Help with an old Irish Cottage, Housework, Smallholding & Garden, in the protected area - Burren Lowlands, Ireland



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  • Description


    I live alone on an old smallholding, in a cottage from the 1850s. I am a very young 58 year old woman, who still thinks she is 33.
    The house, garden, land, and area is very beautiful, very peaceful and very secluded. If you are looking for a working retreat, then this is perfect for you.
    I mainly need help because I have rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia, and so can't do what I used to do, and I can't afford to employ a builder/decorator/farmhand/gardener/housekeeper/cleaner and so on.
    I love gardening and growing my own food, but currently do very little because of so many years of illness, which just gets worse.
    My garden has been recently completely destroyed by my 2 donkeys, who have either broken or eaten, everything. This is because I can no longer maintain the fences and gates to keep them in the fields due to illness.
    I want to rebuild the garden, almost from scratch, which is a lot of hard work, as well as fun !
    I need to clean out the large polytunnel and get it ready for growing again (donkeys have been using it as a dust bath!).
    I also need to tidy up the fields and old stone walls, plant an orchard, as well as sort my house out inside and out.
    That's a lot of things - but I am a determined lady!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I live in an old 1850s Irish stone cottage with a slate roof, with a newer timber framed extension (30 years old). Visitors would have the Irish smallholding experience in beautiful countryside and woodlands. And of course peace and quiet.
    I live on the Burren Lowlands, which is a protected area and much is under conservation for flora and fauna.
    I also live near the Burren itself, which is stunning and beautiful, and a National Park and EU conservation area.
    I would like to show visitors the area if they are interested, as well as show them the local traditional Irish music scene.
    Visitors could also learn a lot about cottage gardening from someone who comes from generations of old English gardeners.
    I can also share my knowledge of healing with plants that grow in the area, as well as jam making, cordials, wine making etc, in season.
    I am a songwriter, lyricist and composer, and am willing to share songwriting and music biz knowledge if anyone is interested.
    I am an aarchery, and go to training 3 times a week. Guests are welcome to come with me (costs €5 a session) and learn to shoot)
    Of course, if you are learning English, I am very happy to help.

  • Help


    I would like help in several areas: my garden, the polytunnel, my animals, my future new wildflower meadow and orchard, and in my house. I have rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia, which means I can no longer keep on top of everything, and it has become rather unkempt inside and out, unfortunately.

    I am big into recycling, and so would try and do as much of this in all my projects. I am also eco-friendly as much as I can afford to be (which is nowhere near as much as I'd like).

    I realise no one person can do all this ! I am listing my needs so you can see if there is any area of help you might be interested in.

    I have a smallholding which needs renovation of such things as dry stone walls, strimming grass, removing brambles, renovating stables, collecting firewood, cleaning gutters and so on.

    I need help maintaining my garden which has become rather wild since I have been unwell (and has recently been totally trashed, broken and eaten by donkeys). That would entail such things as weeding, strimming the grass, creating new raised beds, planting and sowing etc. I also need new raised beds built for both flowers and vegetables. I want to partially redesign my garden, creating different areas and dividing it up a bit, maybe.

    My polytunnel is currently gone wild and I need to reclaim it, clean it up and rebuild the beds in there. Once that is done it can be planted up ! Once it's back up and working, I would need help to maintain it, weeding, watering, planting, picking etc.

    I have 2 chickens and 3 cats. I can look after the cats ! Parts of the fields are too overgrown and need cutting back to reclaim the land.
    Chickens: fun stuff ! feeding, cleaning, moving pens, and babysitting them while they enjoy the garden (this can be combined with gardening lol).
    I also badly need new chicken houses and runs - a great recycled materials project maybe.

    My house: Due to my illness I cannot keep up with the cleaning, or general maintenance, let alone decorating and repairs. So I would love help just generally cleaning, sorting and organising my home. But I would also like help decorating it, tiling, painting etc. There are a few repairs that need doing, such as small plumbing and electrical jobs. Someone really good at DIY would also be wonderful !

    My car always needs cleaning too, as it thinks it is a Landrover !

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and a very little French.

  • Accommodation


    I have different bedrooms, depending when you come, as I also try and do rentals to give me an income.
    Bedroom 1 is on a balcony in the living room of the old part of the house. It has a double bed, so is suitable for 1 person, or a couple (also the rental room).
    Bedroom 2 is in my newer part of the house and has a single bed currently, although I am looking to add a second single bed. This room also has some of my clothes in it.

    The downstairs bathroom is shared, although once I have gone to bed you will have sole use, as I have my own bathroom upstairs.
    I will provide and cook your meals when my health allows, which will be shared with myself (although I love being cooked for if you are good at it !). I eat fairly basically as I am not well off, but I don't eat junk or processed food very often. I tend to make things from scratch mostly, when I am not too ill.
    I am a good cook, so be sure you won't go hungry !

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I live out in the countryside, so if you want to explore alone, go shopping and so on, you will need a car. I am 3 miles from the small town and shops, bars etc.
    Once or twice a week I would be happy to show you the local trad music scene, and the local beaches and scenery etc., but I tend not to go out very much at night.
    I do archery training twice a week, and visitors would be welcome to come and try it out (costs €5 a session).
    I live alone, so it is very quiet and peaceful here. That is apart from when I am working on my music, as I am a songwriter.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 899377283126