It’s Been A Year Since We Started Housesitting.

Up and Down the Coast We Go.

This year of 2016 and a wee part of 2015 has been a most interesting time. Possibly one of the most varied years of our life so far. We went to The United States for a month and fell in love with the country and the politest folk we have ever come across. There was a lot of walking around Newport Rhode Island and that was excellent as it ment we had a good close look at all that was interesting to us. Gardens and amazing homes mainly. 


There was swimming on a beach in the Bahamas included as well, the benefits of a surprise cruise taken on the spur of the moment. Now there was proof it pays not to overplan too much and let serendipity take its course with a little help from the internet. God bless those last minute cruise sites. Who knew a small girl would be the best traveling companion one could wish for as she danced and twirled around the cruise ship.

Of all the holidays we have enjoyed the cruise always holds special memory’s and this was number three of the wonderful times.
In between these great experiences was the house sitting which to be honest made it possible to enjoy the travel by enabling us to save a bit on the cost of our beloved caravanning. 

The trip to the mainland and the cruise went by so fast and before long we were off to Hawaii for a bit of sun and swimming cause above all else that’s our favorite happy place in the world. Time after time Hawaii hits the spot and even though it was a shock to see how busy the island has become and see its highways choked with traffic we still love it.

The way the flights worked out created a few days in Los Angeles much to my delight and once again so easily seduced I felt a whole lot of affection for this huge city. We guess what ended up going for long walks along the beachfront of the rather seedy Venice Beach and ended up in Santa Monica deeply mourning the fact the glorious shopping was not for us. Darn it hurts not to be a gorgeous teenager anymore.

Along the walks we discovered the most beautiful place to live and it’s still out there to the gods of Housesitting wherever they are. I am totally up for a few months feeding a treasured cat and gardening if required on the Venice Canals. The only concern would be carrying all the little bits one needs to housesit in comfort. Whilst we have enjoyed some lovely places and loved the pets it’s interesting to find not everybody keeps a fully equipped kitchen. One or two of our lovely homeowners had a kitchen to love and sadly a few did not. A sharp knife and often a working oven are harder to find than you could ever imagine. In fact it stuns me one could live and eat without good equipment on hand. It raises the question are some of us just spoilt or do some just have no enjoyment of the art of food so consequently do not care. To avoid horrid surprises in the kitchen I am developing a list of handy things to keep on hand. Imagine the horror of a home with no oven, no sharp knives, not even a cheese grater and this is what I found at my latest sit.

To avoid such horrors it would be a good idea for the keen house sitter to invest in a suitable container to be taken along on every housesit containing the following.

  1. A pair of good sharp knives.
  2. A cheese grater of your choice. I prefer the modern flat ones
  3. A small Webber BBQ
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. A small blender of some sort for drinks and smoothies.
  6. A good cast iron frying pan, a good saucepan or two as well.
  7. Nice soap and shampoo if they are important to you.
  8. A Scented Candle or two not necessarily expensive ones.
  9. Your own pillow.
  10. We also carry our dog leads and car harnesses in case we want to go out with pets to a park or beach.

A cozy rug if you are going to a cool area for your bed.
That may sound over the top but if you are in it for a long term commitment believe me there will be many things more you will find make life a little more comfy. My husband includes a deck chair for outside comfort to read in as well. Lucky for us we drive a large Ute with plenty of room in it.

It has been a busy time and so far we have just about covered the eastern seaboard of Australia and had some gorgeous pets to look after. Some stand out for all sorts of reasons mainly personality including the big brown boy we met last month. Wonder Dog we called him for his intelligence and lovely nature.
Just throw the stick will you!

The latter part of the year was pretty dam amazing as well, it included another wonder trip to Asia. Singapore, Bali and Malaysia who could complain. We revisited the food courts of Singapore and renewed our vow of love for the city. Once again we were stunned at the rate of renewal and amazing buildings and gardens they had developed. Ooh How I Love You Singapore and all the things you offer.

So there we were four days of bliss in Singapore and could have made it eight. The food and the amazing city along with the incredible gardens just make it another go to for a fantastic break. For a large city we were thrilled to find once again the locals were really friendly and we both were amused to meet a most charming young doctor who directed us to the best nightclub in town. That would have been a sight to see and flattered as we were to believe we may be cool enough for nightclubs the night spent watching the crowds was enough for us.

Then there was Bali.

Dear Old Bali 

What we would do without the kindness of friends I do not know. Viv sharing her housesit with us as she looked after the little rescue dogs of Bali .

Our dear friends who offered us their beautiful Gypsy Villa in the heart of Seminyak all came together to make it a memorable few weeks. 

There is no denying Bali can test your patience and it seems so sad it has been loved to the point of destruction of all that once made it so beautiful but still it grabs you . We were enchanted to find all the gorgeousness in the local stores and guess what our new place will be full of . Yep even though I swore we would not succumb to the temptations of the design shops of Seminyak the bags were packed to maximum capacity and we still had Malaysia to get through.

The First Bus Tour We Ever Did 

Oh my goodness we did enjoy this part of the trip. The most excellent Majestic Hotel where we thought we were royalty for a bit. The bus tour was very good and we travelled up hill and down dale through the tea plantations along the highways to places we had only read of. The fellow passengers turned out to be all good sorts of all ages which was not a bad thing. Will do it again in another country for sure and we were very pleased with ourselves for choosing to take a chance on it.

It was all thanks to the wonderful people who entrusted us with there homes and pets and we are grateful for the year more than we can say. 

It did not end there either as on arrival back in Oz we have travelled to Cooktown (far north) to Melbourne in the south a huge journey. Everyday I thank the travel gods and bless the company that made me redundant because if not one would still be at work and who would want that instead of travel. Not Me!

 
 

.The sweetness of kids wherever you go.

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A Drive To Home.

They say you can never go home and it’s true. The photo of home is not my own I must admit, it’s borrowed off a post but I love it so whoever took it has my thanks as it’s lovely.

So here’s the thing you go back to find all has changed, the cafe you loved has been renamed. The streets bear hardly a resemblance to memories you hold and strangers walk the paths you once called your own. Even the home you grew up in has been demolished and renovated to within an inch of its of its life.

We had taken a trip to the Mount to visit my elderly mother who has lived to a great age old enough to make you hope you never live so long. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. 

Along the way we followed the route over the hills from Thames a town that once held the prospect of much grief every time duty called. A long story from a previous life and best forgotten really otherwise the nightmares may return. Oh but it is still a great drive and the visas are just as awesome as they ever were. I decided to revisit all the beaches along the way just to torment myself with indecision as to where live forever. Australia or New Zealand who knows love them both and then as a lightbulb dimly came on inside our heads we realised no need to to fret we can have it all. One day we will come back and buy a summer home for NZ and the gypsy life can continue in Australia with the caravan until we are marched off protesting to the oldies final abode. Thing is the memories will be good and pray we still can recall them.

Note the soft light and evidence of rain a lot of rain and how gentle the landscape looks. The shades of green too many to count brightened by the flash of colour from the spring blossoms lift ones heart.

That evening we spent at Whangamata with old friends and inspirational friends at that. Our long time friend is a picture of health showing the advantage of a lifetime vegetarian diet and has an enviable trimness to boot. Right I firmly told my man that’s it the meat goes. He blanched a little and pointed out it has been gone for quite some time and has become a bit of a rare treat. No matter I said and resolved to collect my old vegetarian cookbooks and take them home to create more weight and clutter in the van and possibly even cook from them. Our vege friend is blessed with a garden full of gorgeous fruit trees and a magnificent vegetable garden he has worked in for a lifetime. Gosh I hope the developers never get hold of his land and bulldoze it as happens so much. We were rather saddened when we made a visit to Omokoroa a wee village close to Tauranga and one of those beautiful spots one wishes to live in to find it in the process of being ripped to pieces for yet more development. All the orchards torn up and trees removed is heartbreaking to see.

Waihi Beach still grabs us and will always be the dream I think, long beach ideal to walk on and we were rather thrilled to see all the older folks out bike riding and strolling the beach. If the temperatures could be jacked up a little it would give Queensland a run for their money. 

Once we reached the Mount on a beautiful day it was a joy to see the beautiful harbour and the iconic Mount we all love so much. Home always grabs your heart until you see the changes but what the heart holds is truely the home you love.

The tickets have been brought to return to Australia this weekend and pick up the van and it seems to be our real home these days. Who would have thought one would be looking forward to a small space again. Hopefully we can spend a bit of time on the Gold Coast before we head to Victoria and more Housesitting and the three fat Labradors again. 

So at the end of it all home is wherever we go as long as we keep moving.

We Are On Our Way To Cairns

Hello Possums here we are again on the road again this time enjoying a long drive to our next house sit. Our next house sit came to us via an email requesting our presence to look after much loved dogs and why not? The couple live in Cairns and it seemed to us accepting the offer would get us moving north and tear us away from the Sunshine Coast for a change. Good heavens we seem to have been there for ages and now we have brought the wee apartment it will figure large in the future so needed to drive away for a few months.
It was a wonderful excuse to head up to TNQ a place we hold dear in our hearts. We seem to be developing an unhealthy attraction to the tropics and fear we may end up swatting mosquitos for some time to come except for the call of Noosa and the glorious swimming beaches so dear to our hearts.


When we arrived home from our lovely trip our dear friends collected us from the airport and whisked us back to their home for a good sleep. Funnily enough we did not have any jet lag at all and yet previously after similar flights back to NZ we would be drifting in a haze for simply days and days. So this brightness was put to good use as they had sold their home and the next time we look after the dogs will be down Melbourne way and as we have promised it all makes a good reason to hitch up and go south for summer.

So after a few days saying farewell for now we found ourselves back on the road with old faithful right behind as is our way. You know it is fantastic to be traveling again with your own things and best of all our own bed. It really is hard to beat as a lifestyle and our hearts were light as we set off.

First evening found us at our most favorite wee place Kandanga and it felt like a homecoming in a small way.


Next day early in the morning we hit the highway again and several hours later and just shy of Gladstone we found a small free camp and made the vow this trip we would freedom camp as much as possible and it gives me a lot of pleasure to count the savings by avoiding commercial camps which are thieves and rogues  far too expensive coming in at nearly fifty dollars a night these days.


Next day we made it to St Laurence and the very nice camp by the wetlands and then onto Airlie Beach where we did succumb to the lure of a paid camp. Heaven to get the washing done in the machine though and we had a lovely dinner with old friends. Who may become neighbors in Noosa so who knew what life can turn up.

Speeding along we hit Townsville and carried on to a lovely wee spot called Toomulla complete with crocodiles in the river, we had heard a peculiar tok tok noise and it turned out to be crocs on the riverbank. I knew it was not comfortable walking through the mangroves alone!

The very next day a very nice couple turned up who shared our love of a good coffee and had come from NZ a few years ago, in fact they are Aussies now but we forgave them for that and had a really nice few days with people on our wave length. Funny how the two countries have developed strong differences and even though you love your new home it’s a comfort to meet your own tribe again. It was good to have a few days just resting and reading as it really has been a while since we stopped properly. A new author hit my radar so I have plowed through five of her books and are just enjoying them so much I cannot say. 

Elizabeth Buchan and she has written several rather good stories which if you were cruel you would say Aga sagas . However they are very good and I started with Revenge of the Middle-Aged woman and promptly got the the rest of her titles. Love it when you find a new author and they resonate with you. Toomulla was ideal to kick back and read until your eyes give up.

Today finds us in Ingham at a peaceful camp run by the CMCA for its members and guess what it’s free all free. It just gets better and better. We did find it unusual that even though it’s Sunday all the shops were shut. I am not sure if the town should be admired for hanging on to its day off or castigated for closing down while many fellow caravaners just drove away taking their money with them. On reflection nah good on them enjoying a day off.

Plenty of time tomorrow to shop and I do believe an outing to see the local sights may be in order.

Surfaridreaming is Dreaming of a Little Time House Sitting in the Area.

Oh and we most certainly would like to house sit in this funky and oh so different city of Venice Beach or Santa Monica.

ooh its like the movies.
For a girl ( grown woman) from New Zealand it’s amazing just how unlike the US is to home. Yet all the time people complain it’s where ever just like America. No guys it’s not, not at all. Little bits of NZ and Australia are nothing at all like this place and viva la difference I say. We were thrilled to be in Los Angeles after an accidental three days we had not planned for. We had wanted to head back to Oz after Hawaii but the flights lead through LA and the thought of all those hours in the just did not cut it at all. Oh no siree I want a break between. Well what a break it turned out to be as we found ourselves just too happy for words to have ended up in this vital and vibrant city.

Our first day we had an awesome breakfast and were fired up and ready to explore, on foot. Hmmmm it’s a big place but game we were. 

Venice Beach beckoned and away we went intrigued with the idea of the famous beach. The seedy charm of the walk drew us along briskly and the colourful shops were well colourful. Then we noticed the bright green stores with the dodgy looking guys outside and did a double take to see they were dope shops for heavens sake. How had it escaped my notice the stuff is legal to sell there. Not that we would want any oh no not us. I guess if you have a terrible illness and it relieves great pain but would leave it alone myself . So a little bit shocked and that shows what sheltered flowers we are these days.

crikey who knewmy man can never resist a tshirt
The thought we could stroll to Santa Monica kept us going and we duly admired all the fit people using the famous facilities along the way.

It was a curious sight to see the utterly destitute alongside the well off and healthy and not the most comfortable thing to watch either. What a way to live the poor sods and such a brutal lack of comfort in the Western World.

gorgeous colors
too coolbrilliant plants
Eventually it became obvious it was way to far to walk all the way along and we did not know how the bike system worked so we headed off to catch a cab and ended up on the local bus. Many years ago we had caught a local bus and it was all a little scary but now a brilliant system and cheap as chips. Very happy with that and we sailed into Santa Monica looking for a good lunch. Now father had enjoyed a huge full cooked breakfast while I had a little fresh fruit and he was not feeling like the big lunch damm it all. Lunch ended up a frozen yoghurt and he ate half of mine.

many shops to seepretty things
Santa Monica had changed so much since the time we had last been there. All modern and slick now and much shopping and pretty things to buy. Lucky for our bank balance we are beyond the high fashion and gorgeousness but lord I wish sometimes to partake of it all. One day when I rule the world they will have fashion for women who are just a tiny bit past it  and it will be super easy to find and will celebrate us all. Far out who am I kidding but hey lots of fun window shopping and thanking the gods none of the teenagers know about this place of retail heaven.

Much impressed and rather over excited we headed back to our hotel to plan the next day and reader we went to Hollywood. The glamour of it all! The shock of the familiar and the sighting of places read about in old Hollywood stories. All too much to include today.

Surfaridreaming Up the Wild Blue Yonder.

on the way up north
What a shock to the system for a girl from New Zealand who expected lush paddocks and scenic hills in the background along with a cool and pleasant spot for a picnic.

No only kidding because why would you travel to a country like this if not to see unseen sights and marvel at the sheer size of the place. My goodness it is big far bigger than we ever dreamt even though you know from the atlas and all you have read it is a huge empty country but until you are tootling along the roads the reality just takes a while to sink in.

We were heading to Karumba which always makes me think of The Simpsons on TV, did’nt Bart say aye crumba or something similar all the time?

This is seriously wild open country of a type never seen by me before and I wondered at the life the locals must lead even though not so long ago there was an interesting TV doco on the place and the locals appeared to be very happy with their lot in life.

We were happy with our lot because happy days the local camp had a spot for us among the grey fishing nomads who move up there for the winter along with their freezers and fish the place until they can no longer squeeze another fillet in the thing. That is a story in its self, we all love a bit of fish fresh from the sea but these greedy old sods are decimating the stocks and to run it back to Melbourne or were ever is just greedy greedy. It’s a little bit sickening to see and the other thing is they are all squashed in the camp like sardines for months at a time regarding all newcomers with a deeply suspicious look like we would really want to take all the spare fish in the sea. It is not unlike the snowbirds of Florida and I would love to see Carl Hiaasen get up there and write one of his novels we love about the whole phenomenon. That would be an excellent read and if I was still in the publishing game I would definitely suggest it to the publishers as a good idea.

Once we had wiggled into the popular camping ground it seemed like an excellent idea to hit the beachside pub for a sunset drink so we did. Well quelle surprise it was brilliant and omg the sunset was as nothing we had ever seen. It just threw the colours across the sky for ever and if you ever need one reason to make the trip do it for the sunset. Just amazing to see.

sunset at Karumba  in the Gulf of Carpenteria
We had decided to spend a few days there because there is just no way to get a feel for the place in a day not anywhere so the next day was for exploring.

It did not take long really and as we admired the turquoise sea that really was, the realisation hit that it was suicide to even contemplate a dip. Full of crocs and every scary critter Australia could put together in one place.

Once more Murf contemplated the surfing dream he had held for so long was not going to happen for a long time not until he was back into relatively safe waters with nothing but a few great whites to worry about as he paddled about.

no swims here.
 cruel place for a beach break.
The town is famous for its delicous fish so a trip to the local chippy was in store and that evening we sat on the beach with our bottle of fine cleanskin and plastic wine glasses and toasted the next sunset as we dined on the best ever fish n chips in the world. Who needs an expensive eatery when you can do this and if I had been into Instagram at that time it would have been all over the feed exquisitely filtered and looking as good as it tasted.

The town had this incredibly arid salty feel and look to it enough to make you ache for greenery and cool water and I just could not imagine living there for years at a time. You have to admire the tenacity and courage of those who do.

Talking of how hard life must be there was no WiFi easily available could you imagine and we had a mortified moment when trying to pay for fuel our cash card had been emptied…by us so who to blame? As I cried gaily to the shop owner no worries give us five minutes it was not so easy to get the cash across. Oops and I could see the locals laughing behind me as no doubt they too often suffered the same problem. In the end thank god the ATM came to life and the disaster was avoided.

Whilst we were still in Normanton on our way to new places it seemed like a good idea to pop into the local butcher and support his business . Well this tormented soul appeared behind the counter in a terrible state as he explained he had been robbed so often he had taken after the last lot with his big sharp knife and now the cops were after him. Who knew how hard it would be to buy a sausage way up there in the wild blue yonder.

the big one

Maybe he should have just fed them to this fellow who is a replica of one of the biggest ever caught.

We were thrilled to have seen the town they call the “Outback by the Sea ” and really felt as though we at were reaching deep into the unknown parts of the country that we had never seen and it was exciting.

At this stage we we finding the free camps along the highway and it is wonderful to pull in for the evening , have a chat to the neighbours over a wine before a quiet evening with a book. The camps with free WiFi for travellers were still,far away on the West Coast a treat yet to be found. I cannot say how good these camps are and we were very grateful for the facilities provided, simple drop dunnies and a bit of water. We were and still are so pleased we had brought a van with a bathroom and were becoming proficient with bathing in a few seconds of shower.

I had been worried the Outback would be a little tedious and boring but it was incredibly interesting in spite of the photo I put up,at the beginning. Most of it was constantly changing scenery to our delight and best of all very sparse traffic with only the odd road train passing. At one stage we did have a worried trucker on the radio who had spotted a car load of young women broken down on the roadside so we promised to stop and check up on them.

Well I was horrified to see a bunch of girls dancing on the road in 40 degree heat laughing like it was a huge adventure as their car gently steamed under the bonnet. My angry mother face must have shown but they assured us it stopped all the time as it overheated so with their pretty French accents ringing in our ears we reluctantly left them waiting for the wreck they were driving cooled down. Well I ask you?

Surfaridreaming and Where Life Takes You.

We were having a chat in a rather nice pub in Brisbane while admiring all the hard working corporate folk and secretly giving thanks to the Gods we no longer have to include ourselves in their ranks. I was anyway it brought back an unpleasant sense of déjà vue and a sense of the endless lack of joy and self importance  a pair of high heels and a briefcase can bring.
unusual  sight these days for us.
As  we  were quietly giving thanks we no longer had to work for a living the discussion arose about where to from here, after a fabulous trip around the country and getting used to the house sitting lifestyle it would be nice to go further afield and see more of the world while still living in a similar fashion. I have been reading a lot of great travel blogs by young woman and they are so inspirational and have made my feet all itchy but I am concerned photos of me in a bikini artfully leaning up against a photogenic wall in an amazing place whilst sipping a cocktail just won’t have the same appeal to the readers. Never mind maybe we will stick to the pets of the house we happen to be sitting at and if we are really lucky their glorious pool and that will be attraction enough.

So we are in the position of travelling in a few weeks and it will be an amazing chance to get inspired and find out what opportunities there are for adventures overseas while house sitting.

When we returned home from NZ we grabbed the caravan and headed off to a great spot on the Gold Coast only to find it would not fit on the sites. How bloody annoying so we headed back down the coast to Miami again and recovered from the trip and had another mosey around the GC. I must admit I always enjoy the place and it’s slightly worn charms.

great place for a look  always love these canal places,  isle of capri.....not in Italy but.
A long time ago we had brought a week at Nambucca and needed to get down to use it before we did our money we had paid so hitched up and headed for NSW for a change.

We spent a night in Grafton, Murfs home town and headed off to the camp at Nambucca to be a teeny bit let down all around. Not quite the paradise we had hoped but there you go. In all fairness there is a great beach for a swim so that cheered us up no end and Murf was able to catch up with an old friend he was always very fond of and she lived in Sawtell which is lovely.

shelly beach we loved for its swimming.  sawtell a very nice spot
It was coming up to Easter and blow you down there was an ad in the Aussie Homesitter page for a nice house sit on Bribie Island so what do you do but give the owner a call. The animals were three cats which is a change from the doggies we usually look after and it seemed strange not to be taking them for a good walk or a ride in the car.

the true boss of the house.

But before we headed back to Bribie Is we needed to revisit my much loved town of Lennox Heads, I just love this place and am not sure why except it just fits. You know how some places are just home? Secretly it is my wish and dream to settle here when we are ready to slow down in a long way away when the time comes to settle for a bit. So every time we visit I just put out there to the universe’ keep me a spot here’ as we all know just ask and it will happen.

 My place!

Meanwhile back at Bribie Island enjoying our housesit we were feeling very happy and blessed to be enjoying the beautiful home we had been entrusted with. It was interesting to find the poor owners had been a little nervous entrusting their home to strangers and had rung some of the people who had kindly given us great reviews. It must be a worry to leave your precious pets and belongings to a pair of wandering nomads who live in a caravan. It certainly proved the importance of good references and also how important it is to chase them up after the sit has finished.

It was difficult to move away from the house and Murf was very happy just to hangout in their little paradise they had made for themselves. As I said we kept feeling as though it was just to good to be true and it brought home just what a great thing it is to housesit and enjoy the pets of the home as well.

just a wee  paradise for a week  murfs fav.view
After an excellent week in the beautiful island home we reluctantly packed up ready to put the van away in storeage and head to a sit in Brisbane the big smoke no less and look after our next charge.

What a character she turned out to be and a good time to make more future plans tee hee.

Surfaridreaming In Bundaberg 

By chance we had decided to enjoy a few days at a small camping ground in Kandanga QLD and had decided to head away again and take our chances with the coming summer season. Here in Australia summer is no joke with the risk of cyclones and lots of rain in Queensland so we had thought it would be a very slow trip and several months till we had planned to be in the far north of the state.

Funny how life steps in and serendipitly we found our selves sitting around the campfire with several long term house sitting couples who shared a world of advice and set us off on a whole new course of action.

The most sensible thing naturally was to join up with a popular house sitting site to access the people who were looking for kind folk such as ourselves to look after their homes and pets.

We joined Aussie Housesitters and have never looked back, they send out emails everyday notifying you of new homes that have come up and it is a simple procedure to contact the owners and start the process.

It does pay to be on the ball and if they have a phone number it seems to me the best thing is to get onto it straight away and make contact. Personally I feel it is reassuring for all parties to break the ice with a chat and I also believe both parties gain a sense of each other and can decide if they feel comfortable going ahead or not.

We have always tried to pay our home owners a visit if we can drive to them within an hour or so and try to do so early in the process again we feel it is reassuring for all parties including the pets. When a much loved dog sits beside you for a pat and play it works magic for everyone, the family cat is often a little aloof till he decides if he likes you or not. The fish are never a problem.

We met a very nice woman from home who also was keen to start sitting but was concerned her page had attracted no offers and it certainly proved you cannot wait for a great housesit out of the blue. We kindly explained the need for some research on line and a few good books for advice on how to present yourself.

That is incredibly important I cannot say how important. Think of it as applying for a job for really that is what you are doing and you need to put together a great CV with clear photographs of yourselves and if possible some of the animals in your life past. I say past because I truly believe you cannot take your pet along no matter how hood you think they are.

If I must emphasize anything it is not about you it’s about your homeowners pets firstly and then looking after their home and gardens.

With all our new found knowledge and advice under our belts we soon got our first sit through the website in Bundaberg and I have to say it was a little bit of an eye opener but all is a learning experience and we got through without any disasters. The thing is when you are told the pet is a little under the weather find out just how far under and do you feel happy to take on the sit under those conditions. This particular pet had gone through some major health issues and it was rather stressful taking responsibility for the poor creature so lesson learnt. Apart from the poor under the weather doggie we were able to get to some excellent food markets and enjoy some very reasonably priced vegetables from roadside stalls.



 

Surfaridreaming and the Firehouse Dogs

It had been an eventual stay at BribieIsland with the two old boys and it turned out Ned passed away not too long after we left. RIP old boy he was a special dog and I know his owners will miss him a great deal.

He will be missed.
Ned

You spend a short time with them and they move into your heart even though they belong to others.

Before we knew it we were off to Pomona a lovely small town north of Noosa and one I could move to without much difficulty . It is a sweetly leafy village with lots of typical older Queensland homes and a vibrant community and some pretty good Cafes so all boxes were ticked.

Our new charges were a pair of delights with so much personality and a tiger who rules the house.

 He was a bit of a character who was his own man and even the girls did not annoy him except to run a tongue over his ears when he was in the mood.

firehouse dogs
the girls

Oh but we enjoyed looking after these two and Murf who always looks up the breeds on line was pleased to see traditionally these dogs were firehouse dogs in the States. We should have remembered the DVDs we had brought our grandson one year when we were on holiday in Noosa. The movie Firehouse Dog must have been watched twenty times if at all by grandfather and grandson together all about a Dalmatian dog who became a firehouse dog.

They could run like the wind these two and we exercised them each morning in the local dog park running relays to tire them out. Fat chance as they could have run for miles everyday. We had hoped to be able to walk them to the local cafes for a coffee but due to the extreme love of a tasty morsel it was never going to be a good idea so it never eventuated.

The girls had the good fortune to reside at a lovely older Queenslander which to this day is one of the favourite houses sits we have done. The owners had the good sense and taste to keep the old home very simply furnished and it had the peaceful atmosphere of a retreat. That is one of the joys of house sitting I love ,the chance to live as others do for a time and see the ideas they use in their homes that I had not thought of. There is an element of playing house goes on as well, it never seems the work it was in ones own home and with it comes a satisfaction of a job well done. I always try to leave things a tiny bit sparkly for the house owner and enjoy doing so. I did hear a horror story from an experienced sitter who was horrified by the condition of the kitchen in a sit they did so she scrubbed and cleaned quite rightly expecting a tiny bit of gratitude when the lady of the house came home. To her dismay she was soundly told off for ruining the woman’s comfort zone. Can you imagine telling off someone who had worked so hard for you or was it she was mortified? We have been very lucky and found our houses to be perfectly acceptable in that dept.

We spent the high summer in this home and lord it was hot during January and don,t you just forget the horror of it in the winter. We now  realise just how coastal we are and are not terribly well adapted to inland towns without the breezes that make it all bearable. It had always been a belief of mine these old homes were built to stay cool but that theory was dispatched pretty smartly in the high summer heat.

The dogs kept us amused for hours each day starting with the morning race for breakfast, they knew breakfast was prepared and we used to eat on the front deck in the shade. In the seconds it took to walk through the house they had gone from lying prone out the back to panting on the front stairs hoping to be allowed into the sacred position under the table where who knew what tasty treats might fall.

breakfast?
I need to come in

 

sweetly helping prepare a salad

It was becoming very clear how big the responsibility for much loved pets is. Any idea of a day out without them is not on the cards. A few hours for shopping and a coffee but these animals are already missing their owners and we believe it is important not to distress them by leaving them for hours and it’s just not fair on them to do so. Cats will be fine but the dogs require lots of company and anyone who tells you otherwise is just wrong.

We loved the girls and we’re happy to hang out at home most of the time with them and as the ankle was still unstable and swollen all for the best really.

 

G
T  

So during this very enjoyable time there was lots of time to play with the camera and new apps and knit and just try to learn a few skills with said camera. The girls made excellent subjects for lots of photos and tittering around.

Surfaridreaming and the Three Amigoes.

Today we are sitting in the most beautiful backyard while Murf plays with his new underwater camera in the pool. I am still not sure what he plans to film in there but let me tell you there is no chance it will be his wife flopping around in her swimmers. 

pool dreams
 
We had come across an ad for an Easter housesit looking after three lovely cats who are all rather offended at having been left behind with strangers especially the big rag doll who sits in the kitchen growling his displeasure. 

As you can believe we are considering ourselves very spoilt and lucky to be here and as I tell the cats they are lucky to have us as well. Slowly slowly they are warming to us just as we leave in a day or so not at all like our last threesome who were just thrilled to have us at their place.

They ran a well ordered routine with the only girl rounding up the household for a dawn walk along the beach with a nice swim thrown in if the ranger is out of sight. The two boys are large rotund gents with the usual Labrador love of food and that was to lead to not a few tussles in the park as Max and his super sized ability to find a chicken bone a mile away never let him down. 

love on the beach
 
This had been a serendipitous housesit as we had already booked a lengthy stay in the area for Christmas and the dogs owner had run looking for people who could cope with his family of Labs while he and his wife took a break. The timing was perfect and we both took a chance that all would be well and arranged to meet the evening before they left. 

You will always be given the advice to meet each other if possible but you know this time right from the first conversation we had all instinct was that we would all be very happy and we were. The dogs owners were and are charming people with a beautiful comfortable home and garden full of plants and herbs. Just perfect to use in their impressive kitchen and a God sent blessing after months cooking in the caravan kitchen which will will never end up in a kitchen porn magazine not ever.

The dogs did keep a strict routine we were not allowed to stray from including a good morning walk and swim to be followed by a pleasant shower and shampoo which for them rather spoilt all the effort made rolling in disgusting things they may have lucked upon. Then followed by an enjoyable breakfast and if they were in luck a piece of toast and vegemite. I tell you do it once and forever more they will be waiting… and waiting till you can bear it no longer and give in.

 These dogs are great practitioners of the longing look and the photo only shows just how long they were prepared to wait.

  

The dogs had all been rescued and we marveled at their good fortune as they enjoyed all the comforts any dog could ever ask for. It is humbling to see how people give up so much freedom to show the animals a life of love and the girl must have been deeply happy to brought into this lovely couples life. The poor creature had been rescued from a puppy farm and it is evident she has given birth more times than any girl should ever half to go through but she is a character and we always said a scarf on her head with a half smoked fag in her mouth and she is straight out of Coro St.

The middle boy is one of the most loving dogs you would ever know until he sees a small white fluffy dog then it’s grab the leash and cross the road. Who knows what lead him to his dislike of little white doggies but it kept things exciting and if things came to the worse a hand over his eyes stopped him casting an eye on the abomination that was a white fluff ball.  

Nothing like a quick dip in forbidden waters before a brisk walk home.

and let’s hope that flipping ranger is still at breakfast.
  Tell me I am the favorite its me isn’t it. 

After the excitement of the morning walk it was home for a bit of lunch and a lie down on the sofa and then who knew its teatime and so life goes.

We loved looking after the dogs and still stay in contact with their head servants( loving owners) and once more thought how good is this life? 

Among the things we learnt from this housesit was that people who eat cooked chicken in public parks and throw the bones on the ground are the worst people ever for dog sitters. They need to learn simple hygiene practice like bin the bones you slobs.

When a dog has a routine you had better stick to it if you do not want to suffer hours of the hurt stare and they are all experts no matter what the breed. Where as the family cat just huffs off to bed if you do not meet expectations.

Just walk those dogs as far as they will go they love it and will reward you with a long quiet afternoon as they recover some more energy for a nice evening stroll as well. Good for everyone.

When our time had finished with the Three Amigoes we only had to drive to the other side of the island where it did not take long before Murf became the head walker owing to an unfortunate incident with a roadside kerb. Interesting to find our next charges were very different and required a different level of care altogether.