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THERE IS A QUESTION HIDDEN IN HERE - PLEASE ANSWER IT IN YOUR FIRST MESSAGE TO ME
IF YOU HAVE NOT INCLUDED THE ANSWER - YOUR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED
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Hello! We are a Canadian/American/British family living in Zone 3 in London. We've been here since January 2014 and are still getting our sea-legs but are loving it!
We just bought a house in zone 3 that needs A LOT of work. We are hoping to have someone join our venture and just muck in where-ever needed. One day that might be taking the children to the playground and taking care of lunch for everyone, another day it might be clearing shrubs in the back garden, another day might be laying lino flooring...
Right now we do not need much help with the children but need help with gardening, painting, brick laying, building sandboxes, lifting heavy stuff, automating the house, tiling, hanging doors, removing years and years of old paint, throwing out the rubbish that the previous owners decided to leave behind, etc... generally doing all the stuff to finish this house and make it a home. :-)
To be very clear - we are NOT looking for an au pair. We are looking for someone willing to help in all areas mentioned, basically be an extra set of hands around here.
Our new home is close to a couple of lovely green spaces and some basic shopping. It is 7 minutes to walk to a train that will get you to London Bridge station in 20 minutes, and another station that will get you to King's Cross/St. Pancras in 30 minutes.
We speak both English (KC) and French (Alan) in the home. The children understand and can communicate in both languages. We are happy to help with learning English if that is what you wish.
If there is anything else that you'd like to know about our family please ask!
You would be expected to participate in the preparation of the food (if you will be around to eat it) and the clean-up afterwards. This would NOT be considered part of your working hours - this is simply what it means to live in a home with others. If we go to a restaurant, you are welcome to join us but you will need to pay for your meal and drinks. Both Alan and I enjoy a glass of wine or beer in the evenings. We are happy to share but it would be nice if you were to bring a bottle to share, now and then, as well.
We try to eat together and eat the same food - I DO NOT make special meals. We feel that children learn good eating habits by sitting with us and eating the same food that we do. The children are expected to try a small bite of new food and food that they don't necessarily like. The same is expected of everyone in the house.
Picking up after yourself is obviously a requirement. In a house with two children, I can hardly manage to pick up after them and myself... I would rather not be picking up after you as well. :-)
We do not wear shoes in the house. If you wish to have something on your feet, please bring slippers.
We do not use profanity, for obvious reasons. Nor say stuff like "Oh my god!"
We try as much as possible to conserve resources. We do not turn on the water and then walk away and simply let it run and run. :-/ When we are washing dishes, we will put HOT water in a tub rather than washing one at a time under running water. We then rinse the dishes under hot water to make sure that all grease and debris is gone. We turn the heat down at night and try to remember to turn off lights when we leave a room. Please answer this question when you send your application: Do you wash your dishes in hot or cold water? If you do not answer this question, your application will not be considered.
OUR CHILDREN (for when you interact with them):
Eamonn is 6 and Maisie is 5. They are sweet natured, gentle little ones with an exuberance for life. We generally stay in our neighbourhood, visiting the parks and the libraries as well as the odd indoor play area now and then.
We are hoping that you will want to spend some time observing how we interact with the children before stepping in and getting involved. We prefer a slow and gentle approach with the children. It's child-directed play and learning. I like to set up areas or situations for them to explore without scripting how they should play. Often this means that they play in ways that I would never have imagined. They figure out how to use an object in a way that I never would have thought. It's a joy to watch them learn all by themselves. We are hoping that you will be happy to take them to a playground and let them run wild, laugh, dance and be crazy, step in once in a while with suggestions and step back if they are happy with whatever they are doing. We'd love it if you would read, read, read and then read some more. We are hoping that you would be able to direct them to something when they seem bored or at odds with themselves and then stand back while they get engrossed with it. We LOVE being silly, jumping in mud puddles and changing the words to songs. And we sing - ALL. THE. TIME. :-) We are hoping that you are up for admiring the dress-up clothes and not laughing at their attempts to dress themselves. We are hoping that you are willing to use positive language when showing them that they might need to change their shoes to the other foot instead of telling them that they are 'wrong'. (We say something along the lines of: You might find that your shoes are more comfortable if you try them on the other foot.) We are hoping that you will want to learn the language that we use with our children that is empowering and fosters pride in themselves.
We're crazy like that. ;-)
We LOVE music and dancing.
And now for the biggest one:
We DO NOT LAUGH at the children's bad behaviour - EVER. If we find it funny (and often it really is) we smile inwardly to ourselves so that the children do not see it. Laughing at bad behaviour brings more bad behaviour - which we are obviously not interested in.
Thank you for reading everything.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We'd love someone who is willing to pick up some of the cooking responsibilities every once in a while.
There are also gardening opportunities along with building/construction opportunities as written above.
We have a spare room just for you. :-) It is a large double room with a wardrobe. The main bath has a shower/bathtub and is shared with the family. The house is basic but comfortable.
We have a bike for your use, provided you are not exceptionally tall. ;-)
We are non-smokers and will only accept non-smokers. Thank you.
Our home is close to a couple of lovely green spaces and some basic shopping. It is 7 minutes to walk to a train that will get you to London Bridge station in 20 minutes, and another station that will get you to King's Cross/St. Pancras in 30 minutes.
We have lived communally before and have loved it. We love the exchange of ideas and culture. We are travelers but aren't traveling right now so it's lovely to have the travelers come to us. It's also wonderful to experience London through other people's eyes.
We've also been involved with Couchsurfing for a few years and have hosted close to 100 people for anywhere from 1 day to two weeks. We have been hosted ourselves in Canada, the US, Spain and more. We love the sharing community.
We are the type of people to sit and have a drink in the evening while visiting but we do also enjoy quiet evenings engaged in our own activities, especially after a challenging day when needing a wind-down.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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