A variety of characters in a peaceful setting
Having moved to the house of our dreams, and collected several waifs and strays from the animal kingdom, we find ourselves suddenly yearning for a change of scenery after 7 years without a holiday. Worrying about the animals has always been the bar to travelling so far, but someone recommended we take a look at this site, and here we are!
Our Home & Location
We are right on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, tucked away at the end of a country lane, with beautiful uninterrupted views across the fields to the church. We have few neighbours close by, and benefit from having no passing traffic immediately outside, so we can amble off for a short distance down the lane with both dogs and all the cats in tow (the cats never miss an opportunity to join us for a walk).
We're rurally located, less than a 10 minute drive from the market town of Spilsby. For those interested in the history of the Lancaster, The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is just a stone's throw away, and the Lancaster can occasionally be seen flying directly overhead. It's even possible to book a Lancaster 'experience' where you get to explore inside as it taxis on the runway. Close by are the ruins of Bolingbroke Castle, where Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) was born. 20 minutes away you can find Tattershall Castle (National Trust), and 30 minutes away, the beautiful and historical town of Woodhall Spa, which has significant world war 2 connections, and the most fabulous cinema in the country - Kinema in the Woods....
If you're after a bit of a rave and a lot of excitement, we're probably not the right fit for you, but if you're after peace and quiet with a multitude of animals to mollycoddle, we hopefully could be :)
Just a note re the wi-fi...whilst our service provider will tell you we have high speed access, your computer might not agree! It's usually ok, but there are times when it can become frustrating if you need to upload anything too heavy. For general use though, it's fine. It's actually just started to manage to handle Netflix, which is a massive recent improvement! + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
This may not exactly sell the dogs to you, but there's no point in not being honest! ;)
Sadly, both dogs are now suffering ill health, so they are exercised only on the paddock at home, and for walks of a very short distance on the lane outside. Charlie has had hip dysplasia/arthritis for a number of years, and struggles to get about a bit. He's also now deaf as a post, and a bit clingy... usually to be found with a comforting 'cuddly' of some sort hanging from his mouth. He's generally not left for lengthy periods, so for him, any sitter happy to spend much of their time enjoying the home and animals would definitely be a really huge bonus....
Millie, our terrier, also has her issues but there's plenty of life in the ol' gal yet! She has been seriously through the mill in her previous life, making her initially distrustful of men, and she can be intimidating to anyone not confident with dogs. However, she's fine once the first introductions are over, and once you've engaged in a game of ball-kicking on the paddock, you'll have cracked it ;) Both dogs would sell their soul for food, and they can both be trusted completely around the outside birds.
The garden/paddock is completely secure, so both dogs and cats have permanent daytime use of the cat/dog flap to come and go as they please.
The cats aren't used to seeing many different people so may initially be a little wary, but they soon come round. Socs has twice daily medication for a serious heart murmur, but takes it really easily. Apart from feeding, and Socs' medication, the cats pretty much look after themselves, but we do always get them back indoors before dark.
We have 21 ducks (kept in 4 different sets of housing), 2 geese and 3 chickens (all pets rather than livestock). They're let out in the morning and locked away at night, but it's dead easy as they all know what's expected of them, and are all clamouring for their bedtime treat which is delivered at lock up time. They need regular water changes and a steady food supply - the most time consuming thing being water changes for the ducks' bathing, which probably takes us about 30 mins to an hour daily. Bedding-wise, we tend to clean every day, but they have large accommodation, so will get by fine without, unless we're gone longer than a week. We have a mains electric fence surrounding the property, which has (touch wood) been 100% effective in keeping them all safe from foxes. It's just as well, as we have plenty of foxes in the adjacent woodland - along with deer, owls, kestrels, sparrowhawk etc.
Last, but most certainly not least, there's our African Grey parrot, Quinn. He is a real character and talks for England, but is regrettably fond of biting just for fun, so he's not really handleable, unless you're experienced with parrots and happy to take the inevitable 'nips' ;) . Given the option, he often chooses to remain in his cage, and definitely prioritises companionship over time out and about. We rehomed Quinn when his previous owner was unable to provide the companionship he needs due to her long work hours. He has pretty much continuous company with us, so does like to remind you of his presence when you decide to leave him. He does it in the nicest way though - he's not a screecher at all, and will simply ramp up the talking and the whistling until you grace him with your company again. Quinn's cage is very heavy, but is on wheels, so he can be wheeled around downstairs, or out onto the deck, with relative ease. + More info