We would like help to renovate a beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, a small rural village in South West France, 1 hour south of Toulouse.
12 years ago we fell in love with this beautiful house despite the work it needed. For us the amazing space and rural location was perfect for our young family. Its been our greatest pleasure bringing up our 2 daughters with the freedom and relaxed lifestyle we have found here.
However whilst doing this we haven't managed to get as much work completed as we would have liked. But now they are 'all grown up' ..... well kind of ...... the time is available to get on with the renovations and finally realise the dream to run this as a bed and breakfast eventually.
We are English and in our early/mid 50s and have 2 daughters aged 21 yrs and 17 yrs.
Brian works full time in Toulouse travelling back and forth each day during the week, and on the house at the weekends and when on holiday. He likes sport, in particular rugby.
I, Caroline, am based at home and run a small business selling greetings cards and do a small amount of English teaching if I can fit it in. I really want to get on with what I enjoy most which is renovating the house and garden but I need help. Cooking, anything crafty and animals are also my passions.
Harriet is at University in Montpelier and comes home in the holidays and Alana is at school in Toulouse and home at the weekends.
We have some lovely pets; a couple of dogs and cats as well as goays, chickens and a couple of guinea pigs. Occasionally horses and donkeys come to help by eating the grass in our fields .... there is really too much land but it gives us great privacy !
We love being outside in the gorgeous weather we are lucky to have, so if you like the idea of coming to Saint Marcet, sharing a glass or two of wine alongside a good home-cooked meal in exchange for some help, then we would love to meet you.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We are looking for workaways to help with :
Current indoor projects - include turning an old kitchen into a relaxing 'snug'. Furniture sanding, painting etc . Preparation of rooms for painting, some taping and jointing of plasterwork if able, sanding of woodworn, painting
Future projects will include creation of ensuite bathrooms
Current outdoor projects - include creation of permaculture, companion planting veggie garden, flower beds, construction of a pergola and restoration of old furniture. General garden maintenance such as hedge cutting, mowing, strimming, weeding etc.
Some of the work is physically demanding and you should therefore be fit and have suitable out door clothing and work shoes and gloves
It is very important you can work independantly and without supervision and assess work that needs to be done (to a certain extent).
Knowledge of working with electric and petrol tools (or a willingness to learn) is necessary for some outdoor work.
Help with caring for the animals, dog walking and some general household jobs would be useful and help with decluttering, (I have a tendancy to hang onto too many things 'just in case they will be usefulI' !).
If you fancy cooking occasionally that would be nice too.
English and French
We offer two bedrooms, one with double bed and a sofabed and the other with a double bed. There is use of two shared bathrooms. Depending on how many Workawayers are here there is the possibility you will need to share a room.
There is also plenty of room outside should anyone want to camp or come with their own motorhome.
We live in a rural farming community area and the village is small with a bar, a church, a local baker, tennis courts, a small fishing lake and a very large village hall that occasionally has an event or two happening.
We have bikes available to explore the area although they are not new bikes and it is pretty hilly around here. There are some lovely places to go on walks.
If you have a full driving licence there could be the possibility of the use of a car on occasions.
We are more than happy to take you to and from our nearest town Saint Gaudens, which is 10kms away. On average I go there 2 - 3 times a week.
You are welcome to join us on trips to other towns when possible.
Local towns have all the shops and amenities you may need, lovely lakes, walks and markets to explore and offer rail and bus links to bigger cities such as Toulouse, Tarbes and Pau.
The Pyrenees are less than an hour away by car with a host of activities, including mountain trails for walking and cycling. There are also many places for canoeing and rafting around the villages between us and the Pyrenees.
Spain is also less than an hours' drive away if you fancy practicing another language !
Nearest Airports are Toulouse, with budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair flying in and Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees (sometimes just known as Lourdes) with Ryanair flying in. There are many other airlines that connect with Toulouse
There are train and bus links from both Toulouse and Tarbes to Saint Gaudens where we can pick you up.
Car shares are often available through
Coaches to Toulouse through , flixbus.com, ouibus.com
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Improve their language skills, use DIY tools and machinery, learn renovation and gardening skills
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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