We are a couple who live and work in the small picturesque village of Daumazan sur Arize in rural Ariege between Toulouse and the Pyrenees, in the south of France. Gaia is Italian, I (Fergus) am British, we have 2 children,Linden (born july 2013) and Miro (born may 2015) and we have a dog (recently hit by a car and partially paralysed for the moment) and a cat, 2 goats 1 rabbit, 1 duck and 8 chickens.
We are travelling, working musicians and we run an associative recording studio from home.
We love it when our workawayers are outgoing and can get out into the community while here, we'll spend time doing stuff with you but it's also great if you want to use your free time to explore, make new friends in the region and get to know the place. You'll be left to your own initiative quite a bit, so no "just hanging around" types please!
At home we live a very simple low-impact, low-cost countryside life and you shouldn't expect "luxury" but you have all that's needed, however we'd only like to have workaways who can live a rural and old fashioned type of existence. If you don't think outdoor loos and outdoor showers are for you, PLEASE don't apply!
We'll give you a bike to get around, from the village it's easy to get by bike or foot to Montbrun Bocage, where we are involved in the running of a really unique cultural café and associative venue where we put on concerts and a number of other events. We also have an old runabout car that can sometimes be available if you have a valid drivers license.
The area is full of colourful markets, music, street theatre, fetes and other gatherings practically all the time. It's a very special part of the world and feels much like stepping back in time. We have a strong international community, everybody knows everybody and you will make a lot of new friends staying here!
We work in the creative arts, we have a band, and I am also a one-man-band in the traditional, drum kit on the back and playing multiple instruments together, sense as well as music producer, songwriter, singer and general odd job type person. Gaia graduated in Indian languages and she is a street performer.
We run a number of music based projects from here mainly based upon intercultural collaboration and we have a small recording studio here where we bring together musicians from around the world. We are trying to develop our lives as independently as possible. We run an association for the diffusion of cultural and artistic activities, and we have musical activities developing all the time.
We live as simply as we can, (and we rarely have any money so it's a low budget lifestyle by necessity as well as choice!), we're miles from supermarkets so we go maybe once every 6 weeks to stock up on essentials - i.e. what we can't make, grow or buy from local markets. We make cider & beer, mozzarella (with plans for other cheeses), bake bread and so on. we eat everything as long as it's local, non GM and preferably organic, that doesn't mean we can't cater for vegetarians & vegans but we do eat meat that either comes from local farms or from our back yard! We don't have much land but we do want to maximise it.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We play concerts every week, and we always need someone (good with young children) to be with them while we soundcheck and play - this means travelling with us to the venues and just keeping an eye on them, normally they sleep through the gig, but we like to know someone is near them.
In addition we have work to do around the house, including gardening, working in the vegetable patch, harvesting fruit (seasonal) and nuts - processing them, baking, making mozzarella and/or yogurt, making & bottling beer and cider etc. We're aiming towards as self sufficient a lifestyle as possible, bit by bit we're getting there, so help and experience in these areas is appreciated
Projects that we are planning this winter are the full restoration of a very decrepit old wooden river cruiser boat from the 1960's, for this we would love to find someone with hands on practical experience of working with wood, restoration projects etc.
We host travellers via an online rental platform, as well as music residencies and sometimes need help with cleaning, preparation.
When we go on tour it's good to have people who can housesit, look after the animals, garden etc.
Any help or experience with rehabilitation of a paralysed dog is also a great benefit!
Various musical activities, depending on the time of year, we host workshops, residencies, song writing courses, We invite musicians from all over the world to collaborate and to play tours in venues in the region with which we have strong links.
Small holding, permaculture and animal husbandry (on a small scale), various areas of self sufficiency, boat restoration, beer brewing, making cheese, italian traditional cooking, traditional music.
English, italian, french, Spanish
Traditional 19th century style round top gyspy wagon or Vardo, Composting loo, Outdoor solar shower
We play concerts most weekends, either in small venues around the hills, these can vary from little bars, garden parties, to larger more established venues, we also go to Toulouse to play fairly often, so you can always join us for evenings at these places. Alternatively there is a lot going on in the local area, fetes, concerts at a cafe, organised cycle expeditions every thursday. There is Carla Bayle, a beautiful hill top village full of art galleries and large outdoor concerts every thursday in the summer, Montbrun Bocage, the best, most vibrant and alternative little market in France, maybe the world every sunday. It's easy to hitch hike to Toulouse or Foix, where there's the castle and little ancient streets to get lost in, skiing is an hour away, there's plenty of hiking and hill walking nearby, some good restaurants and canteens for eating out, cheaply, or luxuriously! and plenty more!
There are places for rock climbing, great cycling routes, mountain hiking and skiing very close, paragliding sites and much much more....
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
variable max 25 hours a week
My Photo Album