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Hi, My name is Karl and I live here in Ballater with my girlfriend, Bess.
I'm a fully trained carpenter with over 15 years experience in the building trade. I have recently stopped working on other peoples projects for a simple way of life. I have given up setting alarms in the morning and instead wake up with the sun if my body is ready to, I like the idea of working with the daylight and seasons. After creating a holiday let business out of the house I built for myself a number of years ago, I live in my old camper for over a 2 years and feel its time to use the skills i have developed to build my very own tiny house. I would like this to be a fun project and not just about getting it finished quickly. There are also lots of other projects that I'm looking for help with, so it will depend on when you come as to what we will be working on at the time, these all center around a old barn (its refered to as a steading in scottish) which I live beside (putting up a polytunnel, Greenhouse, maintaining the garden, it is big!, building shelves, van conversion, and general improvements around the property).
In my spare time i enjoy cycling, rock climbing, kayaking and have recently got into photography, yoga and Wim Hoff, going to the river 5 days for a quick breathing exercise and a dip :P . Im 35 and Bess is 29. I would describe myself as passionate, driven, soft, caring, cheeky and understanding, I can also be a little stubborn at times. Feel free to email me and ask anything you would like to know.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
I have traveled on and off in my 20s and love meeting new people and exstrang stories and experiences. Some of my highlights have to be volunteering in the Philippines, driving the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam on a old moped and down hill mountain biking in Whistler Canada. I'm open minded and do love deep conversions from time to time, thats not to say that every conversion has to be deep. Unfortunately my langues skills are basic, i only speak English tho i would love to be able to learn a new language. however when it comes to building i will be able to teach you lots and lots. I also love talking about life. Your likely get to know and be welcomed into my family, my brother and my retired parents live just along the road. I have had one previous Workawayer stay but not throw this website, He was walking past when i was building a composing toilet we got chatting and he ended up coming back a few weeks latter and stayed 2months. He also joined us for part of our family holiday in Spain at the start of this year, with his new girlfriend. (Just shows me i never know whats goin to happen in life)
We have had workawayers since May 2020 and have a great time, we have had over 17 people stay with us and each have their own experience. We will normally have between 3/5 people stay with us, (preferably) for a minimum of 4 weeks which creates a little community.
We each take it in turns to cook, and do the washing up and keeping the communal areas clean and tidy, so if there are 6 people here then it would be 1 in 6 days. We do eat plant based and try to keep our food pantry stocked with as much exciting ingredients as possible, and of course keeping a good supply of crumpets and personal requests.
The days are structured, where we currently start at 730 and finish at 1, this gives people the opportunity to have the afternoon to themselves especially as the daylight is limited.
Currently as I'm writing this the jobs that are in progress are: Building an outside shower, running cables for plugs in the steading, chainsawing wood, SEO, social media campaigns, building a 30m fence, building a kitchen worktop. Recent projects have been building desks from scaffold battens, designing and painting a cottage, laying laminate flooring in a caravan, digging trenches for water runaways.
In springtime the garden will be needing some love and lots of attention :)
We are looking for people who have intermediate DIY skills, digital marketing, foraging, wood working, who take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves, and who are self motivated and do not need constant supervision
We are very happy for people to use our bikes etc as long as they are treated with respect and put back clean and dry after use.
There are 2 caravans which we prioritise couples for, if anyone single is really wanting to stay then we have a van conversion in the making (insulated, electric) and the tiny house possible.
Outside the van there is a deck made from pallets and a covered area (built from reclaimed material by a hitchhiker i met) with a sofa, another log burner, Nepalese prayer flags and some funkier colored string lights. this is lovely to sit under when it's snowing or just chilling listening to the birds. There is also a washing machine, composting toilet and best of all a outdoor bath! Which is lovely to look at the stars in.
Food...I will happily provide food for breakfast lunch and dinner. I changed to a plant based diet a few years ago and feel great for it, i don't expect you to change your diet. We take it in turns to cook and do the washing up, and feels this works really well for us. Don't worry as long as you can follow a recipe we will do fine, i have a load of recipe books. You might want to occasionally by yourself some extra snacks, though there will always be tea, coffee, bread, butter and (alternative) milks
If you like the outdoors your in the right place, Ballater is located in the Cairngorms national park witch has some stunning scenery, I have a mountain bike and two river kayaks you can use to explore. There is also loads of nice walks/hikes near by (try googling Loch Muick, lochnagar and look at the images) If you like wild camping then why not think about walking the Lairig Ghru where you could camp along the way or even stay in one of scotland Bothys these are free to use. There is a bus that runs past in both directions up to Braemar past Balmoral Castle( the queens holiday house) or into Aberdeen if you fancy checking out a city on your days off or going to the beach. If you fancy something i bit more relaxing you could spend the afternoon at are local whiskey distillery this is about 5 miles away and called Royal Lochnagar. Last of a all a great day trip if like me you have a interest in exploring your spiritual side or even Eco friendly living and building a trip up to Findhorn foundation is a must, this is about an hr and half away. I should also say that Edinburgh is a great weekend/short break its 2 and a half hrs by car.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
we use mobile hotspots currently
motorhome size - we've got some space
Happy to have pets - however there is not a fence/gate to the main road, we sometimes look after Karls parents dog
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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