*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️2019*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️ This year at Chez-kiwi we are rebuilding the pool deck and constructing a geo-dome - that should be really fun! There is also a whole new exciting project, we've bought an historic house in our village which we want to restore to it's former glory - we are talking tapestries, painted decorated ceilings, detailed wall panelling, goregous plaster mouldings etc - I can't wait.. We are looking for mature workawayers (25+ years with a driver's licence and some construction experience) to help us with these projects, there is a much rounder description of us and the situation below, we really look forward to meeting you*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️
*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️General Description and introduction*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️
Hi, we're Mike, Rose and Olivier! We are a Kiwi / Franco family living in historic Normandy, we've been renovating our amazing 500 year old farmhouse whilst perfecting our French and generally immersing ourselves in French life for a long time now. We've been returning the house to it's traditional majestic beauty by reinstating the thatched roof and exposing it's stone and oak features, whilst at the same time adding modern twists of glass, metal and bold colour, and the occasional 'kiwi twist', and we love it!
We are a couple who have travelled and worked in many different countries and enjoy learning about different cultures. Here in France, we have a simple but good life enjoying the outdoors in our pool, jacuzzi, trampoline, kids play area, brazier and bonfire pit, etc. We are in the countryside just outside an active village, our 13 year old son, Olivier, goes to the local school (~2km/10min cycle), and workawayers are welcome to use our bikes to explore the local towns and cafes, scenic and historical sights, local markets etc.
We are near the end of an extensive ecological project to re-thatch and insulate our chaumiere (thatched farmhouse). The bulk of the thatch and other insulation work is now done but there are many associated projects such as paths, drainage and garden features.. Additionally we are in the midst of many interior projects such as the repair of 300 yr old oak flooring and reupholstering furniture. We use natural/traditional products where ever possible and usually have a simple organic vegetable garden.
We are looking for enthusiastic capable people who would enjoy helping us in exchange for access to this fantastic part of France. We are of course happy to assist those wishing to improve their French and/or cultural understanding of France and bring you into the classic components of rural French life such as markets etc. We also try to assist you with access to the tourist sights where we can - there's everything from famous sights to unknown local food producers here.. We're close to all the historic D-day sites (actually on the D-day 'route-de-libertie'), the evocative Abbaye d'Hambye is 5 mins away, the local beach (a fantastic never-ending stretch of golden sand) is 30 mins by car, there are wonderful local produce tours (cheese, cider, calvados etc) and it's only 40 mins to the famous Le Mont St Michel!
Help with Eco project
We do occasionally get professionals in but we are multi-skilled (from electronics to masonry) and do most projects ourselves. Many of the tasks involve woodwork or stonework so workaways with building skills would obviously be very much appreciated but in addition many projects just need willing capable hands.
In terms of 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 head off for a weekend camping that's fine with us and you're welcome to borrow our tent, or if you'd rather have more short days and enjoy the house, relax in the pool and spa during down time and chat over long lunches that's fine too just talk it through with us. There are of course certain days when we have to work around Mike's availability or the weather etc and we tend to just work as a team to meet those targets.
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.. We always enjoy meeting a variety of people and welcome families and a variety of ages, in fact we prefer if workawayers are over 24, or at least one member of a couple is, just as a general indicator of independence and practical life experience.
English, French, and a smattering (only) of Maori and Japonese
We have one or two double bedrooms and 2 caravans available for workawayers. We do also have a large 3 bedroomed tent available for anyone family who wants more independence.
We usually work on stays of approximately 4 weeks as this helps everyone settle in, relax, and get the best out of the experience. This can sometimes be extended depending on circumstances.
We have three cats who are in and out of the house, we generally find they don't create a problem for people with cat allergies perhaps because we don't have many soft floor coverings..
There are multiple choices for access to us:
By boat - there are the Brittany Ferries ports at Ouistreham Caen and St Malo (both ~1 hour from us) which connect to the UK and Ireland;
By plane - there is a Ryan Air airport at Dinard (~1 hour) mainly connecting to the UK or local French airports at Carpiquet/Caen (~45 mins) and Rennes with European connections;
By train - there are good SNCF train links to Villedieu-les-Poeles (~10 mins) from Paris Gare Montparnasse and there is also Gare Folligny (~20 mins) if you are travelling down the western side of France rather than from Paris;
By bus - the local bus company is Manéo with a variety of options for across La Manche (our department in Basse Normandie) connections;
By car - we are easily accessible from the western motorway route in France, it's called the A84 on the section by us, we're exit 38 (~5mins) where there is on-off access and a co-voiturage parking area good for bla bla car etc.
We are happy to collect people from the bus and train stations and co-voiturage sites. The plane and ferry ports are quite a trip for us and although we can sometimes do this by co-ordinating with other travel plans we appreciate it if workawayers can get to within 20 mins of us.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
25 hours a week