We are a middle-aged british couple living in the south of France looking for people to help us get our garden and house under control as we moved recently and a lot of work was done in the house. Kitty used to work in the NHS, David in the voluntary sector in London. Kitty works as an English teacher, David as an artist and illustrator.
The accommodation we offer is a self-contained large studio gite for a couple, all brand new, with access to a heated pool. We are in the beautiful medieval French village of Bize-Minervois which has various restaurants and bars as well as river swimming and wonderful hiking and wildlife. It's half an hour north of Narbonne and equity-distant from Beziers and Carcassonne.
We are both experienced managers, as well as being parents of grown-up children. We both have long-term health issues and have both been ill recently, which is why we need help now getting things done! We are both recuperating slowly so can't tackle much physical work. David paints and Kitty does a lot of horse riding , we live a quiet life but enjoy seeing our friends and enjoying the wildlife and walking and having a garden for the first time in a long time. We have three cats and a young dog. Obviously it's their house really.
The main work we need people to help us with is gardening - clearing areas, digging, planting.
The accommodation is pretty luxurious - we rent it out most of the summer, and has a lovely attached deck (built by previous workawayers!) next to the pool which you are free to use. We love it here, and hope you will too.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We are looking ideally for a couple as the accommodation is set up that way. One double bed. We moved to this house two years ago and did a lot of renovation work, which has left various finishing chores to do and especially gardening.
We need help with the large garden and also with housework and cooking, as we have both been ill. The gardening will involve weeding and clearing up after pruning etc. with some sweeping and digging. We also need help clearing the undergrowth, which we are required to do to prevent forest fires spreading. Also some planting. Nothing major or particularly heavy task. In the house we need help with spring cleaning, dusting, hoovering and some cooking (cooking will be part of the hours, not extra). We need at least one person who can drive a manual/shift car for trips to the dump.
We need help with all sorts of stuff! If you can help with mechanical work that's brilliant - David has an old Porsche he often needs help with. We are looking for 25 hours per week each, five hours per day Monday-Friday, in return for meals and access to the pool, and accommodation in the self-contained luxurious studio apartment. We will be asking for the apartment to be kept in a perfect clean and tidy state (as it is one of the gite rentals normally) in your own time. If we ask you to cook for all of us, this will be in "our" time, as part of the housework we ask you to do. The accommodation is self-contained so you will be able to have your own space and cook and eat there (although we are responsible for the cost of food).
We also have a great relationship with the local ranch, and there can be the possibility of doing some work there in exchange for horse riding.
The accommodation offered is a studio apartment for a couple, built into the back and bottom of our house. It is spacious and self-contained, and brand new including its own well-equipped kitchen and bathroom, and its own front door and terrace area - with a beautiful deck built be a previous workaway couple. Access to wifi is available, and access to the swimming pool. It has its own washing machine. The bathroom has a walk-in shower, the kitchen has a dishwasher, fridge freezer, microwave, coffee maker etc. The accommodation is non-smoking. Cats live in our house, but shouldn't bother you.
There is lots to do locally - but transport is poor. We would prefer someone with their own car, but it isn't essential. There is NO SMOKING allowed inside anywhere. We have three cats and a young dog and although they are not allowed in the gite, you need to like them and not be allergic as they go everywhere else. We live a fairly quiet life, we walk, Kitty does a lot of horse riding and David paints and we enjoy socialising - Bize is quite a busy and friendly village.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
This is a beautiful area of France close to lots of interesting cultural things. Built in concentric circles around a medieval church, Bize-Minervois is a typical "circulade" village. Its picturesque streets, courtyards and gateways are a delight to explore all year round.
The village is very well serviced. It has:
• 3 restaurants • small supermarket • 2 hair salons • post office • café/bar
• 2 bakeries • pharmacy • beautician • local cinema in the village hall • medical centre • small local market each Wednesday
All are within a short or very short walk of the house. Bize is located at the foot of the Black Mountains and is within easy reach of the beaches of the Mediterranean, La Cité at Carcassonne, Narbonne, Beziers and many other areas of interest, including the canal-du-midi and the amazing historical town of Minerve.
The area is one of the largest wine-growing areas in Europe, and Bize is surrounded by beautiful hills, vineyards, and pretty villages. There are lots of local activities including river swimming in the village, horse-riding, cycling, walking and bird-watching. There are concerts and fetes going on all the time in the surrounding area.
Bize is a lively and friendly village. Kitty and David are bilingual in English and French, and there would be opportunities to mix with local people (french and anglophone) and learn and speak French and English.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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