Finally we can get going again following the pandemic. We will be hosting vaccinated Workawayers from October 2021.
As you can see from our photos we like to give our Workawayers a project to help on in parallel to other generic jobs and this year we are looking to do quite a bit of building work. This year we are creating a petanque(boules) area, so a lot of digging and levelling to be done. We are also gradually converting our vegetable garden to a ‘no-dig’ garden which requires a lot of compost making. There are many other projects which are listed below for everybody to get there teeth into. No experience necessary, but it would be appreciated. Enthusiasm and a smile essential.
Our place is an old corps de ferme/farmhouse/homestead in the Aveyron in SW France, and we are in the process of restoring and renovating, to create a beautiful getaway for families, friends, teams and co-conspirators.
Parts of it are just suffering from neglect and old age and require a bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care), and other parts need a revamp and an injection of inspiration and creativity.
We have hosted a few groups of Workawayers since 2016 and all have done some great work improving and recovering the neglect. In many cases we stretched peoples skills and helped them (and us) achieve some really impressive results (see the photos). We are really looking forward to doing the same this year.
The lady in the local bakery told us that this has been a very happy home, and "c'est les murs qui font le bonheur". So hopefully with a little 21st century effort and imagination, we will be able maintain her picture of the place.
Who are we?
We are a British couple who moved out to France recently to concentrate on the project. We have lived in France before and both speak French fluently. Richard has worked in technology startups and innovation and loves all the "toys" needed to maintain an old property, and Anna is the gardener and creative mind and practises gentle yoga (essential treatment after a long day in the garden). Our young family are slightly older now, and are all leading independent lives (with frequent progress updates and visits of course).
Considering the Aveyron has several villages voted as some of the most beautiful in France, it is one of the least overrun by tourists. There is so much space and beauty. Within a cycle ride (energetic cycle ride!) of us, there are climbing rocks, canoeing, river swimming, mountain bike trails, walking routes etc.
There is a swimming pool(closed from October) and bikes, and we have a piano and various guitars, so Musicians welcome, and one day maybe we will learn.
Heimwerker- und Bauarbeiten
We speak both French and English and are happy to help with language learning if required.
For 2021-2022 volunteers must be physically strong, because there is always an element of grunt work to be performed, even if it is just pushing a wheelbarrow with logs in it. You don't have to be ripped(although some people may like that), but just not frail.
We still have a lot of garden recovery to do so weather permitting, a lot of work will be outdoors. See the photo.
We also need to create a boules area, build a pizza oven and and repoint some of the old stone walls.
We are looking for volunteers who are either trained and capable, or who are just ready to have a go:
- Painting and decorating
- Building, concrete and mortar
- Gardening. Large vegetable garden, fruit trees.
- Garden recovery. Bramble clearance (strimmer/weed whacker) uncover a mystical spring.
- General landscaping
- Log splitting
You will have your own room in the main farmhouse, with shared shower and bathroom facilities.
We will provide bedlinen and towels.
The main house is still fairly basic, but there is plenty of opportunity for privacy.
And of course you can use the pool assuming it is still open.
There are guitars and piano/keyboards available for the musical.
We tend to eat a main meal in the evening and eat a lot of salad, vegetables, cheese and some meat. We welcome new ideas for menus, so cooking can be a shared activity......washing up is definitely shared.
The local area boasts various famous villages of architectural and historical interest such as Cordes-sur-Ciel and Najac, but also within a bus or train journey there are the beautiful Cathedral cities of Albi, and Toulouse.
For French gastronomy and local fare, the market at Villefranche de Rouergue (Thursday) is not to be missed.
There are climbing rocks within a few kilometres with a famous Via Ferrata for the adventurous. Google Via Ferrata Bor et Bar.
Volunteers will help 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week and flexibility is the norm.
Bikes are available and we are happy to provide transport to nearby places, for buses, trains etc.
The dogs are always happy to have a walk.
For the budding or even amateur ornithologist, from the terrace you can watch Kites, Kestrels and Buzzards, Swallows, Hoopoe, Oriole, and Redstarts. And if you go down to the river you can see the Kingfishers, Wagtails, Dippers.
Although situated peacefully in the countryside we are only a short drive and cycle from a nearby village with a supermarket and a couple of cafes. There also good local restaurants nearby to fit most budgets. And in the summer, there is a well frequented creperie by the river which has live jazz most evenings.
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4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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