My husband (Keith) and I (Helen ... Aitch) have lived permanently in France since September 2004. We live in an 'ex dairy farm' house and have over a hectare of land including a little woodland that runs down to the river. The house has a history dating back to the Revolution in the late 1700's and is in the heart of rural Normandy. Most of the land is used for our pet animals (mostly rescued), 4 sheep, 2 geese, 5 ducks, 2 donkeys and 13 chickens. We have tortoise, 4 house dogs, 2 'garage' cats, 3 outside cats. I am vegetarian, my husband is being a vegetarian for 2019 ... new years resolution that he promised me he would try. Keith is the chef de cruisine and he has no problem with cooking meat dishes. We teach English to foreign students during the school holidays ... ages have ranged from 11 to 60. The students can stay with us for a couple of days or as long as 6 weeks. I am interested in art (and have a studio), photography, animals, nature. My husband shares my interest in nature and animals and also plays badminton. There are lots of sights of interest to visit and we are about 3/4 hour from the beautiful beaches near Granville. We are also close to WWII 'beaches' and other WWII sites of interest, Mont St. Michel, Fosse Arthur, Domfront (Medieval Castle), Nature Park at St. Hilaire du Harcouet and throughout the year (particularly July & August) there are music festivals and gigs to be enjoyed. We are on the borders of Brittany and Pays de la Loire. We have WiFi, Wii, Playstation, Pool table, Table Tennis, a Gym (with treadmill, rowing machine, multi-gym and more), English and French TV. The bedroom can either be a single or twin and it has it's own separate shower/toilet/wash-hand basin. There is a golf course nearby, fishing, horse riding along the golden beaches overlooking Mont St. Michel, Karting at Mortain, Multi Swimming Pool at Vire, (or a nearer basic pool at St. Hilaire du Harcouet). We also go regularly to a local Cinema that shows an English film on a monthly basis.
Keith and I do a lot of charity work, helping people and animal organisations. We enjoy board games and sitting round the dinner table talking and debating a variety of subjects. We ask for our guests to work 4 or 5 hours a day ... not necessarily all at once, we take breaks for a cuppa ... that way the work isn't too arduous. At the moment we have loads of wood that needs cutting up for winter so that would be the primary job if you were to come and stay with us. We have all manner of chain-saws, circular saws etc. and protective clothing to make with this job not too arduous. We have a wood barn too, to work in.
Help in the house
We live in an amazing historic property (late 1700's) in the heart of rural France. The area is full of beautiful and interesting places to visit and we enjoy exploring the surroundings ... it would be nice to share the experiences with others.
I have a hedge worth of dog wood cuttings I need to plant in an area that needs a pick-axe.
I have brambles that need to be gone. So ... lots of work in the garden.
My husband needs help clearing outside and trimming trees.
We have a farm with almost 40 rescued animals, so it is difficult to actually say what is needed. We have to feed, water and muck out the animals on a daily basis. We have general maintenance of the house and barns. Each day is different and has it's own problems and solutions. It keeps us on our toes and is never boring.
Keith is the chef and he will provide 3 good meals a day with plenty of tea breaks for a good days work. :D
We are not overly demanding and would help with lifts to visit the sights.
We have a spare bedroom (can be a single or twin) with it's own separate shower/wash basin/toilet. We have French and English television (in different rooms), Wifi, Wii, PS3, pool table, table tennis, etc. I have an art studio. We have a very well equipped gym.
We also have enough space if you'd prefer to camp out in the woodland or if you'd like to bring a caravan or motor home.
We have recently acquired a small 'cabin' under an open barn, which is very basic (porta-loo for example) and the amenities are sparse but gives privacy and seclusion should you prefer. You'd have use of the house shower. Meals would be take with us but nights would be spent in the 'cabin' should you chose that option. This is available from the end of August and I will be posting pictures shortly.
We live in a beautiful part of Lower Normandy and are just on the borders of Brittany and Pays de la Loire. The beaches are about 1/2 hour away. The 2 local towns are both about 6 km. The nearest big city (CAEN) is approximately 90 minutes drive. Badminton, swimming, tennis are all available locally. There is a lovely 3 km 'round' walk from the house. If you are interested in recent history (WWII for example) you will find a lot of places of interest nearby and further afield. We love playing cards, board games etc. of an evening.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
25 hours maximum