[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] Housesit in Oxenford, Gold Coast (An energetic boxer cross and a whippet cross)

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

On the face of it, Oxenford was an ideally-suited small jigsaw puzzle piece, slotting in nicely between Ascot (cats) and Capalaba (dogs).

Rather than on the Gold Coast itself, Oxenford is in the hinterland, very close to the big theme parks that are the draw card for the area. The locality sits right on top of the Gold Coast Motorway (which I variously refer to as the Gold Coast Speedway or Car Park), so it’s also very much the dormitory suburb for Brisbane.

The couple were very open about the fact that the place would be a bit bare bones because they were in the process of selling up and moving interstate. I was relieved to hear that the Foxtel Sports would be very much still in situ while I was there.

The only fly in the ointment of the eight day housesit came three days before I was due to arrive. At about 6.30pm on Wednesday 10 August 2016 as I sat in Ascot, I got the terrible phone call that my mother Mary had just died in Westmead Hospital in Sydney, just three weeks shy of her 80th birthday.

Mum had not been completely healthy all of her life, and epilepsy had added a very challenging dimension to her life from the age of 46 onwards with regularly irregularly visits to hospital, including a lot of ICU, and a few administrations of the Last Rites.

I mention this only by way of thanks to my hosts who were very understanding of my need to absent myself for a day during the week for the funeral. They also made their second car available for me to drive down to Gold Coast Airport. That was a rather long, big travel day. Up at 4am, collapse back onto the couch at 10pm, after a drive, fly, train, walk, bus, lift, lift, walk, train, train, fly, drive day.

But all that aside, it was a very relaxing week with my two little tour guides for the area. The house is on an estate where the infamous Russ Hinze used to have his horses. In the valley of the Coomera River, there are some lovely walks along its banks, and the streets are quiet and safe.

We never had a routine; we just went roughly in the same direction every time, doing a loop down to the lake and back by the main access road to the riverside parks.

Apart from that, the little whippet was very ball-oriented, so we spent a lot of time in the yard with the ball-chucker (that’s a plastic aparatus, not me! My shoulder is slowly getting back to scratch after the November 2015 accident. Well, not accident. Me pretending I’m 19 again: how does that sound?)

It was a quiet and contemplative week, and a shame I won’t get to go back as the household is transplanting itself hundreds of miles away.

This is the reference they left me on my Bill The Housesitter Facebook page:

Bill house sat (more importantly – dog sat!) for us for a week in August 2016.

Bill made the effort to meet us and our dogs prior to the sitting. Our girls were happy and relaxed upon our return.

We invited Bill to stay the first night of our return, before he moved onto the next house sit the following day. This was a great opportunity to know him better. He spoke fondly of the pets he had cared for as he described many pet personalities he had met. We would recommend his services to anyone needing a house sitter.

 

Bill The Housesitter dot com Video #9: Dog Training Lite

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

Nothing really much to say here except that it’s a delight to spend time with these two dogs, and we use a few little training tips every day in play and walking time.

Here’s what some of it looks like.

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My 2016 Dance Card Is Now Full

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

As of this morning, Bill The Housesitter is now booked until at least 5 January 2017.

I have some dates already booked in for the first half of 2017 – see my Availability page for full details.

However, all dates are now spoken for in 2016, and hopefully will stay that way, the various good gods-willing, and if the creeks don’t rise and the crops don’t fail. 😉

In fact, I’m even taking two weeks for myself and having a holiday in Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria. This is something I would not even have considered towards the start of this year.

But while some cruel and even tragic* things have happened this year, on balance, it goes well. Good things are happening, and a little time for #1 is in order.

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Full as a goog, as my old mum would say!

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Bill The Housesitter dot com Video #8 Part B: Wide Open Dog Park

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

One of the great joys (of the many to be had) when you housesit is when you strike upon a winning formula with two new furry friends from the get-go.

I’m here in beautiful Capalaba, south east of Brisbane, a short drive from the coastline including Cleveland, Raby Bay and Redland Bay, with Wynnum and Manly a little to the north. It’s then a hop, skip and a jump to the ferry terminal down south for the islands: Stradbroke and Russell to name just two I can think of without consulting a map!

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Raby Bay. Image courtesy of www.peterbellingham.com

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[Reference] Wavell Heights, Brisbane (One very expressive sharpei cross and a low maintenance budgie)

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

My house-sit in Wavell Heights was one of a few I’d lined up while still in Sydney, so it was great that a few people like Samantha and Dan were prepared to take me on, sight unseen, before I had even arrived in the great south east of Queensland back in February 2016.

(And it’s also a testament to the value of collecting these references, and I offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has provided them for me.)

Like a good one-third to two-thirds of the places I visit, I’d never heard of Wavell Heights before I lobbed there in June 2016. Put a gun to my head and there’s no way I could have pointed to it on a map of Greater Brisbane.

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Like most of my canine companions, Gus had zero interest in the Tour de France.

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