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Helping with a variety of mostly outside jobs especially DIY
Hello helpers, how would you like to stay in a lovely area but a 20 minute bus ride from the city?
Are you any good with building and DIY or carpentry? I run a small dog rescue here and there are always repairs to be carried out some plumbing when things go wrong and also decorating in the Winter months. I always need a lot of help in the garden year round as the garden here is big and the plants many. There is a small orchard. Two small fields to keep in good condition for the dogs and a veggie patch that needs to be maintained again year round. I have an area for wild plants a sales area as I sell plants to help support the dogs. All of it needs maintenance.
It would be great if you have had experience in gardening though it can be in your own garden, you do not have to be a professional, but you will need to know how to weed, plus there is a very important vegetable garden for our food that needs a lot of work maintaining it.
Please make sure you have read my profile in full and ask about anything you are unsure about. Good communication is key to a good relationship and I want your time here to be happy as well as productive.
I DO NOT TAKE SMOKERS or those who only speak very little English.
I do not need babysitters as there are no children here.
If you are nervous of dogs this is not the right place for you they live in the house downstairs with us and like to be in the garden with us while we work.
Also, please don't apply if you are only really interested in travelling but not helping. This is a help exchange and about once a week I show show you around the area or take you for a walk on Dartmoor or around the coast and do my best to make your experience here good.
I have had people here who have to come to an English speaking country as part of their studies but they don't really want to do any tasks. Please don't apply if this is your idea of workaway.
The cottage is in a rural area 2 kilometres from the National park of Dartmoor. There are good views over surrounding farmland to the estuary from the house here but the shops are about 2 kilometres away, a 30 minute walk, where there is a huge Tesco which sells everything and several other shops. Public transport is 1.5 kilometres away, and the city of Plymouth which is quite large, is 11 kilometres from the house.
CHARITY - I am supporting the local hospice in Plymouth, who do a terrific job for people in the last stages of terminal illness, by opening the garden to the public for a fee. As soon as we have tidied /weeded one area of the garden it seems to need to be done again. In this mild and damp climate things never stop growing ,except for a very short time during the Winter. Money is also raised from the sales of potted plants for the public to buy as I sell plants via the internet throughout the year. I also take cuttings to raise new plants and shrubs and can show you how to do this if you are interested.
PROJECTS - Workawayers have been really enthusiastic about the projects here and done some amazing things but we still have areas that need to be cleared, plants that need moving (they are in the wrong place) and fires to light when the weather is dry enough, ask me if there is anything particular you want to know about and hopefully I can teach you, I am not a professional gardener but have been gardening since the age of 7 and am now 69 and learned a tremendous amount though I continue to learn something new every day.
GROWING OUR OWN FOOD FOR US TO EAT - There is a fruit and vegetable area that needs tending, manuring, planting, weeding and watering in dry weather. I try to use the no dig method of gardening in the vegetable patch and so far everything has succeeded very well. I garden organically so don't use any artificial fertilisers or pest control.
DIY skills would be very useful there always seems to be something that needs attention.
PLACES TO EXPLORE - Wild ponies and their foals roam freely over Dartmoor with cows and sheep it is a beautiful area to explore. I am 7 miles (11 kilometres) from Plymouth city centre and it is quiet here . The bus to the city of Plymouth is a walk of 1.6 kilometres, make sure you buy a return ticket or a day rider which allows you on and off the same bus company all day in and around Plymouth for almost the same price as a day return.
TIME OFF - Unless you arrive at the beginning of the day you will start your five day week the day after you arrive, help for five days and then have two off. You will not necessarily have the weekends off it depends on the day you arrive.
TIME OFF FOR ME TOO - I have found that I too need time off so I may take a couple of days to get away and visit friends/family, I would check with you first but it could be that you may be asked to look after the animals here on your own if you are the only helper or as a shared duty if there is more than one of you, it is an enormous help to me to be able to keep this place and myself recharged. I don't cook on your days off this is when I take my time off too.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
I love history so can tell you about the history of this part of the country. The cottage itself is very old in one part over 500 years old and was once part of a very large estate in the 1500's
The history of this area is quite rich with parts of Dartmoor having some Bronze Age remains and also a history of mining for iron ore, copper, tin and arsenic. Remains of these things are to be seen as we walk Dartmoor.
The coast too is quite beautiful though you will need to use public transport to visit it my closest piece of coast is Plymouth 9 kilometres) away. There are endless places to take advantage of if you like walking and photography, Dartmoor National park is 2 kilometres away by foot or bicycle.
I don't have any particular accent so don't worry about not understanding me because of that. Helpers say I speak like their English teachers.
I cook a limited number of typically English dishes and try to make sure I cook scones with home-made jam and clotted cream, whilst you are here, this is known as a Cream tea which is a speciality of the region and is yummy!
I particularly need help with keeping my beautiful garden up to scratch. There are many unusual plants and plenty of brambles and nettles and other large weeds to be removed/dug out. You need to have old clothes for this, and waterproof boots though I do have some things I can lend you but check with me first as I don't have all sizes in boots or gloves. We remove weeds all the time some are big some not so big but they don't stop growing in our mild and wet climate.
I also have house-plants everywhere, another passion of mine, which need regular watering.
This past year I have been heavily involved in dog rescue and so now also need help with the dogs mostly from the streets of Europe. If you are frightened of dogs this is not the place for you.
Two double rooms, one single room, dining room, shared bathroom, lounge, plus separate toilet, kitchen, Car parking, Very large garden with parking if you have your own vehicle.
ANIMALS/PETS - There are dogs living in the house downstairs though not the upstairs, they are not allowed there, so your rooms are animal free zones. Even so it is probably not the best place to come if you are allergic to animal hair or have a dust allergy. Feeding all the animals is part of the daily routine here you need to like animals not just tolerate them and also be prepared to get dirty.
IF YOU ARE A COUPLE YOU WILL NOT NECESSARILY DO TASKS TOGETHER THOUGH YOUR TIME OFF WILL BE TOGETHER.
MEALTIMES - We eat lunch together but you will be expected to prepare breakfast for yourselves basic food is provided for this, tea, coffee, breakfast cereals, eggs, toast and marmalade I will make a cooked main meal for lunch time after you finish which we eat together outside if the weather is good, most of the time we are lucky. The second meal of the day in the evening will be a light meal that you will prepare for yourself like a sandwich. Normally in England we have our light meal at lunchtime but I have changed this around so that when you have finished your morning's tasks and are hungry I have a cooked meal ready for you.
SUPERMARKET - I provide basic but adequate food. Anything you may like to eat that I don't provide Avocados, lemons or limes for example or things I provide but in limited quantities will be up to you to buy. My fruit bowl usually has apples and oranges in it. I provide a selection of cereals but again If you want something different/extra the large Tesco supermarket also Lidl just over a mile away sells everything There is also a pizza house and and a few other shops along with two charity shops useful if you want to buy recycled clothes etc though I do also have several things you can borrow if needs be that other helpers have left for others to use when they have gone home. Old coats to work in and some old trousers and socks and most of the time gloves to garden with.
SPECIAL DIETS AND ALLERGIES - I find it too difficult with shopping and cooking to cater for special dietary needs so unless you shop and cook for yourself if you have special requirements I am unable to take you. I do take vegetarians but have a limited repertoire of recipes I cook so you may have to do some of your own cooking when I draw a blank.
LAUNDRY - The washing machine is available for use once a week check with other helpers to see if they too have any clothes to wash. I do not use a tumble drier so you will have to dry your clothes outside in the fresh air on a clothes line. I am careful with the world's resources so don't waste water. 5 minute showers, don't leave the tap running whilst you are cleaning your teeth, turn off lights when not in the room etc. I recycle or reuse everything no food waste etc. This may seem obvious but so many helpers just do not think of these things or maybe someone else has paid the bills!
Although It rains a lot in England on occasion, it is not all the time and we do have water shortages and it is still expensive so please take note of this and use sparingly. Tap water here is excellent quality so you don't need to buy bottled water.
I am friendly and easy to get on with and enjoy meeting new people but I am very concerned about waste of energy, food and in general the world's resources and ask helpers too to be mindful.
WI FI - There is unlimited wi fi here.
This is a lovely part of the country for exploring if you are into nature or scenery, quaint villages, tucked away but good access to Plymouth. Great for walking or cycling.
You can enjoy seeing the animals roam freely in Dartmoor National Park and over the roads sometimes causing the traffic to stop as they wander across the road at the moment there are many pretty little foals playing and feeding from their mothers.
The city of Plymouth has a population of about 250,000 it is a University city so it has a big student population and also offers great shopping. There are plentiful eating places especially for the famous English dish of fish and chips also theatre and cinemas, night clubs etc.
The Barbican, a five minute walk from the shopping centre, is the oldest and most historical part of the city and very interesting to walk around. Also The Royal William yard which overlooks the next county of Cornwall. There is a small foot passenger ferry to Cornwall £2 each way and well worth it for a beautiful scenic coastal walk and also to visit Mount Edgecumbe house where it is free to wander the gardens which are huge and their historic outbuildings where you can buy coffee and a light lunch etc. There is a charge to the main house. The South West coast path is very popular to walk and covers a few hundred miles in both Devon and Cornwall.
Inland Tavistock is an interesting world heritage town in Dartmoor, a bus ride away though it is usually a place I take you to if you would like to go they have an interesting covered market. It is a stannary town and has some interesting shops and buildings, the river runs through the attractive park, it has a population of around 11,000
Princetown where there is a gaol and a visitor centre which is free is also very interesting to go to. There is a museum connected to the gaol which is not expensive to visit and interesting.
As well as helping here I hope that you will enjoy your stay and all the area has to offer as there is a lot here to see, no-one who has stayed here has seen everything it is a beautiful part of the country, rivers, forests and open rolling hills with pretty villages to explore too. There are bicycles here for you to use if you would like to and if you are into maintenance for bikes that would also be great as the helpers maintain them in their spare time and I rely on helpers to leave them in good condition or tell me if there is a problem with them, but they don't always.
PLEASE NOTE: I don't normally ask people to share a bedroom unless they want to or are a couple but there is an odd occasion when I have an overlap of helpers where it may happen. If this is especially important to you please check this out it is normally only in the high Summer.
Please make me aware before you come if you don't for instance eat pork I cook quite a lot of pork. I need to know in advance if you have any special needs, it may influence my taking you.
I use cheese but not with meat meals and I only cook meat once a day.
People from the city are surprised at how well they adapt to a complete life style change and say how much they enjoy the experience.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
large yard for parking van
More than two
5 hours a day 5 days a week
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