My boyfriend and I (I'm Irish and 35, he's English and 41) are leaving behind our hectic life in London in search of a more peaceful, self sufficient lifestyle. We have bought an acre and a half of land in rural France's Dordogne area (about a mile from the stunning river itself). As of 1st November 2017, we are building a home, 2 gites (to eventually let out) and a pool. Aaron is a roofer by trade and owned a solar energy company for years so the focus is on solar/thermal energy and building a place that will have low bills and is environmentally sound. So if you want to learn a trade or more about solar, Aaron is the perfect teacher! We will have vegetable beds, chickens for eggs and in a few months plan to get a dog and a few other animals. We are doing the entire build ourselves! We would love someone to help us out for as many days as they can in exchange for food, a few beers, a roaring fire and your own tent to sleep in (we will also be in a tent from April to October and can host during that period). It will be very much back to basics for a year or 2. First priority is a secure building to house belongings and washing facilities. The village and surrounding area is idyllic! There's a bakery, little shop and a great bar. We would love to host you and (having visited the area frequently) tell you where in the area you must see.
Thank you for reading and travel well!
Catherine and Aaron
Help with Eco project
While the natural benefits will be things like practicing the language, seeing historical sites (and they are stunning) and enjoying the sunshine, we also have personal skills to pass on. Aaron is happy to teach people building techniques and in particular solar energy. He's a very knowledgable guy and great company. I'm learning all the time too! We are also very into classic American cars (we own a couple of works in progress!)so if you fancy spending some time pottering about on one of those or learning from Aaron (who is a great mechanic) that's not a problem. He also plays the guitar and would love some fellow musicians to jam with and would be happy to teach any beginners!
Primarily want help with building. That can include moving materials around, heavy lifting or helping lay cables. Doesn't all have to be really heavy work. For the last year, I've been working in London as Aarons roofing labourer. So if I can do it, anyone can! Plus it keeps me fit! Also help with maintaining the land and growing lots of fresh veg for us all to eat.
English and basic French but we are learning!
From April 2018 to October 2018, it will be back to basics. We will be sleeping in a tent and will have basic washing facilities. The river is really close for a cool dip at the end of the day and we will likely bbq most nights. We will have somewhere secure (idea is to get the garage built ASAP) to store things etc.
This is rural France so buses don't really exist but we do have a vehicle and on days off we are happy to drop you to one of the local villages/towns/train station/the river for a day of relaxation! We will also take the occasional day off or pop to a local market and you are welcome to join us!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week