in the exercise yard (read: small patio and grassed backyard), though we had to skip a couple of days as we were on the receiving end of a mighty amount of precipitation for the duration.

That aside, I spent a couple of days a week with a public relations mob in Logan, but Cinnamon was amply able to keep herself occupied on those days, as that’s what she’s used to her with her pack leaders. Continue reading

[Reference] Algester, Queensland – Two cats with very different personalities


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

Algester is one of countless suburbs I’ve discovered over many years of housesitting whose existence I may have ordinarily remained blissfully ignorant of.

It was a first on a couple of fronts, including the first time I’ve housesat in a ‘gated community’. That sounded very posh and elite at first blush, but you could easily forget that it was any different to your run of the mill townhouse complex.

Algester1My two moggie mates had very different personalities – the female grey and white was initially very affectionate and approachable, but from Day One she opted to make herself very scarce and only turned up for meals and in the evenings for curfew. The marmalade man was the polar opposite – an absolute character of a cat, and always very entertaining and diverting company. I nearly fell off the couch the night I looked over and solved the question of, ‘How many cats does it take to change a light bulb?’ I have no idea what he was up to, and I suspect neither did he!

Continue reading

[Reference] Upper Kedron (Brisbane), Queensland (One friendly dog who loved his walks, and a cat who sat them out)


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

Last year I began to embrace the existence of the multiple short housesits which had been something of a bane of my existence previously. For a while, the constant moving, packing and unpacking and not staying in any one place for long was beginning to grate, but necessity being the mother of invention, I was beginning to agree with and even welcome the short, sharp, staccato bursts of residency.

And so Upper Kedron came towards the start of a quite a few mini-housesits, not all in a row, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the company of all my charges, I stopped worrying about upping stumps quickly.

Upper Kedron is a strange beast in so far as you’d reasonably expect it to sit cheek by jowl with Kedron.

Not so.

15 kilometres separate the two suburbs, including a fair stretch of railway track and roads, and one sizable military barracks.

ChesterUpper Kedron itself is on one of the many green fringes of the city sprawl. Zip off to the west and you hit the bush and the Samford Valley. It has that feel of being a goodly way out of the rat race, while only a reasonably short train ride from the terminus at Ferny Grove in to Central and Roma Street.

My two companions were a friendly springer spaniel and a slightly aloof moggie who nevertheless rarely strayed far from home.

With the days fairly blisteringly hot after about 10am, we soon got into a routine of going for a walk early-ish and late-ish, with a good deal of avoiding the sun in the middle.

We had a couple of mildly successful visits to the huge enclosed dog park that was virtually over the back fence, but Chester has a little of the alpha male about him, so after the first day we ditched that idea in favour of a regular stroll to the shops where we became semi-regulars at the Poshamocha Café at Ferny Grove shops. The owner in particular took quite a shine to Chester and would always stop to have a chat while lavishing Chester with attention.

DexterDexter the cat spent his days hanging out in the backyard, or curling up a short distance away from where Chester and I were watching the cricket or football or whatever else took our fancy. It was a pretty cruisey week.

The owners returned refreshed from a big family holiday and sent me this by way of reference:

Bill house sat for us between 7 – 14 January 2017

Upon meeting Bill we knew our house and pets were in good hands.

When we arrived home Chester and Dexter were happy, and had obviously been cared for. The house was in good order too.

Thank you Bill.

John and Sarah, Upper Kedron