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

Bearded Dragon1

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 eastbound platform at Lindum train station!

The brevity of the stay was not a problem. I had a week or so in between housesits and, as usual, was hanging out at the Brisbane City YHA. So this just neatly broke that time up and gave me a couple of days in my own space, with access to Fox Sports and Netflix*.

* I was looking forward to seeing the last three episodes of Fargo Series 3 on Netflix, but had to smile wryly to myself when I was asked for a PIN code to get around the child protection lock, so I left that to another day.

Wynnum West1My main companion was a lovely old Labrador who was content to sit around most of the day and catch up on some Zs, however we did wander over to the local dog park on both afternoons. I’d been to this particular dog park briefly earlier in the year when I’d done my mammoth Saturday exploring about eight or nine parks and ending up on Sandgate Beach at low tide. At that time, I’d mentally rated the Evelyn Street dog park pretty lowly amongst its peers, and so it proved to be.

Devoid of shade wasn’t really a problem in the middle of winter, but it was also bereft of other canines and homo sapiens. We saw exactly one other person plus child plus dog, and they gave us a cursory ‘hello’ before scarpering up the other end of the park. So, doggo and I amused ourselves for as long as we could and then loped back home.

The bearded dragons were a nice break from the ordinary run of cats and dogs, even if their movements were rare and glacially slow. One took the time to look around the living area and would then make for a spot out of sight under the TV cabinet. The other was happy enough to sit on my arm and keep an eye on affairs of state from there.

All in all, a very easy care option!

Like I said, blink and you’d miss this housesit, but it served its purpose for all concerned and the pack leaders provided me with this lovely reference:

We had the please of having Bill look after our home and beloved pets while we went away, and couldn’t be happier.

If you are looking for a friendly, down to earth person who will look after your home as if it were his own, and take great care of your pets as well (he looked after our Labrador and Lizards), leaving you to holiday without worry, then Bill is your man.

Great job Bill!

Rhiannon, Wynnum West

[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] Wynnum, Queensland – One very friendly Labrador and two bearded dragons


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

As mentioned many times here and at www.Facebook.com/BillTheHousesitter, 2017 has been the year of lots of short housesits – and they’ve never if ever come shorter than this one!

The family at Wynnum were only looking for someone to look after the house and pets for two nights, but this housesit broke up a week-long spell at the backpacker hostel in the CBD just nicely, so I jumped on the Cleveland line one Thursday morning and headed out west.

The place is a modern house in a quiet street with easy access to one of the most under-used dog parks I’ve ever encountered. The old Labrador and I ambled over to Evelyn Street on both days I was there, but in all that time we only saw one other patron. Which is a bit of a shame, as other parks I’ve frequented have been a buzzy hive of socialising (especially Upper Kedron and Hamilton, to name just two).

But the extent of my interaction over those two days was one: “G’day’. 😥

Wynnum2Looking after bearded dragons was a first for me, but I have to say that on balance I prefer them to snakes and most other non-dog, non-cat clients.

My two companions were fine to be let out and happily roam around the living area, though their choice of roaming was mostly rather limited. They did a pretty consistent job of finding a preferred spot (perched on the back of the couch, or squirrelled away under the entertainment unit) and either kept a steady watch on the human and canine, or stayed well out of sight. Continue reading

[Reference] Return to Wavell Heights, Queensland – Two dogs: something old, something new


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

Much as I’d like to, I don’t get that many repeat housesits with favoured clients, simply because I’m booked at the times they want. The tyranny of distance also plays a part as a lot of Sydney and New South Wales homeowners would gladly have me back, however, I had to turn a few down when I took off to Brisbane in early 2016.

But Samantha and Dan from Wavell Heights got in very early after I spent a month there in July 2016, and booked me in for just the week in July 2017.

It came at the end of a whirlwind two and a bit months on the Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Cairns, and Yeppoon, so I fell out of the taxi from the airport late one Saturday morning in early July and hardly moved for a week!

I had one old mate to take care of, and the dog with the best ears in the business (a four-way mix of several breeds with the tell-tale Sharpei crinkle on his forehead) greeted me like an old friend.


The new girl on the block is a young and slightly skittish young slip of a thing, but I could have written an inter-personal communications chapter or lesson just on my arrival. (The family had left earlier for the airport, so I was walking in cold into the animals’ home.) 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