Monday, April 30

Going to the UK

Well, plans are afoot for us to do a trip to the UK and Ireland in 2007. The saving has started. One of the most expensive parts of any overseas travel is the accomodation so I will be seeking house sits - in London and Dublin. It is worth doing if we can wing it with dates. We will be able to change dates BEFORE we leave, but once on the road we will not be able to do that.

We want to fly to London, have a week in London, before a train ride across the country to one of the ports on the Irish Sea and get a ferry across to Dublin. A few days in Dublin, taking in a trip up to Belfast, and then hire a car and take a tour to Galway, down to Kerry, across the southern coastal area, and back up to Dublin. Back to London, and then home via a few days in Singapore. I've got more than 12 months to organise it - and will need all that time to save too.

Wednesday, April 25

Flip Flops for fundraising.

Isn’t fund raising a challenge? For years I have been involved in events to raise funds for various organisations – school (I well remember the years of pie drives, carnivals, and concerts) over the many years that our children were at school.

I remember in Quota International doing a whole range of things from dinners, BBQ’s, fashion parades. Organisations are always looking for new ways and developing products that can be bought by members or supporters of your organisation is proving to be a successful way of creating interest and funds
– especially for schools.

I’ve come across one that I think is rather appealing.
Selling flip flops (or thongs, or thong sandals) with various logo’s on them. I like the name of the company too Bagus (pronounced ba goose) which means excellent, and their website says that they pride themselves for excellence.

With the help of the good people of Bagus you can choose from a wide range of custom sandals and have your logo or message on them. Bagus excel in fundraising – so well worth a visit to their website and a phone call.

All their details are on the website. They make it easy and worthwhile.

Anzac Day

April 25th is Anzac Day. We got up at 3.30 am this morning to attend the Dawn Service down at Wynnum. It was funny in a way, as when we crept out to the car in the dark just before 4 am, our next door neighbour called out. He's a Vietnam veteran and always attends Anzac events, but his daughter had gone into labour, and his wife had taken the car and had been at the hospital for several hours. He wasn't sure what to do. He'd have to call a cab, and he wasn't keen to leave the house even though he had a mobile phone. Anyway we took him to the service in our car.

He has had a drinking problem since his Vietnam days, and we thought it ironic that his grandchild should arrive on Anzac Day. He said the poor child will always think that his grandfather was always drunk on his birthday. Well, he is always drunk on Anzac Day.

Pleasant service although the bugler and the bagpiper were a little off key.

We went to the march in
Wynnum later on too after picking flowers.

House sitting challenge.

I'm so loooking forward to my next two house sits but I have a challenge presenting, and I'll have to make a decision in the next week or two.

I've started work two days a week, and I can manage that. We also hope to have some other arrangements with the Gerbera Farm by the time I am due over on the island in July, but MM has applied for a position which will take him away from home from time to time. So what about Kramer??? I'd hardly pay to put him in kennels, but I can't leave him alone and I have no alternative.

As well, the two day a week job looks like growing to more. I've already refused extra days and I'm under pressure to do more already.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Sunday, April 22

Bookmark this site for researching and booking a vacation.

I’ve found a new website, Vacations.net and I’ve locked it into my Favorites. Looks like a great place to book a relaxing vation. It is probably more suitable for my US friends, but it sound great to me. It is a website that provides compelling visual images and virtual tours. You get to “see” what you want to see when you go on your vacation.

There’s so much information about the destinations you are researching. All aspects of your travel plans seem to be covered with details of amenities and recreational activities, and thorough details on accommodation options too. What a way to go for your vacation.


They have HOT DEALS, with as much as 50% off, so when you have completed your research and ready to book check out the special offers that they have on line. There are some great places to book including in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.

I’m one that really researches my proposed destinations and I find all sorts of resources but a website with all the information makes it really easy to do.

There’s a great customised booking facility on the website, too, so no need to leave home to plan and book your relaxing vacation.

Now I'll have to win Lotto

There's a house in London - available for five months from December. Sounds wonderful. Oddly enough there are no pets, but just a garden to care for and the house which is on the edge of a park. Sounds like the perfect place.

The owners sound very generous - and it would be the perfect place to base oneself to see more of Europe.

There's one BIG catch. We don't have the money "spare" to take 5 months without pay, plus pay for all living costs.

It's URGENT. I must win some money. QUICKLY. It is the only way I can do it. We probably need around $25,000 to do it properly.

I can dream though.

How to choose a house sit.

I have been so lucky. I have enjoyed all my house sits, though there is one that I don't rate high on my scale.

I go to meet the people whose home I am looking after. I have a list of things I check.

  • It must be quiet
  • Clean and tidy
  • Easy to clean
  • Secure (I won't go where there are no screens on windows, or rickety door locks etc - remember I am on my own!)
  • A nice bedroom and bathroom facility to use
  • Easy to get to/park my car.
  • I must "like" the owners.
  • Small pets. I won't look after German Shepherds and other big dogs. I like them - I just don't feel confident to manage them.
  • Internet Access - preferably wireless.
  • A garden that I can easily manage
  • I will look after cats and dogs, but not rats, snakes etc. (those people REALLY have troubles finding a house sitter.)
  • I must get a list of peopleto call e.g. family member, emergency assistance for pets (Vet etc.), electrician, plumber, etc.
  • Anyone in the neighbourhood to call (especially if I am far from my own home)
  • Clear instructions for the pet. (Feeding, walking, bathing etc.)

I always chat with the owners for a while, and tell them I will think about it for 24 hours and let them know.

One of the challenges is dealing with every changing dates. I do try to get a set day and time they owner is returning, but I've found that not so easy.

Looking for house sitting jobs

The reasons people do house sitting is varied. I like to do it for the peace and quiet - there are many homes on acreage, or in quieter parts of our city. All the houses I have chosen to "sit" have been quiet. It is one of the things I test BEFORE I accept the position.

My island house sit really is quiet - although some days traffic noise on the unmade road outside the house can be heard. I know at night there's nothing to be heard but he wind in the trees, or the cry of the curlew. The phone rarely rings.

I note that some folk use the housesitting to travel around Australia and do some sightseeing. Or find homes overseas to save on the cost of accomodation which is of course very high.

You can check out the many house sitting websites - do a Google on "house sit" and see what comes up. Or check out
Housecarers.

It is free to look around these sites and see for yourself what is available. You only have to pay if you want to make contact with someone looking for a house sitter.

Saturday, April 21

A collection of coins

I’ve started work. As much as I have been looking for work, I’d had so many rejections that I thought perhaps my working life as I had wanted it was probably over.

I’m keen to move on – I don’t know where, and I’m looking at “down sizing” or “decluttering” so that I can travel, or house sit around the world without worrying about my things.

I was looking at my collection of coins the other day, and thinking that perhaps investing in silver or gold coins was a good idea. Buying gold or silver has historically been high on the list of great things to do to preserve wealth and build wealth. The price of gold and silver seems to go up and up and there’s speculation that the worlds gold and silver reserves are diminishing and the future for those who have invested in gold or silver is very rosy.

I think I’ll go for silver – since Monex, this 30 year old company makes it easy for people to invest both in gold or silver, but their analysts are promoting silver as the way to go.

I like the idea of collecting silver or gold coins to add to my collection.

I think I’ll just lay back and enjoy the thought of sitting on a pile of silver or gold coins

What a good idea!

Saturday, April 7

Can I still keep the housesitting going?

There's been an interesting development in my life. I have been applying for employment - and often joke about it. I say I need money - not a job. I've so much going on in my life.

I was shortlisted for a position that was freaking me out. It was part time - but some weeks working 6 days in the week for 6 hours. Now that would really cramp my style. But it would enable me to still house sit. But I wondered if I could really manage it. How would it affect my writing? The money was good - and for a while it enticed me. I nearly drooled at the thought of the extra money. I decided I couldn't refuse the position, and I'd have to just keep on until I could not cope. Not a good idea? True, but I wasn't in a position to refuse either.

As it turns out - I was offered another position. Close to home. More to my liking and more to my qualifications and expertise. And two days a week. The money is OK - in fact it is wonderful and I'll still be able to do the house sit on Lamb Island.

How good is that?

So - my plans stand.