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MindMyHouse News 18 November 2005

by Susan Holtham, 17th November 2005

Would you believe this is the fifth edition of MindMyHouse News (18 November 2005)! In it we proudly introduce our first Blogger on Assignment: Clares droll accounts of wrestling with the flora and fauna in Queensland, Australia had us very amused. Also featuring more gold from Helen Bergstein, the home exchange guru at Digsville. If you are an RVer or a ski bunny check out our featured sitter wanted adverts. Finally: we listened to what our members wanted – you can now include photos in your sitter available adverts. Say cheese!

Posted in: MindMyHouse News2005

MindMyHouse News 18 November 2005

Dear MindMyHousies,
(Tell me if you like this new pet name for our members). We hope that edition five of our community newsletter finds you all well and happily house sitting (or not as the case may be). This edition has been inspired by the twin themes of cold weather and travel (funny how these two things intersect). Mainly because it’s suddenly very cold in London and we’d love to get out of here!

Introducing our first Blogger on Assignment

We’re excited that one of our house sitter members (from Brisbane, Australia) is publishing her own blogsite on the subject of – you guessed it – her house sitting adventures. And why not? We think Clare’s stories of the dilemmas of caring for multiple animals in steamy Queensland makes excellent reading. The following is Clare’s rationale for starting her blog:

After perusing her credit card statements with some dismay, suffering a year of the neighbours from hell and feeling overwhelmingly bored, Clare decided that there was nothing for it but to house sit. She thus bravely ventured forth into the wilds of Brisbane suburbia and the company of eccentric pets. Being in the subtropics she had to contend with fast growing and exotic gardens, non functional pool Kreepy Kraulies [cleaning equipment - ed], multiple parrots – both wild and caged, numerous large insects and even the occasional kangaroo. She noticed that people would simply laugh when she described her serious pet and house sitting dilemmas. Her friends were constantly wondering where she was now and were always at least two house sits behind, hence the idea of a blog was born. She had always wanted to keep a blog but no suitable topics had previously come to mind. House sitting was at last the ideal subject!

We’ve published Clare’s wry account of caring for Buckbeak the princess parrot. Read it here.

If you’ve been inspired to submit any of your writing to Bloggers on Assignment in our Community area check out this FAQ for more information.

More gold from the home exchange guru at Digsville. Why choose home exchange?

MindMyHouse has teamed up with the excellent global home exchange site, Digsville. We wanted to create a strategic partnership to help our members find and benefit from each other’s online service. Helen Bergstein is the founder and expert-in-residence of the Digsville Home Exchange Club, providing members with step-by-step guidance to home and hospitality exchange since 1999.

Curious about exactly why Digsville members chose home exchanging over other options, Helen went to her membership and asked them directly. The number one response was ‘anywhere warm’ (this was mid-winter in the northeast USA!), followed by: scouting locations for job relocation and retirement, upcoming graduations, weddings, bar mitzvas, school or family reunions, drivable historic sites, great cities (big and small), anywhere kid friendly, reconnecting with old friends and family, beaches, wherever there is a bridge club meet, a good fishing hole, and golf, golf, golf!

Megan Romano who resides in New Jersey told Helen, ‘I have a list a mile long of places and reasons I plan my travel – I couldn’t possibly give you one answer, however, I can’t understand why anyone would ever stay in an impersonal hotel room when it’s much more fun to ‘stay at home’.’ We couldn’t have said it better!

Read along as Digsville members recap some of their recent swaps.

Ski bunnies should check this out!

If you fancy sitting in a hot tub after a hard day’s cross-country or downhill skiing then you may want to contact this home owner about their assignment. The location is in Shelburne, Vermont (USA) and offers the right person (or people) the chance to really get away this Christmas and New Year. The property comes with two adorable dogs who will need your good loving and supervision. You could be strapping on your skis in just over a month. Get to it!

Attention RVers – you have been invited to stay here

It’s not often that RVers with pets (horses even!) are specifically invited to a house sitting assignment. If you fancy parking your palace for eight months on nine acres in a ‘beautiful peaceful location surrounded by forested mountains’ in Oklahoma then check out the following sitter wanted advert. The home owners (and their horses) need you now so don’t delay to get in touch with them – and see what happens!

You can now post photos with your advert

In a recent poll we asked members whether they wanted to post photos with their advert and they responded with an overwhelming ‘yes!’. The webmaster has been slaving away over a scorching hot keyboard since then to implement and roll out this new feature for you. We’re thrilled to announce that you can now post photos with your advert. One or more photos will draw home owners’ eyes to your advert and leave those other house sitters languishing in the dust (so to speak). So it may be time to sort out your best digital images and upload them to your personal sitter available advert via our simple five-step system.

We’ve created a dummy advert that shows you how great yours could look. See it here.

To read much more about how to upload photos to your advert read this FAQ:

To create your own attention-grabbing photos get posing, clicking, downloading and uploading!

Cheers everyone and happy house sitting! (or good luck with your sitters)

Susan Holtham
aka the team at MindMyHouse

About the author: Susan Holtham

Susan Holtham

The editor at MindMyHouse is a fun gal, intrepid traveller (in a former life), holder of three passports and enthusiastic house sitter. A book editor by trade, she did a three-year stint with Lonely Planet Publications at the start of her career. During her time at LP she shepherded many titles through the production process. Baaaa-aaaa-aaaaaa! Now that two gorgeous little girls call her mummy she's a very busy woman tending to their needs and to the occasional cries for help from among our 5000+ membership. No really, she's always keen to help!