I'm looking for two different types of sitter.
1. someone who can take over for a day or two if I get called away, so would need to live locally to me. Sometimes it might just be one day. I'm willing to pay a daily rate for this, or if you do not wish to be paid, to at least reimburse your expenses.
2. Someone to do longer periods of time (at the moment a week in July but there may be others) from 1 to 4 four weeks.
I'm hoping to find a reliable, easy-going, dog and chicken loving person (or couple) who drives their own car, and is fit enough to walk our rather steep hills twice a day. Preferably mature, adaptable and with house-sitting references.
As one of my dogs can be a bit territorial, I think it best that no other dogs come to stay, and I'm sorry but this house is not suitable for young children.
Our two dogs will be your prime responsibility. They are used to having company for most of the day, two walks a day (being built for speed, these need to be no longer than 30 mins each), and lots of love. One is a scruffy Bedlington Lurcher aged 8, and the other is a sleek and elegant Greyhound aged 6. In addition are our chickens and bantams in two (possibly three if we are breeding) separate chicken coops, all needing basic cleaning on a daily basis. They need to be shut in at dusk, as we have a big fox population in the area.
The garden will need water in hot weather, and someone who is unafraid of lawnmowers would be a bonus.
We have a housekeeper for 6 and a half hours a week.
We live in a glorious area on the borders of Shropshire and Powys, at the edge of a wildlife area noted for it's wild flowers and peregrine falcons. The house is a converted farm-workers cottage with three bedrooms and a large south facing garden, surrounded on all sides by pretty countryside and farm animals.
We are within easy reach of Chester, Shrewsbury and Ludlow (all less than an hour), and the impressive Marches castles of Powis, Whittington and Montgomery. Lake Vyrnwy, Lake Bala and Llangollen are all close by, and even the sea is only a 2 hour drive.
The house is old, but recently refurbished, with open fireplaces, and an Aga. We also have wireless broadband, a big TV and hundreds of DVDs!
Plus..all those lovely fresh eggs.
Although we do have some close neighbours, this is a a very quiet spot, and may feel a bit remote, although the village with shop, pub and hairdresser is within walking distance. We live on the Offa's Dyke (hiking) path, so we do have a lot of passing foot traffic in the summer. Not a problem in itself, but one of our dogs barks a lot! Also as I mentioned, one of our dogs can be unfriendly towards other dogs, and needs a firm hand on walks. Being a lurcher, he is VERY affectionate with people however, so there is no need for concern, unless you don't want a dog on your lap every evening!