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Hi, My name is Mandie and I am a community nurse living in a lovely Dorset village in a little cottage with an annexe (that I live in) and a large garden with a stream, fruit trees, vegetable patch, polytunnels.
I have a few chickens and a cockerel. A friendly goose called Joe and Kizzy the cat. My old border collie dog, Loose, stays at my Mum’s while I’m working.
I have two grown up children who are regular visitors and my Mum lives in the village.
I enjoy cooking and having people to stay. I eat mainly vegetarian food or some locally produced meat on occasions. There are plenty of eggs from the chickens and homemade jams and preserves. I love making cakes and afternoon tea.
I would welcome all sorts of help and would love people to come and share this beautiful but overgrown, wild space with me.
I believe that most things are better when they're shared and that strangers are just friends you haven't yet met.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
I live 2 miles down the hill from the lovely hilltop town of Shaftesbury, a small market town in Dorset with a fascinating history going back to Saxon times. The town is the home of Gold Hill (made famous by the “Hovis” advert) and has magnificent views over Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale. It is the perfect place from which to explore the South West from Stonehenge to the east (30mins by car), to Bath and Bristol to the north and the Jurassic Coast to the south.
The little town is quiet but full of independent shops, cafes and coffee shops. A small theatre, art gallery, museum and church. There is an outdoor swimming pool open from May and there are a number of events and festivals planned for the summer and autumn... check out "What's on in shaftesbury". The stunning landscapes around Shaftesbury are well worth a visit.
Stonehenge is 30mins away by car and Glastonbury about 40mins.
The Jurassic coast is about an hour away.
I work full time and my partner, Adam, has a gardening business that takes up all of his time so I would welcome a little help mainly outside with sorting out an overgrown vegetable patch and gardening (mowing, strimming, weeding and tree work). Lots of general maintenance and do-it-yourself (which I can’t do!!!) inside and out.
Help with taking care of the chickens and goose.
Carpentry and plumbing skills are particularly welcome. Bricklaying/repairing stone and brick work on the cottage.
Building a small garden wall and new step.
There is a cement mixer and various tools.
I have a dream to create an area for a bell tent with an outdoor kitchen/composting toilet/shower/firepit etc so experience and ideas are really welcome.
There is a new poly tunnel frame erected that’s about to be prepared for spring. (Stripping turf, digging beds, path laying etc).
So lots to be involved with and get creative with the space.
There is a cosy cabin in the garden with electricity and with easy access to a toilet and shower. It has a small fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster.
On occasions and by prior arrangement there is lovely little cottage available for you to stay in which is completely self contained. (Not available until October 22)
There is plenty of room for camper vans or a caravan and there’s electric and water supply. You can access the shower room and washing machine that’s shared with the cabin.
You're welcome to set up camp in the summer months. There is a 3mt bell tent erected with a blowup mattress, bedding etc.
There’s always lots of good food available and let’s cater by individual arrangement as I’ve found different people like different things. The cabin is stocked with basic supplies for you to help yourself to your own breakfast and light lunch. I’m happy to provide an evening meal and enjoy cooking for others.
If you’re in the cottage, you will have your own bathroom but otherwise share.
You can self isolate/ quarantine if you need to.
I would expect 5hrs help a day and a minimum of 1-2weeks stay, longer if it works out well. Flexibility is the key to good relationships. So if you work longer one day you work shorter on another. Or if we’re tackling a certain project with a deadline, work a week and have a week off.
I am happy to show you the local areas of interest or give you lifts to and from the station when my shifts allow.
There is a mainline station in Gillingham (10min car drive) with regular trains to London, Salisbury, Exeter, Bath and Bristol. There are regular buses through the village.
I think there might be a bicycle you could use in the back of the polytunnel but you’ll need a helmet and I’m not sure what state it’s in so best not to rely on it for transport.
I have good friends and family that visit and are a sociable bunch. There is a bit of an open house policy so you’ll get to meet lots of people as they pop in and out to say hello and, more often than not, eat cake!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Lots of space for a camper van or two. And camping in the summer months.
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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