Bucket Item List #25 (BL39)
I did my first housesit over Christmas at Eudlo. I subscribe to a Grey Nomads website and part of that is a “House sitters Wanted” section. I applied through this section and was successful. The brief was to look after a Jack Russell, a horse and about 20 finches and quails. In addition to water an extensive garden. Simple enough. I arrived on the Friday afternoon as arranged and the owners left very early on the Sunday morning. They were only away for a week.
The house was on a few acres (hectares) just on the outskirts of Eudlo. Eudlo is about 15 minutes south of Nambour Qld on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Whilst I slept in my bus, I did have access to power, water, shower, toilet and laundry. I was also able to utilise the outdoor patio area. This was a real bonus and overlooked the horse paddock and bush down to the permanent spring. It was very picturesque and very relaxing. Due to extended drought in the area there was no feed in the paddock whatsoever and the horse needed to be fed hay twice a day. The dog was fairly old and not very energetic so was easy to look after. She didn’t need walking so it was a pretty easy and relaxing time. Eudlo as a town is very small and consists of a Post Office, General Store, café as well as a Primary School and a train station. The train line is the main line to Brisbane, about 1 3/4 hours away.
The horse paddock was fenced off by an electric fence which I was instructed to switch off prior to ducking under and feeding the horse. The switch, metal with rubber end, was on the side of the shed. The first day I duly switched it off, fed said horse and when I went to reactivate it I must have grabbed the metal part and got “zapped”. There were no neighbours close by to hear the expletive I yelled out. Its the “shock” more than the shock that hits you.
The week went smoothly enough and as Rhonda was not well at the time I didn’t go anywhere apart from wander into Eudlo and a train trip to Nambour and return. It was only the second time in my life that I had spent Christmas Day without family and the first time completely on my own. It was different to say the least but I made and received a number of phone calls and texts with family and friends and didn’t feel “alone”. We had a bit of rain over a few days so that helped with the garden and meant I didn’t have to water every day.
Mid January the owners rang me to ask if I was still in the area would I like to sit again for another week. It worked out very convenient and I hired a car for the week and was able to do a lot of sightseeing in the hinterland. Absolutely beautiful country. This second stint the owners took the dog with them so it was much easier to go out during the day and not have to worry about putting the dog in its run. I just had to be back in reasonable time to give the horse it’s afternoon feed.
We had a fair amount of rain during this second sit so watering was not really required apart from a few pots under the patio.
The owners were extremely nice people who do a lot of travelling themselves. I was able to stay on a further week after their return while I contemplated getting Rhonda fixed. We kept in touch after my departure and they helped me out with a lift when Rhonda went in for surgery.
House sitting is something that I would easily do again. It means you can “park up” for a while and explore the surrounding area. Some house sits give you access to the house where you actually sleep inside but that is not always the case. I am actually more comfortable sleeping in my bus rather than in a strangers house.