Soak up French life in beautiful Brittany

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    Last Activity

    24/08/2016

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2016

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  • Description

    Description

    ** Looking for volunteers with gardening experience and knowledge to help us out for the next 2-3 weeks. And any volunteers with experience in using a chainsaw - we have several trees that need to be taken down completely or given a very good haircut! And some help with painting and then tidying/cleaning/putting a house in order after a very long building/renovation project!!

    We are a Franco-New Zealand-British family living in scenic Brittany and we have been workaway hosts for nearly 5 years now. We love it, as it has, and continues to be a very enriching experience.
    We have 4 children - a 10year old little boy and 3 big ones who are now away working and travelling but are sometimes here during weekends and holidays. We are close to the historic towns of St Malo and Dinan and only 40mins from the spectacular Mont St Michel. As we have lived in the area for many years and have children at school we are very much part of the local community. We have our own local river beach (and resident seal) only 800metres away and are close to many other great coastal beaches as well.
    Five years ago we moved into our large old home with barn which we are still busily restoring. We first created 3 holiday homes in the 300 year old barn, and a part of our house. And now we are close to finishing the renovations on our own house. We have/are restoring the buildings in an ecologically-sound manner.

    We are looking for enthusiastic people who are keen to help us in our restoration project in return for experiencing a little bit of French life. Marc and the children are the French ones so their accents are better than Kate's but we can all help if you want to improve your French. We live within a short walk of the local village with it's boulangerie, creperie, cafes and bars and cider factory. As in most of Brittany, the area is steeped in history and traditions and we can share our knowledge of the area, its customs, cuisine and music.

    We are a couple who have both travelled widely and lived in several other countries. We love meeting people from elsewhere and delight in sharing our knowledge and experience of life here in France. We love the workaway concept and our experience with workaway for close to 5 years has been fantastic - we have met many wonderful and interesting people and have made life-long friends. Some have returned several times and some have even decided to work or study in the area.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Help

    Help

    - In the next few months we are aiming to finish the last remaining renovations in the house which involves plastering, - painting and sanding/polishing floorboards.
    - There is always plenty of other painting to be done - both interior and exterior, big jobs and little - such as outdoor furniture, window frames, bookshelves, and so on.
    - Keeping the existing garden and lawn under control is a big and ongoing task, plus we are creating new gardens and pathways around the cottages. We always need help with gardening and lawnmowing. We are particularly looking for workawayers who have garden design ideas and skills.
    - Changeover in our holiday cottages - cleaning, linen, preparing for the next guests, etc
    - Searching for a keen cyclist/explorer who can help us determine good cycling routes in the area.
    - Help with publicity - website, social network sites, brochures etc, for our 3 holiday houses is also welcome.
    - General help with the daily chores in the house which allows us to to get on with the renovations. We love volunteers who like to cook!
    - Sewing skills to help with making curtains and cushions and other furnishings would be appreciated
    - Photography and video skills are also appreciated as we are continually trying to improve the publicity for our holiday cottages.
    - and help on other little projects we dream up as we go along!!

    If you are interested in ecological materials and techniques we can share our knowledge of some of them - such as hemp and chalk floors, recycled paper insulation, geothermal (ground source) heating system, pellet-burning stoves, and others. Equally we would love to learn from others.

    In terms of the work we ask for 25hrs per week. With respect to the work routine we are very flexible and do not have set hours of each day to work so if you'd like to do your work in several very intensive days and then spend days at the beach or head off for a weekend camping that's fine with us, or if you'd rather have more short days and enjoy the house, relax at the little beach which is a short walk on country lanes, and chat over long meals, that's fine too - just talk it through with us. There are of course some periods when we have deadlines, like changeover in the cottages, or the weather alters plans, but generally you are free to work out your own routine.

    There are many, many, many great places to visit in the area!! We try to show you around as much as possible - either we all go together or sometimes when we have several workawayers we send you off with the car on your own to explore. There are also buses passing through the village which take you to the coast or the medieval village of Dinan.

    In terms of living in the house, it is a family home and all general assistance in the home is much appreciated, cooking, dishwasher stacking etc. Generally, we try to all muck in and enjoy the summer, the projects, the house and life in general.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    French, English, German, Italian, Spanish

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Warm, recently renovated bedrooms in the house . Our holiday cottages are available when not in use by paying guests. Alternatively in summer you may like to camp in our beautiful sunny and tree-covered garden.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live 15-20mins from both Dinan and St Malo which are historic walled-towns. There are regular buses to both places, plus we are regularly in the local towns for shopping etc, and one of our cars is sometimes available for you, so transport should not be a problem. Nearby is Dinard, a typical French sea-side resort and many wonderful beaches strung out along the coast. Mont St Michel, the 2nd most photographed sight in France (after the Tour Eiffel of course) is a must when you are here. Rennes, always rated one of the top cities to live in France is less than an hour away. Each of the local villages and towns have weekly markets and there are plenty of chateaus, gardens and museums to visit in the area as well as nice coastal and ountryside walks to be done.

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    25hrs per week.


Photos

Click images to enlarge

Working on the barn conversion
Demolishing in the lounge. Always fun!
Lovely medieval Dinan
Gorgeous Mt St Michel by night
Cleaning and sanding 400 year old beams
The finished product - our holiday cottages
Feeling strong after putting the cider press upright in the garden
Paving time
Cuppa time
Workawayers enjoying a fest-noz, one of the many Breton music and dance festivals in the area
One of our volunteer families enjoying our goats
Fest-noz. A real Breton experience
Volunteers enjoying good food - and company in St Malo!
Host ref number: 4584886614db

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