Hi. I have a garden that I would love some help with. The garden was laid out by my late grandmother, a professional gardener, so it used to be award winning. Due to my lack of time and to be honest, my almost total ignorance of gardening, it's getting overgrown now and I'd love some assistance with it. I would also like some help with the housework and dog walking. I've space for one or perhaps two Workawayers (read on for full accommodation details), so if you would like to come, please get in touch. Thank you for reading. :)
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
I've been fortunate to travel a lot myself, and I sometimes host students who are learning English as a second language, so I'm familiar with folks who are not fluent in English. You'd have plenty of opportunity to practice your English skills, if that's something you'd want or like.
I volunteer as a tour guide at a local heritage site, and I'm a big history and culture fan, so if you want to learn a bit about Irish history and culture, that's great, and I'd love to learn about yours too.
I try to run the household in an environmentally-friendly way, if at all possible. It's a project in progress, but so far I've made a few positive changes and if it's an area that interests you, I'd be delighted to have your suggestions and input. I use found wood to supplement the heating, I've insulated everywhere I can to reduce the need to have heating, I harvest rainwater to use to water the garden, I compost all our fruit and vegetable waste, I recycle everything I can, I get our electricity from a supplier who relies on wind-power, and so on. The majority of the food is organic whenever possible and fairly traded. In the garden, I use compost instead of chemical fertilisers, I have a pond to provide habitat for frogs, I don't use herbicides, there are bird feeders and a bird bath, and I've set aside an area which is planted with bird- and bee-friendly wildflowers and plants.
Travellers would, I hope, enjoy having a relaxed place to stay in a comfortable house, with a pretty coastal village on their doorstep, and Dublin city just a 20 minute train ride away.
Here, the help we request would mostly be gardening: pruning roses and shrubs, weeding, clearing and mowing the very mucky lawn, more weeding, and other gardening tasks, as the weather permits. I'd also like some help with the dog walking. When it's raining, I'd like some help in the house instead, such as cleaning windows, doing housework (hoovering, mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning the bathrooms, the dreaded dusting) and things like that.
English (and a tiny bit of French with a terrible accent)
My house is a large red-brick house on a quiet street. The house is part of a housing estate with its own private park in the centre. It's an easy five-minute walk to the local shops. We live walking distance from the nearest village, and it's easy to access Dublin city by either bus or train from here. The house has a big bright kitchen; three bathrooms; an utility/laundry room with a washing machine and a tumble dryer; a study; a dining room; a big living/sitting room with fireplace, couch, armchairs, a TV with lots of cable channels; and in the hall, the stairs go up to a landing with yet more bookcases. There are six bedrooms in the house.
Your room will be a double room, with a comfortable bed and a desk and chair. (I can take a maximum of two Workawayers but you'll have to either share the bed if that's okay with you, or we can put a foldout camp bed in the same room for the second person, which will make it tight on space.) The house is well insulated and heated by oil-fired central heating, and sometimes the wood fire in the living room fireplace, too. We use the patio and the veranda as outside 'living rooms' during the summer, when it's not raining. There's WiFi of course. :) The house is no smoking but if you smoke, that's okay as you can always smoke outside under the veranda, out of the rain.
The garden is medium sized. The front garden is mostly old roses and small trees like willow, silver birch, and magnolia; the back garden is mostly lawn, surrounded by trees and shrubs, with a couple of old wooden storage sheds, a pond, bird tables, and a patio with a covered swinging seat.
Some teenagers and my three dogs live with me. They are very friendly cuddly dogs and don't bite. My mother, who is a laid-back lady of 78, lives with me too, and she doesn't bite either. :)
All meals, snacks, and drinks are included while you stay with us. I'm vegetarian but no one else is, so you can choose to eat vegetarian or regular as you prefer, or you can do your own cooking if you wish. I can also cater for halal, kosher, and gluten free people.
We're flexible about your hours and happy to drop you to the bus stop or train station, or take you to local sights if you want. It's a very relaxed place to live here. We drink a lot of tea and coffee and do a lot of chatting. :D
The main thing people come out to our village to see is the local castle, which is at least 800 years old and filled with art treasures and a ghost or three. Malahide Castle sits at the centre of a big park that contains lots of sports grounds, lawns, woodland, a craft centre with a posh cafe, and a separate botanic garden. Malahide village itself is very pretty and stocked up to the eyeballs with shops, pubs with regular live music, cafes, and restaurants. It also has a marina, so if you have a boat, you can park it there, if park is the right word. :)
The other thing that brings visitors out this way, especially on sunny days, is Malahide beach. In fact, there are two beaches, Malahide and Portmarnock, within walking distance and you can swim at both of them, depending on the tides and the temperatures and how fond you are of getting frostbite. Just kidding. :) Even in bad weather, the beaches are beautiful and good for walking. If you like being on the water, as opposed to beside it, there's a yacht club, a sailing club, and a watersports club, so if you like windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, or just messing about in boats, you could check that out.
Our location is pretty convenient, as it's about a 15 minute walk (one mile, about 1.5km) to the centre of the local village.
To get to Dublin city, all you have to do is walk five minutes to the bus stop, and then take a bus. It's about a 20 minute bus ride, but can take longer depending on the time of day and the traffic.
Another way to get to Dublin is to go up to the village and its local railway station, where trains run on a frequent schedule into Dublin city centre, taking 20 minutes to arrive in the city centre.
I live quite close to Dublin Airport. It's a short bus ride from here. I usually allow twenty minutes to drive to the airport, although once I was late for a flight and a friend got me there in just under eight minutes!
Apart from Malahide, the nearest town (a 30 minute walk or a short bus ride away) is called Swords. It has its own castle (not as cool as our castle, though) and ancient churches and towers, plus a busy main street with pubs and clubs, and a large shopping centre complete with a multi-screen cinema. We are also in reach of the windmills of Skerries, and heritage properties as well like Newbridge House and Ardgillan Estate, to name just a few. Most of these are easy to get to by public transport. Just up the road is Howth, one of my favourite places, as it's got a pretty harbour, an open-air market, a ruined abbey, great pubs and restaurants, and breathtaking views if you venture up the cliff paths.
Dublin is the capital city, with all that goes along with that, and what you'd like to do there depends on your interests of course, but plenty of people like to visit the GPO for its connections with the 1916 Rising, see the medieval Book of Kells at Trinity College, or visit Saint Patrick's Cathedral, or Dublin Castle, or Christ Church Cathedral, which was founded by a viking king with the excellent name of Sitric Silkbeard. Some people like to check out Dublin's amazing museums, such as the Collins Barracks decorative arts museum, and the National Museum which is a treasure house filled with Celtic art and craft. Some people like to visit the Guinness Storehouse, or the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum. Some people with stronger nerves than mine like to visit the mummies in the Crypt at Saint Michan's Church, and then go on a pub crawl around the bohemian Temple Bar area to recover. :) Temple Bar is also a good place to find quirky independent shops and pubs, tattoo studios, art galleries, street traders and street musicians.
Dublin's the prime transport hub for the country, which makes it easy to take trips to beautiful Glendalough, picturesque Powerscourt, or (in my opinion) the most interesting site in Ireland, Newgrange/Bru Na Boinne, and many other awesome and fascinating places. You can take trips further afield with one train ride or bus journey, such as to Galway in the West, Cork in the South, or the Titanic Museum in the city of Belfast in the North. It's easy to get anywhere in Ireland from here.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Flexible!
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