Saturday, December 30

Visit to the house

I'm still feeling a little less than 100%fit, but I'm OK to do the house sit and look after the house and the cat. I went to visit today, to pick up the key and get the final instructions. It will be quiet there - great for writing. The garden is good and there is a pool to cool off in if I wish and a few herbs and things in the garden. And macadamia nuts around the place. A big nut tree in the back yard drops it's wonderful nuts for the taking.

I need to feed the cat each afternoon, and other than that there is little else to do. I'm looking forward to moving in late next Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, December 28

A few days to go

A few days before Christmas I was stricken with Shingles. Ghastly painful illness, but I think I'm over the worst. Will just have to see if the pain hangs around. But I'm still planning on doing the house sit in Manly.

It will be nice to have a few days of peace. I'm behind with my writing so perhaps I'll have a chance of catching up to some degree.

I'm hoping to take my bicycle over there too. Whilst it is on a hilly street, it is not far from some good riding tracks, and I shall enjoy that. After nearly two weeks of little physical activity because of the Shingles I'll need to start getting fit again.

The weather has been rather strange - not the heat and humidity we are used to at this time of the year. And whilst it has rained since Christmas Day, it has only been light showers. The house is just a short distance from the waterfront, so will get some of the late afternoon sea breezes.

I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 23

New Sit in 2007

Well, I wasn't planning to house sit early in the new year, but I've been tempted again. This house is not far from home - and it will give me quiet time to finish my writing. Jan 3 - 16th, I think. The house is an old Queensland in Manly, and there is one nice pussy cat to care for. Not that there is much to do for it. Feed it. Be there for it.

I love the Manly area. It will give me good early morning walking opportunities. It's funny - I walk often when I am on my own but back in home territory, it never seems to be on the agenda.

Tuesday, December 19

More offers

I've been so surprised. People are interested in my "career" as a house sitter, and are quite curious about it all. I've now received a number of offers to do other house sits, but I'm not keen until some time in the new year.

For me the benefits are that I can have "me" time, do my writing unhindered, walk a lot, (for health!!!), and sleep well. My own home is so noisy at night, so a house on a quiet street is a must for me.

Through the website I get many e-mails about opportunties around Queensland, and I often have a look and see what is on offer elsewhere. There was a great one in Ireland, Dublin in fact, in the suburb of Blanchardstown, which I know quite well. It was to start on November 28th, and last for four months. My heart skipped a beat over that one. Wouldn't it be great! But of course, the timing was not right, but I do keep an eye on the offers in Ireland. It would be good - and Blanchardstown would have suited me fine.

There was another one going in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. For a year - on a wild life reserve. The owners were going to leave for a year and wanted animal lovers to take care of their property. There were some goats, chooks, and so forth. Not wild animals, but kangaroos and other native animals. Not a great deal to do, but keep an eye on the place and general maintenance. I wrote to the lady telling her I'd have loved to have done it. But not this time. But I'll keep an eye on all opportunities.

I went to a function (in fact the launch of an anthology which had one of my stories in), and I had another offer. Folk from Victoria Point (not far from Lamb Island, but on the mainland), but I'm still thinking about that. They had no firm date, so it is difficult to consider without that information.

Island life over

I miss the island life - but have been busy back on the mainland. I met the owners on the mainland, exchanged keys, swipe card for the secure park, and we departed. They hadn't even seen the house at that stage, so wouldn't know if I'd trashed it. Scary thought in a way!

But I received an e-mail a few days later. Obviously they were happy with the way I left the house. No plants were dead! Dog alive and well! House tidy. Bedlinen washed and bed remade. No complaints! The email thanked me, and offered to recommend me if I needed someone to speak about my abilities as a house sitter!

But back to the real world.

Wednesday, November 29

The dog


One of the reasons people like someone to look after the house is to keep the pets fed and cared for. Sure, folk can use kennels, but the cost of that can be very high, and anyway the spoilt pets often don't do well in kennels. This is my current "charge."

Island time and island life

I think that i could live on the island long term. I'd like to try a longer term, so we will see, but as my days here are nearly over, I have time to reflect.

It is so quiet. I'm amused at the locals. There's no bother about seat belts, I doubt if all the cars are registered, no one wears helmets not even on motor bikes, and there's a pretty casual attitude.

I've found the ferries by and large to be on time, but apparently at times they operate on "island time" so I'm told. At times it has been quite hot - it is right now, but I've managed withut turning the airconditioner on, although I admit to having the fan on for two nights. It was hot and humid.

The big challenge is the shopping - if one lived here long term you'd do big shopping expeditions and store a lot more stuff. I went to the kiosk and bought a 2 litre bottle of water and some nuts and it was over $8!!

Sunday, November 26

Early morning at the jetty


Early morning at the Lamb Island jetty is always a treat. On this occasion the air was still, as was the water, and I was able to take this wonderful photo looking towards MacLeay Island.

Frangipani


There's a lovely frangipanni tree not far frm here. It was funny because it was the fragrance that attracted me to the tree. I had to walk down a slope to the tree that was just on a vacant piece of land. Stunning flowers and amazing perfume.

Garden - the agapanthus

My own garden this year is looking pretty sad due to the drought. On the island the waste water is recycled and used on the garden. Oh if only we can do this on the mainland. The lawn is green, and the garden is doing well. My agapanthus have not flowered but here there are three healthy plants with wonderful flowers.

Busy Writing

As I planned I have been writing though I find I was far to ambitious with my plans. As well, I'm finding that myback aches frequently from sitting too long in front of the computer.

I do get exercise - I walk up to the kiosk each morning for the paper - a round trip of 2 kms. On my travels I meet other folk who live on the island. There's a lovely old lady who is 78 who has lived on the island for 20 years. She lives alone and looks after her garden and three blocks by herself.

After lunch on most days I like to go for a drive or a walk. I walked one day and the mosquitos got me. I'm covered in bites from mozzies and midges, and sandflies. Obviousl one of the downsides of island living.

Tuesday, November 21

Swimming Enclosure on Lamb


There's no public swimming pool on Lamb Island. This is the swimming enclosure between Lamb and North Stradbroke Island. The fence is to keep the big nasties out - things like sharks. There's no sand - just a stones and broken shells. Nice place to cool down on a very hot day at high tide!

Tuesday - all day on Lamb

I woke just before 5.30 am. Still, I'd slept all night without waking, which is rare for me. I tried to go back to sleep, but as usual I found it impossible, so I was up early.

Later I walked to the kiosk and back - meeting a few people along the way. I had a look at the Pioneer Hall, and the Bowls Club (no bowling green yet). It was a good walk.

I spent most of the day writing and rewriting. My Irish story, and others that I am working on. After my lunch I went for another walk, up the hill from here. There looks to be a few "deserted" houses. At least not a lot of signs of life at all. There are a lot of those on the island.

I followed steps down to the waters edge, and it was there that the mozzies appeared! In droves. I had Airoguard on, but as someone said, that's only condiments to the mozzies here. I headed back home waving my hands and hat around to keep them off. Pretty scary!!

Monday - back to the mainland

We pick gerberas on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and I've asked to be excused on Wednesdays.

So, to honour my commitment I was up early to do the chores at the house, settle the dog for the day, and get on may way. I caught the 5.50 am ferry - and was most surprised to see it full. Over 90 people setting off from the islands to work on the mainland.

An uneventful ferry trip - time to read.

It was a glorious day - blue skies, no wind, calm waters. The car was there - safe in secure parking, so I pushed my things in and drove off. I was at the farm just before 7 am. The flowers are looking wonderful - still a few bugs around, but so much better than a few weeks ago.

After picking and readying the flowers for the florists, I headed back home to do a few things.

I left around lunchtime, via Dick Smith's at Capalaba where I picked up a little USB jump drive for $10! Then to Woolworths at Victoria Point, and a few grocer items added to my bag before it was back to the Redland Bay jetty.

I met a man on the ferry - an older guy who had moved to MacLeay Island a few years ago and has no regrets. We chatted all the way to MacLeay and he told me abut the new supermarkets being built there. He recommended some of the shops there - especially the delicatessen so I'll have to go over and see for myself.

Back on the island, to my waiting "truck" and back to the house. Bella was welcoming - she had been home alone for the day.

Sunday, November 19

Birdlife on Lamb Island

I'm not a bird watcher, or twitcher as they are called, but I love all wildlife and I am in wonder at the number of birds on the island. Most you'd expect on Aussie soil, but one that we don't see much of on the mainland is the curlew. I think it is the stone curlew, though I'll have to do my research on this.

They appear late in the afternoon, and have quite a distinctive cry. They cry frequently in the late afternoon, and occasionally during the night. It is quite a weird sound, and they are odd birds. They seem to creep out of the long grass and for a while I wondered if they flew, but I have seen them fly occasionally. They stand around 12 inches high, with long spindly legs and a solid body. They often stand motionless for quite long periods. They are so well camouflaged too, and sometime sit is hard to see them, and hard to take a good photo of them. I managed to get a few photos, but working on getting a better one sometime.

The grandchildren visit

I received a call on my mobile. It mostly works here, but sometimes I have to go to the front deck. In any case on the second try we connected. Hubby had two very excited children with him on the way to the ferry. They were very excited when they arrived.

We drove around for a little while in "the truck" and then to the house where they befriended the resident dog, Bella. We had morning tea, and shortly later went down to the swimming enclosure where the girls had a swim. They are used to swimming pools and didn't like the salty taste of the sea water. They had a wonderful time. On the trip back to the house Z fell asleep. We woke her and after her lunch she fell asleep again. Hubby, Z, and I had a snooze whilst A played with Bella. She said she had a short sleep in a chair downstairs, but it couldn't have been for long!

After we woke, there was just a short time before they had to leave on the ferry, so we packed everything up and made our way to the jetty. Both girls announced that they'd like to return. It is so quiet. So peaceful, they said. I agree.

Coming off the ferry was a couple with a dachshund puppy! Quite a cute little fellow.



Sunday morning

A slow lazy perfect Sunday. I slept until 6 am. (good for me!) I did have breakfast, and I did tidy up. My hubby and two grandchildren are visiting today, so I am looking forward to a good day. Not much writing, but that's OK. I have decided to have a day off!

I'll take the ute up to the ferry and get the Sunday paper from the kiosk and sit and wait while I read the paper. The children are excited.

So am I.

Back to the mainland

I've made a commitment to go back to the mainland at least two days a week. We pick gerberas about 3 or 4 days a week at the moment, so I can't leave my family in the lurch that much, but I reason I will still have 5 full days of writing.

I set out to catch the 6.05 am ferry to the mainland. I was up and at the jetty with time to spare, but I'd rather do that than run late and panic. As it turned out the ferry was late - apparently on Saturday mornings it runs late as it has piles of the daily paper, the Courier Mail, to drop at each island.

I met a guy at the ferry who works at Bunnings and commutes each day from Lamb Island. What a life. He invited me to join the local fishing club, but I'll pass on this occasion. I have too much to do, but it sounds nice.

It was one of those perfect mornings. Blue skies, no wind, water calm. Picture perfect and I did take one or two.

I managed to get to the Gerbera farm just after 7 am. It was funny as on the way I felt a little hungry. I'd forgotten breakfast! I'd had a cup of coffee, but nothing else, so I pulled into a servo. That was amusing, as the guy had just bought the business, and it was his first day and nothing had gone right for him. I bought some bottled water and a muesli bar.

The flowers at the farm were spectacular. We've obviously solved one of the problems that we had. Fewer bugs and cleaner water. Gerbera Blog

After picking I went home and did a few things and left around 1 pm. On the way I stopped at Victoria Point, bought a few food items and a bottle of wine. I'll enjoy that later!

Peace at night

My nights on the island are such bliss. No noisy traffic for a start. It is just so quiet. Really the only noise from dusk is the curlews (I'll add details about them later), and the occasional car around the corner. Compare this with living on a busy suburban corner that hoons like to challenge their driving skills especially when the road is wet. I've attended enough accidents there.........

This is great. And at night it is dark. Even in the suburbs you can see the light in the sky from the city and suburbs. Here it is dark and you can see the stars.

I can get a good 8 - 10 hours sleep without interruptions.

Is that good or what?

Saturday, November 18

Day two on the island

Day one was pretty wasted really. I spent time getting organised. Making friends with the dog, and getting my things where I want them. A walk, and a snooze.

On the second day I planned to be more productive and I was. I was up early enough, though a "sleep in" compared to my normal wake up time. I read for a while, and then when I thought the kiosk might be open I drove the truck up the road and left it parked some distance fromt he shop. (I'm a little wary of making a fool of myself trying to back it etc. I'm not used to driving a ute.)

I did get some editing and writing done. In fact a lot, though I found it frustrating as I could not do as much as I set out to do. But progress all the same.

I went for a longer walk around the island - this time checking out the houses for sale. There are lots of them.

Getting sorted

In a way it is a weird feeling moving into someone's house when they are away. One of the things I do is open all the cupboards, and see where things are kept. I check out the fridge and see what is there. The folk are going to be away for three weeks, so if there is anything there that is likely to be inedible in three weeks time, I know they would expect me to use it. There's often not a lot, but rather than throw it out it may as well be used.

In this fridge there is going to be a whole lot left - chocolates, chocolate biscuits, and a whole lot of foodstuffs that I would never eat. Fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs. That's a start.

I make a cup of coffee and discover the kettle is dangerous. It is a cheapy brand, and doesn't work well, and water leaks through the switch. I choose NOT to use it.

I decide to put my suitcase on a bed downstairs. Most of my stuff doesn't need hanging, so I am happy to live out of the suitcase, and the bed is a good spot for it.

I set my laptop up on the dining table. I can still eat out on the deck, and I can spread my papers, books, notes, pens, and printer out on the table.

The dog is unsure of me and keeps her distance. I ignore her. Sooner or later we will be friends but there is no need to rush it.


Friday, November 17

Day one on Lamb Island


I prepared my gear the previous night, so that the following morning I could load the car, and go. I had to meet the owners at 7 am, so I left my Wynnum home just before 6 am. I had to get petrol for the car, and as I rounded the car into Wynnum Road, the car faltered. I knew I was low on fuel, but just hoped I'd make it to the Shell servo. It coughed and spluttered, but after a tense moment seemed to get the energy to go on to the servo. Thankfully we made it.


The drive to Redland Bay was uneventful, and arrived at the ferry terminal at the same time as the family, so there were a few words of explanation, the handover of the keys and they were on their way down to New South Wales.

I had a little shopping to do so I went back to the Victoria Point shopping precinct and waited until they opened at 8 am. Back to the terminal, parking the car in it's spot in the secure car park and I carried my luggage to the terminal and purchased a multi trip ticket to save some money on my frequent trips.

I waited in the terminal building and when a ferry arrived waited until the hordes of people disembarked. They came streaming up the ramps - both ramps - preventing me from going down, but I thought I had time to do so. I was angry as the crowds made way for me to go down the ramp to see the ferry backing out. I was not the oly passenger caught out like this. I have written to the Ferry company about this!!!

It was a waste of time as I had to wait another 35 minutes for the next ferry.

The trip over was interesting as the winds were strong and the ferry had a few challenges pulling up at the jetties.

The "truck" was where the owners had parked it - near the telephone box, so I loaded my things into it, and set on my merry way. I had no trouble with the truck, and am glad I only have to drive from one end of the island to the other.

The house and the dog were waiting for me. I unloaded my groceries, had a cup of coffee, and set about making it tidy. I will use one of the computers downstairs for the internet, and my laptop for writing and downloading any photos.

I took a long walk around the top end of the island, and a few photos, and feel I have settled in. It is so quiet. Occasionally cars pass, and there are myriads of birds. It is bliss.

Monday, November 13

Moving to Lamb Island

I'm due to meet the owners on the mainland on Thursday at 7 am and I'll need to be ready to move onto the island straight away. That requires a bit of organisation. I'll need to have my food, clothes, and everything I need ready to go early on Thursday morning. Once I get to the island, I'm there until Saturday morning. There's no corner shop!

Yesterday I was offered another house sit. This time on the mainland, and not far from Cleveland. No dog this time, and no cat. Lawns and garden. For six months. I'm still thinking about that one. It might work out though.

I still find it amazing that there are so many opportunities.


Sunday, November 12

Preparing for the next sit

I've been communicating with the house owners via email. I've given details of my car to put in the secure area at Redland Bay, and finalised details of dates etc. All is well.
I decided to go to the Island once more to meet them and discuss final arrangements with a week to go before I move in.

It was a fine day - well, at least until I was halfway to Redland Bay. It was quite heavy with rain, but OK. When I arrived at the ferry terminal there was persistent light rain, but not good photography weather. In fact on the ferry, those passengers that were hoping to sit on the back deck were "forced" indoors. It was just too wet!

Our first stop was Russell Island, and the rain had stopped. Arriving at Lamb Island, there was no rain, just a swirling wind, and threatening dark clouds. I had with me my back pack with a ream of paper and other smaller items, and a carry bag with my printer and miscellaneous items. I had planned to walk to the house. Just over 1 km away. I did hesitate, but then reasoned it would be OK. I could have phoned the house owner who was expecting my call.

The walk was great. It enabled me to "get my bearings" not that I'm likely to get lost when there is only one road, but I was able to see close up the homes on either side of the road. When I reached the B & B, the only one on the island, I did feel a little weird. I hadn't noticed it on my previous trip,and there were other things that were unfamiliar.

In any case I WAS on the right road, and in due course I found the house I was seeking. Pretty pleased with myself. A coffee with the owners and a more comfortable meeting with the dog followed.

Friday, November 3

Just two weeks to go

before I head off to the next house sit on Lamb Island. I'm really looking forward to that. The island is in a group of four just off Redland Bay, and accessed by a water taxi that departs from Redland Bay approximately every half hour. The islands are Russell, Lamb, McLeay, and Karragarra. Each island has it's own rather smart jetty, and the trip is pretty fast. There is no other way onto the islands. Your boat, or someone else's. Helicopter? Out of my price bracket. Karragarra and Lamb are the smallest islands. Lamb Island has a small shop. McLeay and Russell are much bigger and have more facilities for shopping. Most folk shop on the mainland. Greater range of products and somewhat cheaper although you need to take into account the $12 return trip on the water taxi.

Wednesday, October 25

Plenty of work

I'm just watching what is available. I have a house sit job in three weeks time on Lamb Island, so am happy to keep on keeping on at home for a while. My folks arrive from Adelaide today, so I will have them to "care" for in the next week.

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Monday, October 23

Guess what I found.



At the entrance of Iona College at Wynnum North there was a mother tawny frogmouth and baby. They blend so well into the background, and are often not seen. From a distance they look like a bit of log in the grass.

I phoned the RSPCA to see what, if anything, could be done. It appears like the chick was having flying lessons and became grounded. The mother will care for it. If you try to move it you'd cause more problems, so I just had to let them be. Not before I took a photograph of them.

Saturday, October 21

Coomera Waters

Now who wouldn't like to wake up to this?
This is where Barbara and I had breakfast on Friday morning. Her home is right on the marina at Coomera Waters. The building directly across with the large white wall is a tavern, which can be accessed via the walkway that goes in front of the homes on the marina. It's just a short walk away.
Early in the morning the marina is peaceful. Around 8 am a number of noises came from the boats - there was one boat being repaired and another rather snazzy speed boat took off for a short run along the Coomera River. Prospective buyer perhaps. Oh, what a beautiful morning.

Pretty normal week

Not a lot happened. Picked flowers on Monday and Wednesday, and I attended WOW (our writers group) on Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon my new refrigerator, washing machine and clothes dryer arrived. Emptying out the old fridge and having all the cold food in eskies around the kitchen looked a mess, but it is a grand new one, so I was happy to cope with the inconvenience.

A washing machine that I can choose to do warm washing if I want too. Very good. And I'm hoping for rain so that I might be able to use the new dryer.

On Thursday I had a couple of events. The opening of the new Shangri La Gardens Restaurant and Motel at 4 pm, and I was due to go to see my friend Barbara later. I couldn't reach her. Her mobile phone was not "active" and she was not home. Eventually she called and I told her that I'd get there after the Shangri La opening.

It was a good drive down and arrived after dark. I'm finding it more difficult each time to find my way - I don't think there is good signage and trying to remember the locale is difficult as the trees grow so much between visits.

I did arrive safely, after nearly running over a hare as I reached the entrance gate.

Back home again.

Back home again. It was good to be back. I think two nights in a holiday house which is rather spartan is enough. I like my privacy and at least 4 star accomodation. It's good though to spend time with other writers even though I didn't do as much as I had planned.

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Thursday, October 19

Pelicans

The waterway between Bribie Island and the mainland is Pumicestone Passage - I think one of the explorers Cook or Flinders found some pumicestone around there.
It is quiet waterway - except when boats roar back and forth the the fishing spots, and on this morning it was calm and one lone pelican was having a look around!

Everyone loves the peace and tranquility of Bribie.

I remember when it was sparsely populated and much, much quieter. They have canal estates, supermarkets, and Target. The fast food folk have appeared and it is a hive of activity at times, especially holiday season.

Walking on Bribie Island



What a beautiful morning. I was up early and we walked along the esplanade towards the bridge. It was just after dawn, and there was no ripple in Pumicestone Passage - the waterway between Bribie Island and the mainland.

It was good to get some good fresh sea air into the lungs!

It was the annual retreat of the Society of Women Writers that had brought us to Bribie. We stay in Congeau House at Bongaroo. The house was built around 1925 for the Congeau family who used it as a holiday house. Mr Congeau was a wine merchant somewhere near Customs House in Brisbane. At some stage the house was sold to the Church of England, and for some years it was used as a holiday home for the priests.

Some years later it was sold to Toc H who continue to own and maintain it and it is used as a holiday house for groups of disadvantaged people. Aren't writers disadvantaged?

Upstairs are the bedrooms - mostly with bunk beds, a kitchen, lounge, dining room and toilet and shower facilities. Underneath is a huge hall which was upgraded in the last 12 months and would be ideal for functions. A number of organisations use it on a regular basis. It is only one street back from the beach, and a handy walk to the Bongaree Bowls Club where we usually dine each night.

Our activities during the day were writing and poetry excercises, and yes, we did get to the Bowls Club for dinner.

To Bribie Island

Friday October 13th. We picked flowers again. I was going to be away for the next few days, and Ian had the Bayside Spring Festival to look after. I saved some of the seconds (not so good flowers) to take to Bribie Island in one of the buckets.

I had a passenger – Margaret whom I met at the Society of Women Writers on the Tuesday wanted transport to Bribie, so she arrived at our place at 1 pm. I had already loaded my things into the car, so we parked her car on the lawn, and at the last minute I put the flowers in the car and we headed off. Margaret lives at Victoria Point, not far from Redland Bay.

We have a good run to Bribie, and chat all the way. I had barely said a dozen words to Margaret, so we took a while getting to know each other. It was perfect weather for the weekend at Bribie. When we arrived on the Island I made my first port of call to Sally and George’s place, but neither were home. Sally I knew was in Sydney. I put the flowers in the cat’s dish.

To Lamb Island to explore

Thursday October 12th I had a few calls to make, and later in the morning I called on the owners of the Manly house. I had to return their key and I’d given them a few days to get over the jet lag.

The poodle greeted me like we were long lost friends, and D welcomed me into the house. He had written a glowing testimonial for me, and had a wonderful gift for me for looking after the house so well. It was a beautiful scarf that she had bought in Paris for me. The scarf featured a painting – apparently one of Monet’s early one’s with two stylish women. I was really surprised by the gift, and thrilled with the words on the testimonial. Their printer was not working – it didn’t work all the time I was there – so D emailed it to me. We said farewell and I headed south to Redland Bay where I was to catch the ferry across to Lamb Island. I’ve made arrangements for the house owner to collect me from the jetty on Lamb Island. I park the car and head for the terminal. I’m decked out in summer clothes – it was hot and sunny at home, and I am wearing a straw hat to keep the sun of me. What sun? As I arrive in Redland Bay the skies open up and down comes the rain. I should know. The islands do get more rain than the mainland and this is typical. I run to escape the rain and to make sure I have time to catch the ferry.


At the ferry terminal I purchased my ticket. $12 dollars return. On the ferry there was some drama. Passengers waiting to get on were milling around the jetty, and onboard the ferry were ambulance officers. Apparently a man, travelling alone on the previous trip had collapsed and they had been working on him. After a while he is stretchered off the ferry, still alive and looking quite alive. All the passengers board. I’d hoped to sit on the back of the ferry and be able to take some photos but it was cool and rainy, so I sat inside for the short trip. Our first stop was Russell Island which I think is the largest of the islands and quite a number of people alighted from the ferry and others climbed aboard. The next stop was Lamb Island. Lamb was the only one of the islands that I’d never visited before. It is quite a small island – with some 300 residents living on the island. There is a small shop – one of those pretty tacky shops that try to make a dollar from everyone. I see rows of videos out the front.


The locals probably do watch a lot of videos. There’s little else to do. There is nothing much on the island.


I phoned JL who arrived shortly in his old 4 wheeled truck for me. He was wearing a Vietnam Vet Association t-shirt, and was quite jovial. He’d had an interesting career on oil rigs around the world in his working days, and he and his wife had retired on the Sunshine Coast, but a few years ago after visiting friends on the island, the decided to move there.


They have a nice house on the northern tip of the island, and one spoilt dog. A small white fluffy ball of a dog, which rules their life. They want the dog cared for along with their house for two weeks in November. The house is quite modern, and has all that I need with a great outlook across the bay. They have a nice garden and all their waste water is treated and flows out onto the garden. Little water problem here. Fishing is no good apparently though I noted some folk preparing to fish near the jetty when we left.


I join the couple in a coffee and we chat. J then takes me back to the ferry terminal to wait for the ferry to return home. The weather has cleared up and I’m still wearing my straw hat.


I take a few photos. Whilst it is not raining it is still overcast and not the best day to take photos. At the ferry terminal there is a lady waiting who starts chatting to me. She and he partner sailed up from down south and settled on the island. They bought a house but are now thinking of moving. It is so quiet and has become expensive to live on the island.


When the ferry comes we board and sit together. I told her about the house sitting and she offers me her friendship if I do move onto the island for a couple of weeks.


Another housesit comes my way

Wednesday October 11th. Another housesit job has come up. This time it is on Lamb Island. Sounds good to me. I arranged to go over to the island the next day. I like to see the house and the people and the animals before deciding to do the job. I phoned Redlands Tourism to get details of the ferry to the island. I had been told that a water taxi goes from Cleveland, but apparently no longer does. I have to drive further to Redland Bay to get the ferry.

I meet with the two presidents of the local chambers of commerce. Why do we need two? A long story not for here.

Into the city again.

Tuesday October 10th. I did some housework – there was a lot of ironing to do! My own house needed a thorough going through, so I got to work. Washing to do, and carrying buckets of water to my parched garden.

I caught the train into the city with Heather for the Society of Women Writers. After the meeting we had lunch in the city, before catching the train home.

A day gone again.

Monday October 9th. The early morning walk – my last one with the poodle. I would miss him. After the walk I drove over to the farm, for the usual picking day. I’d missed the Saturday pick, but it was small since we had picked on Friday.

I’d dropped a few things off at home and then went back to Manly to finish cleaning up. I’d washed the sheets and put them on the line, but rain threatened so I brought them in. I did the floors, the vacuuming, took the last of my things and loaded the car.

I had a doctor’s appointment – it had been some months since I had the eco-cardiogram and I had not been back for the results. I figured they’d call if there was a problem. I got the all clear. There was a reasonable expectation that there would be some valve damage as I had been told when I was young that Id had rheumatic fever and as a result there was a small heart murmur. There appears to be no evidence of any damage. Good news.

I went back to the house, and did the final clean up. I made the bed with clean sheets, and put some gerberas in vases around the house, said goodbye to the dog and the cat and left.

The family were due home that evening.

I returned to my home.

Lazy Day

Sunday October 8th I was pretty tired all day!

I really did have a lazy day – it was all too much. I managed the walk with the dog, and some other things, but I really was a spent force!

Late in the afternoon I tried to get a snooze, but the bell at the front door rang. It was the owner’s daughter visiting to tell me that they were arriving back early. In fact I had just 24 hours left in this lovely place.

I packed away a few things and started on my clean up. And then an early night. I was still feeling exhausted.

Medical Role Playing

Saturday, October 7th. This was my big day. I was up very early and walked the poodle. I left treats for the poodle and the cat, and then off to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. I had tried to contact one of the other ladies who was also supposed to work with me on that day, with the hope of getting a ride into the hospital, but she never answered the phone. It seems she was away – in any case she did not turn up at the RBH.

It was my day to do role playing for medical examinations. I’m lucky to do it twice a year and earn some nice money for doing so. It is a big day starting at 8 am and finishing after 5 pm. I had to play the role of someone with a respiratory disease. Doctors have to pass this exam if they have graduated in countries other than Australia, and it is a very hard exam, as they have multiple stations at which to be assessed

I had an early evening meal with H and went back to the house at Manly. Knackered. As it turns out the poodle woke me at midnight - nature called or was it a cat to chase? Anyway eventually I was back to sleep but not for long. The phone rang. I hadn’t answered the phone at night before, and I couldn’t find it. By the time I reached it, it stopped. Back to sleep again. An hour later, the phone rang again, and this time I reached it but without my glasses on couldn’t identify the button to press. It stopped again. I got off to sleep again, and the phone rang again an hour later. This time I answered it. A male voice asked for D – the house owner. I said she was not home, but on holidays. It appears he was in Paris, and was trying to phone D on her mobile, but had hit the key for her home number. Sleep was over for me then, so I got up and worked on the computer for a few hours.

Good wine and company

Friday October 6th . Up early and walking again. We had decided to do an early pick as I would not be available on the Saturday. It was a big pick. The spring flush?

Back to the house, after delivering a few flowers to friends.

I know that my days at this house are numbered. Another 4 or 5 days to go.

Pamela my editor visited late in the afternoon. We enjoy good food and wine, and a good chat. I had to baby-sit too, so my two grandchildren arrived with the McHappy Meal as I was not going to feed them. They had a lot of fun entertaining Pamela and the poodle. They gave the poodle and the cat extra treats, and we went for a walk down to the beach hoping that the cat would follow. She did for a little distance but not as far as she does sometimes. I always find it odd to be followed by a cat on my walk.

The girls were ready for bed. They got into their pj’s without having a bath – in fact refused one, although I was in trouble for it later. They fell asleep in the big bed. J came to pick them up later, as I had an early morning the following day.

It was late when J and K came for them, and I was in trouble about them not having a bath. Oh, well.

Morning Tea

Thursday October 5th. The poodle was up early! Again! Wanting his walk - we went a different route again. How I love looking at the houses. There are quite a few new ones along with the old. And some dilapidated ones too – just waiting for a developer I guess.

I had two friends coming for morning tea, but an early call meant that only one was coming. I ran around to the supermarket at Manly and got some stocks. Desley was good company and we exchanged stories about our lives and career development. She offered to get her students to do some work for Toc H. I’d be pleased to see something develop out of that.

Her father is ill in hospital, so she left around lunch time.

A bit more writing, more blogging, more reading. Still enjoying the peace and tranquility of this place.

Into the city of Brisbane

Wednesday October 4th. As usual I managed to walk the dog and then get to the farm to pick gerberas in the morning and then get back to the house. I had an appointment in Brisbane city – with a banking friend and another friend who heads up Toc H in Queensland. I thought I’d be able to help them both, and it turns out I was right. RG asked me to help with his autobiography. Should be interesting.

I went into the city by train – it is always interesting to watch the people on the train. And I can watch people and play with my Sodoku game at the same time.

I hadn’t been right into the city for a while – and after lunch I wandered into the Mall. I saw an entertainer that was really getting the crowds involved with his performance. I heard later that he comes into the city dressed like this!

I like hearing the didgeridoo being played and he gave a good performance.

Back to the train and the return trip. More Sodoku and studying the folk on the train.

I had time to drive to the Plaza and wander around the shops before my hair appointment. It is always nice to have a good haircut. Afterwards it was back to the house, a bit of reading, my evening meal and early to bed!

Tuesday October 3rd.

I have found “sitting” not far from home has many advantages. One is that I can continue to do the things I normally do. I can still attend the meetings that I usually attend, and keep in touch with my friends, although I guess some of them would be happy to visit me if I was not too far away.

I managed to get to our local writers group (WOW), and later do some chores at the house.

I’m amazed that I have managed to keep my commitment to walk the poodle daily, and indeed some days I’ve managed twice a day. The poodle and I are getting on very well! I think he’d go with anyone willing to take him for endless walks.

Thursday, October 12

I had a friend visit for lunch today. How wonderful it was sitting out on the deck around the large table. I made a salad which we had with smoked salmon slices, followed by fruit salad and home made greek yoghurt. It was great.

It is a much better house for entertaining than our own home, so I really loved it. The dog made a bit of a nuisance of himself, as if he was a little put out that he was not the centre of attention.

I found a short piece that I had previously written for the Postal Writers Group and sent that to Heather, and spent a bit more time writing.

I must say I didn’t get as much writing done as I had planned, but I’m still happy with progress.

Character Housing

One of the features of this area, as I have said, is the character housing. Queensland was known for it's timber homes "on stilts" - the houses were elevated from the ground to enable air to circulate under the house to keep it cooler, and of course with the very high rainfall here, it was a way of protecting houses from flooding.

These days the old houses are prized - though many have been modernised inside.

House on Wynnum Waterfront

This one is on the waterfront at Wynnum. Imagine living in this wonderful old home right on the waterfront.

A bit of Sodoku

Tuesday October 3rd, 2006

The poodle and I went for our walk this morning and we found an amazing walkway between some houses high on the hill above the marina. It was very steep, but there was a paved walkway, and even a little bridge over a gully that I could imagine water rushing through in a heavy downpour of rain. It was quite an experience as it felt just like we were right in the middle of the Aussie bush somewhere. We were high above the marina, and with the esplanade below us, it was quite extraordinary. I wonder how many local people know about this wonderful place.

On the way back I hitched the poodle to the little dog stand near the supermarket and purchased my newspaper for the day. I don't get it everyday, but do on a Tuesday as there is a good food and wine liftout that I enjoy. Finished the Sodoku in abut 20 minutes.

It was Writers Group this morning and I was on time, that is until I "bumped into" a lady who had attended the recent Grants Expo. She just wanted to talk and talk, so I was late to WOW (the writers group).

We had a good session - some information on critiquing and some impromptu writing which was rathr fun.

I returned the house and the poodle for lunch before venturing out again to see a friend. Later back to the house. Quiet. Writing time.

Queensland Homes

The poodle and I took a very long walk this morning. I'm getting fitter and fitter - all this walking, and I've lost a couple of kilo's too. I just love looking at the houses around the place. The old Queenslanders - timber homes "on stilts" - built so that the air circulated underneath the house in an effort to keep them cool in the long hot humid summers BEFORE there was airconditioning. These days a lot of the houses are closed in underneath - even the one I am in has two bedrooms, and office, a garage and bathroom and laundry underneath. Too hot? Turn on the air conditioner.

I spent some time vacuuming and cleaning up - the cat's fur seems to be everywhere. I had a wonderful day enjoying my own company - a bit of writing, a bit of reading, a bit of blogging.

I went to the Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting too - interesting to see how they do it.

Quiet Sunday

After my fresh fruit breakfast, the poodle and I ventured to the north Wynnum off leash park. I’d taken our own dogs years ago, but all they’d do is escape UNDER the fence. The poodle had a great time chasing other dogs and the ball that I threw with one of those plastic ball thrower. My walking was less than if I’d gone on one of my usual long walks but the dog enjoyed it.

When we got back to the house I realized that I had not purchased the daily paper – the Sunday Mail is always good for a read over a cup of coffee, so poodle and I walked to the local shop.

Back to the house and a bit of housework. Later I bathed the poodle. He was good and behaved well for me. He really is a good dog. Ian phoned – his car had broken down, and he was waiting for the RACQ to come and tow it. Nothing I could do.

I emptied the dishwasher, vacuumed the floors upstairs and downstairs and washed the dog bed and towels.

I listened to music this morning – first Amici, and then some James Morrison and other jazz music. I had a couple of chops for lunch and some fruit and yoghurt.

I did a bit of writing – printed out some of my m/s but the ink in the printer has run out, so I will have to get more tomorrow. I updated by BlogFeast Blog with comment about our youth and the fact that so many seem to be on a self destruct mission.

I watched television at midday – my usual Sunday fare of Landline. It is always interesting. I was particularly interested in the developments around Chinchilla west of Brisbane. Amazing things happening with the discovery of gas in the region.

I read - more of the Secret River, and late in the afternoon the poodle and I went for a long walk into Wynnum. At one point we were quietly walking along and a huge dog umped over a fence onto us in an agressive manner. I nearly freaked. I screamed at the dog. "Shooo!" and it backed off. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest.

Other than that it was a fairly uneventful walk.

Movie -"The Wind that Shakes the Barley"

As usual the poodle and I went for our morning walk - we took another route and I dreamed of living in some of the houses. Some really I wouldn't live in - unless gifted to me, and I'd have to change a few things. It is the proximity to the water and all the ammenties that appeals to me.

I was a little late for picking flowers - but no one commented. The whole family was on deck so we got things done very quickly. I left early as I had a promotion at Bendigo Bank in Wynnum to do, so I rushed off home, showered and changed and arrived in a timely manner for our duties.

We are trying to get local support for a Community Bank - Bendigo Bank community bank, and we are almost at the level of support we need to progress with the project so it is exciting. We had a few good prospects. We are seeking pledges of $500 or more from local residents and business owners.

After lunch I went back to work in the Gerbera Farm - we have a mammoth task to "deleaf" all the plants. There is too much green matter and the crowns of the plants need to have more exposure to sunlight and air. It is quite a pleasant job. I did nearly two hours before my back complained.

I returned to the poodle and the cat, and lay on the bed reading.

We planned to go to the movies at the new Dendy, Portside. We planned for the earlier session, but in the end didn't make it. However, we did get there in time to walk around the new facility - combined cruise ship terminal and shopping precinct.

It had only been opened recently. It was quite wonderful. We had a simple meal before going to the movies.

The movie was “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” – a film that won critical acclaim for the best film of 2006, about Irish freedom fighters that unite to fight off the ruthless British armed forces. It was pretty raw and confronting, abut life in Ireland during “the troubles” in the 1920’s. It was filmed around County Cork and the vision was pretty depressing. A good film. Very confronting.

White Bath Sheet

More things to do - I found time to write, read and do some shopping. I had been eyeing off some things at Pillowtalk - I wanted some new towels, but the ones I wanted were no longer available. Bought a lovely white bath sheet instead.

I went to a few places looking for new sneakers - I've worn my old ones out - after years of walking, it is about time I got new ones, but I couldn't find anything I liked. Next week, I'll have to get more serious.

My good friend Heather arrived in the afternoon - we like to catch up for a chat and a glass of wine or two on a Friday afternoon. Ian was coming for dinner - bringing some Thai food, so he brought enough for the three of us. The meal out on the deck was excellent and the mozzy candle kept the beasties away.

manly shots 005

Off leash park

After my fresh fruit breakfast, the poodle and I ventured to the north Wynnum off leash park. I’d taken our own dogs years ago, but all they’d do is escape UNDER the fence. The poodle had a great time chasing other dogs and the ball that I threw with one of those plastic ball thrower. My walking was less than if I’d gone on one of my usual long walks but the dog enjoyed it.

When we got back to the house I realized that I had not purchased the daily paper – the Sunday Mail is always good for a read over a cup of coffee, so poodle and I walked to the local shop.

Back to the house and a bit of housework. Later I bathed the poodle. He was good and behaved well for me. He really is a good dog. Ian phoned – his car had broken down, and he was waiting for the RACQ to come and tow it. Nothing I could do.

I emptied the dishwasher, vacuumed the floors upstairs and downstairs and washed the dog bed and towels.

I listened to music this morning – first Amici, and then some James Morrison and other jazz music. I had a couple of chops for lunch and some fruit and yoghurt.

I did a bit of writing – printed out some of my m/s but the ink in the printer has run out, so I will have to get more tomorrow. I updated by BlogFeast Blog with comment about our youth and the fact that so many seem to be on a self destruct mission.

I watched television at midday – my usual Sunday fare of Landline. It is always interesting. I was particularly interested in the developments around Chinchilla west of Brisbane. Amazing things happening with the discovery of gas in the region.

I read - more of the Secret River, and late in the afternoon the poodle and I went for a long walk into Wynnum. At one point we were quietly walking along and a huge dog umped over a fence onto us in an agressive manner. I nearly freaked. I screamed at the dog. "Shooo!" and it backed off. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest.

Other than that it was a fairly uneventful walk.

A wonderful view

Thursday September 28th.

As usual a walk with the demanding poodle. Actually we get on well. This time I went up along the hill above Manly and was just amazed at the views. I went back later with my camera and took some wonderful shots..

A few things to do around the house - a bit of washing, a bit of housework. I had an appointment in the afternoon at the Manly Hotel - hoping that it might be an opportunity for employment. Once again, someone asking me to do something for nothing. Community spirited? Sure, but I need money. She was nearly an hour late - but I didn't really mind - other than thinking I was at the wrong venue, or the wrong time. She did phone with an apology.

More writing. Must do more.

manly shots 002



On the deck

Tuesday, September 26th.

As usual I went for a walk - a longer walk each day as I get fitter.

A few friends from the writers group came - supposed to be a committee meeting, but only two able to attend. We did talk "business" but not as productive as it might have been if we had had more in attendance. That's life.

It is a great venue for meetings - sitting out on the back deck. Much quieter than home. (Have I said that before?)

It is wonderful being so close to everything - I can and do walk to the shops, the Manly Hotel, where I like to have most of my meetings. (It's air conditioned, quiet, and inexpensive, and of course I know the staff there!)

It's good to have a walk in the evening. It is a special time, and quite safe along these parts although I notice in the local paper there was an assault in the next street the other night at 2.30 am. Probably the dregs from a late night session at the hotel. Never heard a thing!

I just so like my own company.

I had a meeting with a wonderful guy - manager of a community sector bank that I am negotiating with. We got on so well - and it looks like we could be very, very distantly related. Will have to do some more research on that one!

Meetings

Monday September 25th

A few appointments. I'm currently unemployed. Well, let me explain more. I'm on no-one's payroll, and am desperately looking for work to compliment my writing income which is very low. A couple of appointments but no great success with anything. I guess I'm not only "mature", my skills are not what people want, and I don't want to move to the other side of Australia. Not yet, anyway.

In the evening I had two meetings - am in the Wynnum Manly Arts Council, so we had our regular monthly meeting, and I went to another meeting later. Another community organisation.

Late night. The poodle and the cat were waiting for me. I watched a little TV before going to bed.

I haven't been able to work the Video player here, so have a few things to watch when I return home. Including the Steve Irwin memorial service.

Still enjoying my peace and tranquility.

Keeping up

Sunday September 24th.

You can see I'm running behind with this diary, thank goodness I keep a diary and notes.

Once again, the poodle and I strutted our stuff around the neighbourhood. We are often both exhaused when we return. I love the houses I get a close look at now. There are old dumps of houses, begging for a renovator, and other modern expensive places side by side.

It is an old area - and it is now becoming quite trendy - because of the proximity to the sea, and the marina, so is changing dramatically.

Roast dinner at home with my husband - a little time on MY computer.

Fresh Air

Saturday 23rd September

As usual we picked flowers today. Saturdays are usually picking days at our gerbera farm. We pick the flowers, sort them and cup them with the plastic cup to ensure safe delivery, and then they are bunched. All family members participate.

I had been up early and walked the poodle - we went for a long walk, and I still managed to get to the farm on time.

I really enjoy my own company, and I found that back at the house, I could open the french doors and let the fresh air in while I lay on the bed and read my book. I confess to dozing off a few times. What bliss.

I'm reading Kate Grenville's book "The Secret River" - whilst I like her style of writing - it is very descriptive, I am finding it a hard slog. It is short listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Hubby came and picked me up and we went to the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club for dinner - our usual a salad with fish and chips. The fish was delicious.

Saw one of my clients there - dining with his wife and friend.

Another early night. I just so enjoy the peace and tranquility of this place. The poodle has got used to me, and sleeps contently in his bed in the bedroom.

A different bed

I don't always find it easy sleeping in a different bed - but it didn't take long to get used to, especially when the room is dark and quiet. The bedroom is at the back of the house away from the traffic and so very peaceful.

It took a little while to find things - little things that one uses every day, but are now in a "different" place.

Each morning I wake to see the eager face of the poodle, waiting for it's morning walk. Now way could you miss out on it. He keeps an eye on my whilst I climb into my walking clothes, and shoes, and when I pick up the lead and plastic dog poo bags he really gets excited.

I've enjoyed walking around the neighbourhood looking at the houses. Usually I drive past and see very little, but each day is a new adventure for me as I choose to go in different paths. I'm surprised how many really old houses there are - really ripe for developing and I'm sure they are sick of would-be developers knocking on their doors.

I see the homes with rainwater tanks to help save their gardens in the drought too - with their sign to advise all that the sprinkler is connected to rain water and not town water which is now illegal to use on gardens. festival plus 020

The Brisbane Writers' Festival

That Saturday was the second last day of the Brisbane Writers Festival, so after picking flowers, I returned to the house, changed and drove to the railway station to catch the train into South Bank and the Festival.

I enjoyed a glorious day listening to the tales of writers. The festival is a week long event for writers and there were many things to attend, but on this occasion I was happy to visit the free presentations in the marquees along the river front, with the stunning city views across the river.

What a glorious setting for such a Festival.

The first night

The first night was very interesting. I had a snack - I wasn't ready for a meal - and took a book down to the bedroom which I was going to share with the poodle. Yes, he has his own "bed" adjacent to the foot of the bed. I read for a while, and then let the dog outsite for the last pee for the night, before we both retired.

At 4 am he jumped up on the bed. It appeared that "nature had called" so I climbed out of bed, opened the french doors to the outsite world and he rushed off for a few minutes, before returning to his own bed. We both slept for a few more hours.

When I eventually was prepared to get up, I donned my walking shoes, and tracky pants etc and we went for a glorious walk along the waterfront. I then left for my Saturday morning task of picking flowers.

Moving in

On the day they were due to leave on their travels I called in and collected the keys and the last minute instructions. I came back a few hours later and they had gone.

I moved in with a suitcase with minimal clothes, my laptop and a bag of goodies I'd purchased at the supermarket. I set about putting things away and "feeling my way" around the house.

I invited a friend in for a glass of wine - and we had quite a funny time. I had to familiarise myself with everything. Which drawer was the cutlery in? Where's the switch for....

We had a glass of wine or two, a long chat, and after an hour or so she left.

I took the dog for a walk. The dog is a poodle, and quite spoilt. "Does not know he's a dog" and lifts his leg to pee on every pole, tree, fence etc. so I was told. I knew he'd learn a few rules. He did as was explained to me - or at least he tried to pee on everything, but I kept walking and often he'd be on three legs with one in the air to "drain the swamp" and I'd just keep walking. He soon learned.

Confused about departure date

I was very excited and looked forward to moving in. As it turns out there was some confusion about their departure date. They got it confused, but in the end it all worked out well. They were going to Spain for a month.

We exchanged various e-mails with further information during the "waiting period" and made arrangements for me to meet D's husband.

So one Sunday I called around and C was home. He is a big bloke, works in LAW, and is quite a character. The dog came running to greet me as if I was one of the family, which impressed C, as he somehow thought I had spent a lot of time with the dog. Just clicked I guess.

He's quite a jovial character, and invited me to share a bottle of wine with him until his wife returned. She was collecting other family members from the airport. I declined the wine offer, as I had to drive home, but shared the food he put on the table.

When D came home, I met other family members, and later was shown around again, this time getting details on things, including the dog and cat feeding regime, etc. I still had almost a week before they were going away and arranged to meet them again on the morning of departure.

I was impressed with the way that I was treated. They were keen that I have a good experience in their house. I was looking forward to moving in.

I meet the lady of the house

My first meeting with the lady of the house, whom I shall refer to as D, was very welcoming and we had a few things in common. As it turns out we had a lot in common, but I was not to learn that until later.

I was introduced to the dog (a small poodle), that I would have to care for and walk daily, and the cat (a persian), and I seemed to pass that test. The cat, as cats are, was very distant and treated me with disdain, but the dog took a liking to me.

I was shown around a lovely house, and the amenities were pointed out. I shall describe the house later, but I loved it on sight! It was to streets back from the foreshore, in a quiet street, and the house was just wonderful. It was like a dream come true.

I immediately accepted the posting for nearly a month from September 15th - October 9th. Yeeha.

House sitting for my daughter.

I "house sat" for my daughter back in June, and I found the peace and traquility wonderful and it helped me do more of my writing. Nothing much to interrupt me, and I found I could live on less complicated food - giving me more time to write. I have a couple of major projects on, so desperately need to be on my own to complete them. Someone told me that it was easy to get housesitting "jobs", so I set about investigating it. I found some sites on the Internet and watched what was happening. It seems that many folk are willing to offer free accomodation in their homes whilst they go on holiday. In return for the free accomodation the house sitter must keep the house in order, some gardening often, and most important of all for some folk is the care of animals. To put a dog in kennels it can be costly. A small dog can cost $15 a day - so a 30 day holiday can add $450 to the cost of the holiday. A cat too? Maybe $10 day - so another $300 if one has a cat as well. I advertised in the local paper with an interesting result. I found others were interested in housesitting too, but did not know how to source houses to sit at. I watched some sites on the Internet and over several months saw lots of exciting opportunities, but none local. I wanted to try out this housesitting in my local area. Then one day, there came a house available in Manly - just a few kms from home. I had to sign up on the website, pay a fee, in this case $50 for a year, and I was able to directly contact the house owners. I phoned and made an appointment to meet them.

From "old" blogsite.

There were a few things I didn't like about the old blog template, so I am moving it all over to this site.

I have already done one "real" homesit and am planning more so I am keen to develop a good blosite to tell my stories.