I'm a 48-year old faculty member at the University of Edinburgh business school. In my own time, I work as a marketing consultant and market researcher for commercial clients. I occasionally still work as a career coach for professionals and graduate students wanting to succeed in the UK, although that's work I am moving away from.
I'm happy to live in a book-filled, three-bedroom apartment in a heritage preserved building, on a cobbled street in a safe and family-friendly corner of Edinburgh's New Town.
See below for more information on the sort of help I am looking for in the first four months of 2017. In April, I'll move to a new apartment, and I am not looking for volunteers beyond Easter.
Help with Computers / internet
I have a few ongoing projects tasks, and you might like one or all of them -- of have ideas about other ways that we could work together.
* First, I have had help getting my newsletter subscribers organised using AgileCRM.com - a contact management system. I now need to sure that my contacts are invited to get my newsletter and are being offered opportunities to find out about how I can help. I need some help planning some projects to reach out to offer people more, and see how I can assist them. Much of this is dull but simple: entering data into the CRM system and adding records into lists.
* Second, I'd also love help reaching out by email to subscribers who have interested in hearing more from me.
* Third, and where we have made the most progress, a volunteer has listed my books for sale on Amazon Marketplace, and another started the work of selling a couple of boxes of clutter on eBay. I need help to list, pack and ship them as orders come in (right now, it's a handful of books every week, not a big deal). Coupled to this decluttering is identifying the stuff that just won't sell, and then finding the best destination for it.
* Fourth, I have studied German, French and Dutch at universities, up to A2 level, but my grammar and written work are terrible in all these languages. My vocabulary is okay, but I'd be very interested in speaking with a volunteer who would help me with my written and spoken language. While it would be helpful to have a native-speaker, I can see that I can learn a lot even from someone who has themselves acquired the language. In the past, I have also started to study Russian, Spanish and Italian so I have some interesting in those languages too.
* Fifth, because I am moving apartment before Easter I would like some help to pack things up, to get rid of things and to clean the apartment.
I have some availability from January until Easter: In April I'll probably have only one volunteer so the smallest room can be used to store boxes. Do get in touch if you'd like to speak to one of the volunteers who has worked with me, of if you'd like to talk with me directly. These tasks take a bit of learning, so I prefer to have guests stay for a month. Sometimes I have people stay a little longer, but I think it's best to start with one month and then see how we get on.
English, and A2 level Dutch, French and German.
The apartment has three bedrooms: a single room with a foldable guest bed, and two larger bedrooms. There are modestly bright (when the Scottish sun allows it) and are furnished. Because this is a protected property, the good news is also the bad news: it has beautiful Georgian windows and the feel of an old Scottish apartment. However, Edinburgh can be chilly (especially in January and February). Because the central heating can struggle to keep up with the cold and rain in the coldest winter nights, we have an additional electric radiator.
The apartment has a full kitchen, with dishwasher, freezer, washing machine, two sinks and plenty of space for cooking. There's a bath and electric shower, a large living-room/dining room with a comfortable couch, and friendly neighbours. I provide bedding and towels.
I could potentially have two volunteers overlap - but I prefer to have one person at a time. In addition to the main guest room, I have a third bedroom with a Jay-Be Evo guest bed (which is 185cm long, in case you are tall. We've added a mattress booster and a foam base to the guest bed's mattress. It's a small bed, but the room itself is warm and a dry with a chest of drawers, a colourful rug, a chair and a deep window-ledge. During the rest of 2016, the main room is already taken so the smaller guest room is available for new volunteers.
I'm a non-smoker, and smoking (tobacco or anything else) should be done elsewhere. In terms of food, my approach has been a bit simple -- I buy the food I normally eat, and you are welcome to eat it. I am open to discussions when that needs to change. My aim is to make sure there's basic vegetarian food in the house: fruit, vegetables, rice and pasta, herbs and spices, tea and coffee. There is a fridge and a separate freezer as well as some cupboard space so you are welcome to buy stuff I don't tend to buy, like bread and meat. If you'd like to cook and eat together, then that's totally up to you.
One of the volunteers has written a useful Google document with some tips about how we can look after the flat and each other, and about Edinburgh. Ask me for a link.
Both Edinburgh's Tesco superstore and a 24 hour M&S food store are very close. There's a bicycle rack over the road. The neighbourhood has many cafes, restaurants, bars and the Royal Botanical Gardens are a short walk. The 8, 23 and 27 buses go to the city centre in just a few stops. The tram from the airport stops at St. Andrew's Square and York Place, which are both a kilometer from the flat. The Airlink express bus from the airport stops at Princes Street, which is also less than a mile away.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Although I have some experience of the tasks that other workawayers have enjoyed here, it's important to me that we have an exchange that is mutually beneficial and culturally useful. As well as offering help and a bedroom, I'll be delighted to share meals, stories and languages with you. Sometimes I have two workawayers at a time, and I have also seen how that can make time here more fun and make it easier to make the most of the city.
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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