We are Mike and Jo with Jack (12). Ollie (23) and Annabelle (21) have left home. We live at the bottom of a valley, a stone's throw from a pretty market town, Shaftesbury. We are rural and keep chickens, sheep and pigs. My husband, Mike, is a fifth generation Flour Miller who runs one of the only independent stone mills still operating commercially in the country using traditional mill stones. Our house is next to the mill. I am creative, and worked previously as a Graphic Designer. Together as a family we enjoy sailing, walking our Staffy called Betty, travel, meeting people from different cultures, art, films and the providence of food. I also like to keep fit, practicing yoga regularly and attending HiiT classes.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We have had international students staying with regularly from local schools and have had many cultures and nationalities through our door which has benefited all of us. Jack is studying French so this would benefit both ways. The Flour Mill where we live is unique and in a beautiful part of north Dorset with lots going on. Our community is social and we organise harvest lunches, movie evenings etc. We are close to Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, Bournemouth and London is 2 hours away by train.
We're pretty flexible, looking for someone who is happy to get stuck in and will help me in the garden (mowing, weeding and helping in the vegetable garden) and possibly on our land (strimming is much needed in the summer months!) and light cleaning in the house/cooking (we enjoy food from other cultures). My son is learning French, so if this is your first language some practice with him would be great! Also a hand with dog walking would be appreciated. We would like 5 hours per day, not including breaks.
We offer a comfy double in a large, airy room. There is a sink in the room and plenty of hot water in the bathroom too. You're welcome to join us in the evenings to watch TV/hang out, or we will respect your privacy. We will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. A help yourself breakfast: cereal, toast, egg, fruit, tea/coffee. Lunch is generally a simple meal: toast, pate/cheese and fruit etc. For dinner we cook a healthy meal and eat together around the kitchen table. I'm afraid I can't provide any extra treats, which you will have to buy yourself.
You are very welcome to use the kitchen to prepare food that you have bought yourself if you so wish.
We have a shepherd's hut by our millpond but you will not be expected to help me with this.
There is a bus stop at the top of our drive, the buses run every two hours in each direction (to Shaftesbury or Blandford). Although we are rural, you are able to walk up to Shaftesbury across the fields/up the lane avoiding the main road which can be dangerous. There is a train station in Gillingham (15 minutes away) where you can get to Salisbury, London (about 2 hours away) etc. There are two local towns: Shaftesbury (1 mile) and Blandford (12 miles) which have supermarkets, banks, post office and other amenities. There is an outdoor pool in Shaftesbury that is open through the summer months. Shaftesbury has a small market on a Thursday morning. I'd be happy to run you to the train station if you don't have a car.
On weekends/when you're not working, you are very welcome to join us when we go out and about. Daytrips, shopping etc.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week