Natural cob building help wanted in rural central France

Country

France

Favourited 139 times


  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks

    Feedback

    5  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    09/10/2018

  • facebook friends

    Nº of Facebook friends

    1267

  • Last email replied

    Reply rate

    100.0 %

  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 2 days

  • Badges

    Good Host
    Facebook verified
Contact Register
  2019 

 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
  • Description

    Description

    SPRING, SUMMER & AUTUMN 2018

    Hello! Come and help us out in quiet, rural France (Creuse), doing natural building with cob.

    Enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature while learning how to build your own house on a very low budget ;-)

    We've just built a little cob house, and that needs some finishing touches. We're also doing natural finishes inside our barn conversion, so we'll be doing cob in there too, with natural plasters and home-made paints. We're also installing cob walls (as interior walls) and earthen floors.

    However, there may be other jobs to do as well, which are not always related to natural building.

    We're a couple [Irish and English] who met in London and escaped the rat race a few years ago. We live on a low budget, but it's a choice as we appreciate the best things in life are free. Our lifestyle isn't only motivated by environmental issues, but also by the wish to free ourselves (and others) from conventional trappings, such as rent/mortgages.

    Animal-wise we only have 2 dogs (a dominant male and a female) who are part of the family. They love people and sausages. Your dogs are welcome, if they are friendly and submissive (males need to have been castrated). We have a dominant male dog and he tends to fight with other uncastrated males (though he is totally sweet/adorable with PEOPLE of all ages, inc small children).

    We don't have any children of our own, but families are welcome. Natural building is fun/easy and even kids can get involved.

    We're quiet people who generally entertain ourselves.You must be able to entertain yourselves too. We do have a few books, musical instruments, as well as art and crafts materials that we can lend you. Usually we watch films in the evening.

    This is the perfect place to appreciate nature and enjoy time alone, for example to meditate. Maybe you need time to just think and heal. We would respect that and give you space. The natural environment here is very healing and soothing.

    We speak English at home - and its quite isolated, so there may not be much chance to practise French, except when you go out to other places.

    We don't drink much, though we don't mind if you want some to relax. Smoking is fine too.

    We generally eat vegetarian food (including dairy/eggs), but we tolerate and try to accommodate other peoples' preferences. Vegans are welcome, though it may mean that you have to buy some of your own special ingredients/supplies. Also, we don't mind if you want to eat meat sometimes, but you would need to buy it yourself.

    Camper vans are welcome.

    Talk to us :-)

    We have been on both sides of the fence - as volunteers and also as hosts. We know that it's really important for both sides to communicate their needs and expectations, both before and during the experience.

    So please write to us and tell us what you need and/or hope for from this experience. It's better for everyone if you find a place that is suited to your personality and expectations.

    We can arrange a live chat on Facebook if you prefer.... ?

    We don't want you to try and impress us - honesty, openness and communication are best. We're open-minded, tolerant, easy-going and understanding.

    We look forward to hearing from you. ;-D

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    It's a chance to try out a different lifestyle, stripped of creature comforts and to see what you are left with. This is how we started out ourselves when we first left London, and it gave us a whole new outlook on life because we saw how it could free us from the trappings of the rat race, through living cheaply, in tune with nature. Depending on how you approach it, it can be a transformative experience.

    We'll teach you about cob building so that you have a new skill/experience to take away with you.

    We can also show you ways to live on a low budget, for example by upcycling stuff and turning it into something new.

    If you're interested, we can teach you how to use metal-working tools and we also encourage you to be creative.

    Language-wise, we speak only basic French. We speak English amongst ourselves, but we welcome French people to help us become more fluent, and in return we can help you with your English.

    It is so peaceful and quiet here that it's great for people wanting to escape the city and to enjoy some solitude. Maybe you need time to just think and heal. The natural environment here is very healing and soothing.

    We can lend you musical instruments that help you to relax. Our instruments are very easy to play, so even non-musicians enjoy them and benefit from them.

  • Help

    Help

    Natural building

    We've just built a little cob house, and that needs some finishing touches. We're also doing natural finishes inside our barn conversion, so we'll be doing cob in there too, with natural plasters and home-made paints. We're also installing cob walls (as interior walls) and earthen floors.

    Natural building is fun, grounding and gets you in touch with nature. Even kids can get involved. :-)

    We definitely need people who are prepared to get stuck in and work pretty hard. You also need to be willing to try anything.

    We ask that you are also willing to do general odd jobs and whatever is needed, really. The exchange is that you learn about natural building skills part of the time, while giving us some of your time for more conventional jobs the rest of the time.

    At whatever stage you come, we will teach you some cob building tasks. We can teach you how to mix it yourself, which is a useful eco-building skill to take away with you, as you can use it to build all kinds of structures, including small things like an earth oven.


    Extra stuff (more fun)

    We can also show you ways to live on a low budget, for example by upcycling stuff and turning it into something new.

    We can teach you how to use metal-working tools (if you're interested) and we also encourage you to be creative.

    If you have special skills to offer, there might be something else you can help us with that we haven't thought of yet, so let us know what you can do.


    Food and cooking

    See previous description about diet /ingredients etc.

    We'd like to take turns with cooking and washing up.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We've moved into the cob house ourselves now, but there are plenty of other areas for you to camp out in. We can provide tents if needed, though we also welcome people bringing their own camper vans or other vehicles.

    It's possible that we can lend you a caravan, depending on your dates.

    There is a solar shower [rustic and outdoors] and a compost toilet. The conditions are VERY BASIC, so be prepared for that. But it is in a beautiful natural place, quiet and peaceful.

    We apologise for not being able to offer more comfortable accomodation and facilities, but this is how we live at the moment. It's a chance to try out a different lifestyle, stripped of creature comforts and to see if you can hack it.

    This is how we started out ourselves when we first left London, and it gave us a whole new outlook on life because we saw how it could free us from the trappings of the rat race.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in central France, in Creuse, which is one of the most beautiful and quietest parts of France. It's perfect if you like peace and solitude. Creuse is the main farming region of France and we're surrounded by rolling countryside and farm animals.

    Dotted around are swimming lakes, the occasional park and other bits and bobs. It's all about nature and tranquility here. The largest lakeside beach (swimming lake called Sidiailles - see below) is only a short distance away (shown in photo), and we can take you there on our time off. There are other, more secluded spots, nestled amongst the trees around the lake, where you jump into the water from natural rocks at the edge.

    BOUSSAC (23600) is our nearest village with amenities, and you can Google the tourism site to see what's around the rest of the local area. Scroll down the page for other places to Google.

    We can offer some bikes to go off and explore in your free time.

    We can take you out sometimes, to some of the local natural attractions, but not every day as we will simply be too busy (and can't afford the petrol). It would probably be at the weekend, or the occasional evening.

    We do have the Internet now, but it is via cable (not wifi). We can only connect 1 laptop at a time, so we all have to share/take turns.

    We have LOADS of musical instruments and we like to have a jam for fun. Even if you're not musical, we can introduce you to easy, playable instruments.

    We usually watch films together in the evenings.

    Sidiailles, the nearest swiming lake, has a 'beach' area, aqua fun, kids areas and zip wires that zig zag across the lake itselfetc (its shown in a photo on our profile). It's very pretty and a great place to cool off in the hot weather.

    Sometimes at weekends we go to local 'vide greniers', which are much more charming versions of 'car boot sales'. Most villages have one at some time, and people just put tables outside their house showing old things they want to sell.

    There are local food markets where you can buy local farm produce.

    Here are some places to Google if you're interested (I'm not allowed to share links):

    BOUSSAC (23600) is our nearest village, with basic amenities. There is a tourism website showing what's around the local area.

    Very local:

    Les Pierres Jaumatres - giant, natural stone formations, precariously balancing on top of each other.

    Toulx Saint Croix - a tower giving 360 degree views.

    Etang des Landes - a large nature conservation area, with a lake and wildlife habitats. Nice pathways to walk or cycle.

    Les Loups de Chabrieres - Wolf sanctuary

    TOWNS: Gueret and Montlucon


    Slightly further away:

    Parc des Parelles - magical little park amongst some woods

    Lanaute.com - a campsite/bar that puts on evening entertainment, often some decent live music

    Crozant - really beautiful, natural ruins of a castle, in a picturesque spot next to a river

    Lac de Vassiviere - a whole region full of various lakes. Lots of walking paths, campsites, lakeside 'beaches', plus an island with an art gallery, tower and restaurant/cafe.


    Further afield (i.e a bit of a DISTANCE):

    Mont Dore / Puy de Dome / Clermont Ferrand/ Volvic - the volcanic mountain region - skiing in winter, walkingin summer. Huge flea market in CF on a Sunday morning.

    Vichy - large-ish town.


    Places further to the south of France, that you might want to explore on your own steam (by car / train / whatever). You'd need your own transport, basically:

    Dordogne region

    Aurillac - amazing street performance festival in the summer

    Lot region (Padirac, Peche Merle ...)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week





Host ref number: 1526339174d5