My name is James, I'm 59 years old and I've been living in France for the last 30 years.
Off season, (October-April) I will be working on renovating a ruin I bought three years ago, turning it into a wonderfully imaginative home. (I hope!) During this period, I will be needing help with renovation and decorating and/or gardening ( creation and maintenance) . The hard work has been mainly finished, but I still have two bathrooms and a swimming pool to create, and lots more besides. The garden has yet to be started.
If you're a couple, you're very welcome: It would be a great help if one of you was happy to look after the house/shopping/cooking etc: I've found with only one workawayer, much of my time is taken up looking after us!
I have two daughters, who both live and work abroad (UK and Japan)
After working very hard, for the last 35 years I have now adopted a slower pace of life.
I am based in Normandy in France a 5 minute drive from the sea, and in easy reach of The Landing beaches, Mont St Michel, the Bayeux tapestry...so plenty for you to see.
While working on the renovation, you would be living on site (as will I) . But there is already an extremely comfortable living space, and by the end of the summer there will also be a spare bedroom for you.
I'm looking for help with general building/decorating work, and landscaping/ garden maintenance. Experience would be good but isn't essential, though willingness to help and having a positive outlook is important. Being practical and adaptable is essential.
By choice, I don't eat meat very often, or much in the way of processed foods: Mainly fresh and preferably locally produced...maybe you can help make a kitchen garden?
Please, if you have to, only smoke outside. Thank you.
I have extremely fast (optic fibre) WiFi and am planning to make this a 'smart' rénovation, and will be using smart infra red panels to heat the house. Any knowledge in this sphere would be a great help!
This is a great opportunity to see what this beautiful part of France has to offer, and also to learn and get hands on experience of lots of things you might need to know to renovate a house.
Travel here by train to Coutances, approx 3.5 hrs from Paris.
I look forward to your message!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Lots to see and do in this famous tourist area. Beaches and culture. Mont st Michel, the Normandy landing beaches, the Bayeux tapestry, 12th century Cathedrals etc Plus,! as I have all the necessary experience to renovate a house from the ground up, you might be able to pick up some useful skills along the way!
General building work, Repointing stonework, plasterboarding. Flooring, helping with wiring and plumbing (I have the skills). Jointing, etc painting and decorating once we get that far.
Help with creating and maintaining a garden.
Help loading and unloading materials etc
English and french
A private room on site with superfast wifi.
Mont St. Michel, the Normandy landings, the Bayeux tapestry, The local beach, local seafood (oysters, mussels crab etc) local markets.. Accompany me to Antiques auctions and fairs on days off...I have 30 yrs experience in french antiques which I'm also happy to share.
I expect you to muck in with me in the household chores, cooking washing up etc rather than expect me to do it for you.
If you were thinking of moving to live in France, this could be an excellent opportunity to get some experience. I am fully integrated in life out here, and know how it works, having been a governor of my daughters school, on the committee at a local club, and done translation for the local town hall.
I'm more than happy to share how to make a go of the expariate life over here, if that's what you're after. Though I wouldn't say I'm a typical expat)
Do get in touch!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week