2019 will be our ninth year of having Workawayers to help us, and we are hoping for another great time of meeting interesting people and having their help. We are Lin and Geoff, an early retired English couple who moved to France to renovate a derelict Longère 11 years ago.
We have developed a 3 bedroomed house from part of the building which we live in and a greater part of the rest of the house had been made into two self contained apartments which we rent as B&B/Gites accommodation. We also have a Workawayer bedroom and bathroom, so you have your own space.
The B&B's are busy all season from April until end September which keeps me fully occupied. Which means I don't have a lot of time to help Geoff in the very large garden we have.
Geoff grows dahlias in the summer which will need a lot of prep work (April) and to plant out around mid May and grow on for summer. The rest of the garden (6000m2 in total) is laid to grass with flower beds and lots of pots around the B&B areas and two rockeries, all of which needs constant tending, cutting and strimming. And as well we have a vegetable garden. Even in Autumn and early winter there are things to be done, so if you are a late traveller, that would also suit us for October, November.
None of the gardening help is difficult, it's just too time consuming for two people of a certain age! Also there is some help needed on the rest of the property, renovating and painting the exterior of parts of the house and its outbuildings. So anyone out there ready to do a bit of DIY (generally helping Geoff) but more especially gardening please contact us. The help would in the main be in the garden, and we never ask anyone to do what we cannot do ourselves, we just don't have the time to do it all in the summer months!
We have an 8yr old Border Collie called Freddie! He's adorable and very well socialised with both humans and other dogs. Loves his Frisbee and you can walk him whenever you like.
We both have a great sense of humour, essential to life. We love any music, especially blues. We are good entertainers and enjoy a large circle of friends.
Having had huge success with all our Workawayers for the past eight years we hope to continue that success this coming year. It is essential to have a good sense of humour as laughter plays an important role in our lives. We enjoy what we do and like to involve our Workawayers in our general day to day life, not just as work horses. You would live in with us as family. Never having had kids it's an insight into the younger generation.
Although the guidelines set by Workaway is a five hour day for 5 days we generally find our Workawayers are quite willing to work longer than that to get things finished or just to be helpful, so we can normally expect perhaps a 6 hr day generally speaking. Nothing is written in stone with us and we are very flexible.
There is Satellite TV in the house both English and French. There is TV in your room. We have internet wireless broadband, Wi-Fi, Skype.
We have public liability insurance, but expect you to have suitable holiday health insurance. We have, on occasion, been left to pay health treatment bills of WWs when they have not been insured.
We would love you to come and join us!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Our previous WWs have all told us that the WW experience is a fantastic way of travelling with all the learning processes that that brings. If you are other than British then you will benefit from the learning more of the English language, if you are British you can brush up on your French and interact with our French neighbours and friends.
If you have never done the tasks we ask you to do, it can be a good experience learning something new, especially if you have a house and garden of your own one day! Nothing is that difficult and if I can do it at nearly 70yrs old, so can you!
The pictures shown were all taken last summer.
The large garden is mainly laid to grass and half of it is terraced, which can only be dealt with by a strimmer and sit on mower. Three apple trees, two walnut, chestnut, two cherry. There is a vegetable garden on the lower level and a 4m x 12m poly-tunnel at the top of the terracing. These two areas are separated by a small stream. We also have soft fruit, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants and also rhubarb.
The small area to the side of the house is banked by a large rockery and small lawn and the stone drive constantly needs treating for weeds. Our raised pond is home to lots of fish, all different colours and sizes, about 40 in total.
The general garden help would be to keep it cut and tidy and weeded; the veg patch to be kept weed free and tidy as it is quite a feature for the guests. There is always rotivating, digging, weeding, cutting and strimming to be done, and the constant dead heading and watering of the garden patio pots, of which there are many.
I've given up on ever having a chicken coop!
We will also need help harvesting apples and blackberries for freezing and jam making. The rhubarb is also used for jams and delicious rhubarb crumbles.
We need this help from about March/April through till end October on a yearly basis.
English, French and some German
For one or two (double bed, but can supply a fold up bed) in a bedroom with own bathroom down a flight of stairs. There is English TV and WiFi. You would eat with us and share the cooking too if you wish! All expenses are paid by us except on your days off.
We are situated 1 hour drive from Caen, 1 and half hours from Le Havre, 2 hours from Cherbourg, in the Swiss Normande, Calvados country. The public transport system is limited here, but we are only a 15 minute drive from the nearest railway station (Flers), serving Paris in 2 hours. Caen is also good for picking people up arriving from where ever.
Our immediate village is St Germain du Crioult, 2km from Condé sur Noireau, the larger town, which you will see on the map.
Of course we would be willing to get the volunteers to places they may wish to visit on their days off.
We have bicycles for your use.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Max 25 hours with 2 days per person