[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.

Meanwhile, the moggie thought she too was a dog, and would follow me around from room to room and outside, wanting to know what I was up to, and always jumping onto my lap every time I sat down. Which was a lot, coming as it did while I fought off a very rare but rather persistent cold, and while I watched the end of the 2018 World Cup and all of the 2018 Tour de France, two of my absolute addictions.

In fact, the greyhound even found her way onto the SBS TV coverage one night when the producers featured one of my pictures from the very lively #sbstdf and #couchpeloton Twitter groups that watch and analyse the annual classic road race, mostly with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The cows, field art, chateaux, and gastronomy of the various regions are up for as much discussion as the race itself.

The owners were very happy with my custodianship of their place while they were overseas and sent this reference:

We’ve just returned from 4 weeks away with Bill housesitting for us, caring for our Greyhound, Carrie and elderly (and slightly demented) cat, Abby.
We can’t recommend Bill enough. He took Carrie for long walks daily and put up with Abby stalking him, wanting to constantly sit on his lap.
Communication while we were away was easy and reassuring.
We returned to a very clean and tidy house and two happy healthy animals. Perfect.
Thanks again, Bill!
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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] Berrinba (near Brisbane), Queensland (One very autonomous but friendly Manx cat)

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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

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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)

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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

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