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We are a couple who live and work in the small picturesque village of Daumazan sur Arize in rural Ariege between Toulouse and the Pyrenees, in the south of France. Gaia is Italian, I (Fergus) am British, we have 2 children, the oldest is Linden (born july 2013) and his little brother is Miro (born may 2015) and we have a partially paralysed dog and 2 cats, & 8 chickens.
We are travelling, working musicians and we run an associative recording studio from home.
We're looking for a couple of workawayers to come to us for around a month, starting early August ideally.
Our current projects include:
fruit picking and processing,
some carpentry / light bulding work (if you're handy - decking, and cladding, mostly from recycled materials), and
most importantly house sitting for the last ten days of the month and first few days of September, this will include a dog and two cats, . The dog is partially handicapped, but is full of life, very loving and not complicated - she hangs out in the garden staring at and following the cat around most of the time but does need feeding, putting in and out of her wheelchair for woalks and loves to go swimming in the lakes and rivers nearby)
we may also do any of the following at any time:
brew some batches of our craft beer
start to restore our old wooden river cruiser boat
mechanics, car engine maintenance and repair
house/ recording studio decoration
At home we try to live a simple low-impact, low-cost countryside life and you shouldn't expect "luxury" but you have all that's needed, however we'd only like to have workaways who can live a rural and old fashioned type of existence. If you don't think outdoor loos and outdoor showers are for you, PLEASE don't apply!
We work in the creative arts, we have a band, and I am also a one-man-band in the traditional, drum kit on the back and playing multiple instruments together, sense as well as music producer, songwriter, singer and general odd job type person. Gaia graduated in Indian languages and she is a street performer.
We run a number of music based projects from here mainly based upon intercultural collaboration and we have a small recording studio here where we bring together musicians from around the world. We are trying to develop our lives as independently as possible. We run an association for the diffusion of cultural and artistic activities, and we have musical activities developing all the time.
We live as simply as we can, (and we rarely have any money so it's a low budget lifestyle by necessity as well as choice!), we're miles from supermarkets so we go maybe once every 6 weeks to stock up on essentials - i.e. what we can't make, grow or buy from local markets. We make cider & beer, mozzarella (with plans for other cheeses), bake bread and so on. we eat everything as long as it's local, non GM and preferably organic, that doesn't mean we can't cater for vegetarians & vegans but we do eat meat that either comes from local farms or from our back yard! We don't have much land but we do want to maximise it.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
The area is full of people living alternative lifestyles and most are very open and willing to share ideas and skills. You will discover the region and it's laid back, nature based way of living.
Small holding, permaculture and animal husbandry (on a small scale), various areas of self sufficiency, boat restoration, beer brewing, making cheese, italian traditional cooking, traditional music.
We are looking for help with a few outdoor projects right now.
We have an old romany caravan that we use as guest bedroom, but it's getting a bit run down so we want to give it an overhaul, as well as the accompanying bathroom/kitchen caravan which is an old 1980's thing that we'd like to smarten up. So if you're good with a bit of carpentry, DIY, decoration and have a good eye, maybe this is for you?
We're also planning to build some decking in the garden ASAP.
we need help with our vegetable patch, we try and grow it a little each year, we're learning as we go and are far from being experts, but love to share knowledge, ideas and methods. Apart from the veggie patch we have quite a lot of standard gardening to do.
We'd hope to spend 2 hours in the morning and two in the afternoon working all together per day, we'll have lunch together most days (if you want!), the rest of the time is your own, We'll provide all the essentials for you to have breakfast and dinner in your own space, though depending on certain factors (school days, tiredness, concerts etc) we can spend some evenings together too!
We'll give you a bike to get around, from the village it's easy to get by bike or foot to Montbrun Bocage, where we are involved in the running of a really unique cultural café and associative venue where we put on concerts and a number of other events. We also have an old runabout car that can sometimes be available if you have a valid drivers license.
The area is full of colourful markets, music, street theatre, fetes and other gatherings practically all the time. It's a very special part of the world and feels much like stepping back in time. We have a strong international community, everybody knows everybody and you will make a lot of new friends staying here!
English, italian, french, Spanish
Traditional 19th century style round top gyspy wagon or Vardo, Composting loo, Outdoor solar shower
We play concerts most weekends, either in small venues around the hills, these can vary from little bars, garden parties, to larger more established venues, we also go to Toulouse to play fairly often, so you can always join us for evenings at these places. Alternatively there is a lot going on in the local area, fetes, concerts at a cafe, organised cycle expeditions every thursday. There is Carla Bayle, a beautiful hill top village full of art galleries and large outdoor concerts every thursday in the summer, Montbrun Bocage, the best, most vibrant and alternative little market in France, maybe the world every sunday. It's easy to hitch hike to Toulouse or Foix, where there's the castle and little ancient streets to get lost in, skiing is an hour away, there's plenty of hiking and hill walking nearby, some good restaurants and canteens for eating out, cheaply, or luxuriously! and plenty more!
There are places for rock climbing, great cycling routes, mountain hiking and skiing very close, paragliding sites and much much more....
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
variable max 25 hours a week