I wond’r where Missy is? Losing cats and finding work back in Sydney

With slightly lighter pockets, we made our way back to the bright lights of Sydney for our next house sitting assignment, and to begrudgingly get back into work to replenish our depleted funds – we’d now been unemployed for nearly four months, yikes!

Where’s Missy!? Almost losing the cat on day one in Belrose

Our destination was the lesser known northern Sydney suburb of Belrose, where for the next month we were to be looking after a cute little cat with a button nose named Missy. As her lovely owner Yari was departing early morning, she kindly invited us to stay the night before to brief us and take us out for a tasty Thai meal.

Yari’s home was a lovely four bed townhouse in a quiet cul de sac, featuring an overflowing larder and fully stocked wine cellar – because she’s a war child was her explanation. Conveniently the bus stop was just round the corner, but more importantly the local bottleo (booze warehouse) and workers club (pub) were an equally short walk away.


How difficult can it be looking after a single cat? Potentially very, based on our first night with Missy! Our simple instructions were to call her inside every evening, but despite the use of food to coax her in, Missy wasn’t interested and continued roaming the garden and street outside. Joella frantically ran from window to window trying to track her, until finally Missy got bored of playing with our nerves, and by 1am she reluctantly came indoors. Thankfully this was a one off, and she behaved herself thereafter, often keeping Joella company while working on her paintings.

Seasickness and wonder: Whale watching in choppy waters

For my birthday the previous month, Joella’s family had kindly gifted us whale watching tickets. As the best times for whale watching around Sydney are during their migrations to (May – Jul) and from (Sep – Nov) their breeding grounds of North Queensland, we hastily booked our spots, along with my animal loving cousin Cass.

We were hoping to just catch a distant glimpse of these gentle giants of the sea, but instead were treated to a front row seat of multiple full breaches by a mother humpback whale, with her calf and accompanying escort watching on.

Despite being the one to reassure others that it wasn’t looking too rough, ironically it was me that became green in the gills; perhaps gorging myself on the all you can eat buffet at the beginning of the cruise wasn’t such a good idea…

Telephone interviews on the bus: Successful job hunting

Being realistic, I expected it to take at least a month or so to secure a job, conveniently leaving time to chill out in between interviews. Unfortunately I was proven all too wrong; after one recruiter meeting and a brief telephone interview while on the bus, I found myself working just two days after I’d begun my job search! The role was as a Digital Producer for Tribal, a subsidiary company of the renowned global creative agency DDB. This involved managing the production of various exciting McDonalds and Volkswagen projects.


Although the work has been often hectic and required late nights, the people and satisfaction of completing successful projects has all made it worthwhile. The social side has also been great fun, including marches for marriage equality, healthy brekky runs, unhealthy lunchtime burgers, heavy Friday drinking sessions, intense crab racing for the Melbourne Cup, an epic 80’s themed Christmas party featuring Ferrari rides and an unexpected mini farm setup on the balcony for Family Day (I reckon the adults enjoyed it far more than the kids…).

Nudist beaches on lunch breaks: Working at Quirky Birds in Mosman

While I’ve been working my socks off (most of the time), Joella has been equally busy running creative classes for an eclectic bunch of kids at a private art school, in the beautiful coastal suburb of Mosman. Quirky Birds is the sister school of Lavender Leonardo’s, where Joella has been working the last few years back in London.

While on lunch breaks Joella was handily able to stroll down to the nearby beaches and bays, enjoying the sunshine and surrounding views. Although a view she certainly wasn’t expecting one afternoon, was of a plethora of completely naked people. After a brief conversation with a friendly middle aged bloke in his birthday suit, while not knowing where to look, she made her excuses and left. Who knew that nudist beaches are apparently fairly common in Australia!


One Saturday we took a rather entertaining and more exhausting than expected walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse with her colleague Julia, offering awesome views of Palm Beach below.

Our stay in the Outer Sydney suburb of Belrose had been lovely, and we’ll definitely miss Yari’s lovely home and cute little Missy. Next stop, a far more central destination: Balmain!