House and garden maintenance in Midi Pyrenees, Southwest France



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    I currently need someone, or a couple, with knowledge of and experience in sanding, repairing (minor) and repainting shutters and window frames. I also need some gutter clearance done and removal of creepers from walls, eves, etc.

    I am 73, retired and live in a comfortable old house set in a hectare of garden with a swimming-pool in a small village in south-west France with spectacular views of the Pyrenees. I have one cat and run a 'soup kitchen' for some more vagabonds on the kitchen window-sill!

    I read a lot, like to write, follow all current affairs and also many different sports. I also love to learn about other countries and cultures and have travelled to many different parts of the world. I love cooking and am interested in food and wine of all kinds. I enjoy gardening but my arthritic hands limit me so I do need help in the garden.

    I live quietly but I am a naturally cheerful person, intend to stay that way and will welcome like-minded people! I do need my own time, space and privacy though, and will certainly respect yours. Although mentioned below, please note that I am a smoker so this is not a suitable place for anyone who is either allergic to smoke or strongly objects to smoking.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    For anyone wanting to experience "la France Profonde" with its sleepy villages, agricultural traditions and its emphasis on the importance of village communities, this area is perfect. I am also happy to help those who want to improve their English or French. My knowledge of both French and English cuisine is extensive and being a real "foodie" I am always happy to share it! I have also travelled extensively and can share whatever experiences I have had that may be useful to members of the workawayer community.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    There is always general maintenance tasks to do for which most tools are available. If they aren't available and I can't borrow them I won't expect you to do the task!

    I have a cleaner who works a limited number of hours a week and do not expect our Workawayers to do everyday household chores or cooking which I prefer to do, though some help with specific tasks is always appreciated. The garden is large and needs constant attention all year round. Carpentry experience would also come in handy!

    The chores are not 'routine' so I am happy for workawayers to make their own hours up to 25 per week. For example, if you want to pack 25 hours into 3 days (if the task allows it) and have the rest of the week off to go exploring etc., that is fine with me.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    Good-sized guest bedroom on the ground floor with one standard double and one single bed. The shower-room is not en-suite but is on the same floor and is for your personal use. It has a walk-in shower, basin and WC.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I cannot provide a car but do have two bicycles that workawayers are welcome to use and there is a lot of very pretty countryside around. I am happy to provide picnics for you on your days off!

    There is a regular bus service from the nearest town 5kms away (Maubourget) to Tarbes where there is an SNCF station and a bus terminal. While workawayers will obviously want to 'do their own thing' during their time off, i will also be happy, if time allows, to take them on the occasional excursion to places of interest. The Pyrénées are less than two hours away and good for hiking in summer and winter sports from mid-December to end of March. There is some public transport (bus) from Maubourget to the mountains.

    Both Tarbes and Pau have museums and historically interesting sites to visit. I am close to Spain, both the Spanish Pyrénées and the Atlantic coast. On the French side of the border, Biarritz and St Jean de Luz are easily accessible by train/bus.

    In summer workawayers are free to use the pool as much as they like. There are some golf-courses nearby and there are clubs available which they are welcome to borrow.

    For workawayers wanting to improve their French please note that in the village itself there is little opportunity for visitors to speak French as there are no shops, cafés etc. so little social life, although I can introduce them to neighbours etc., but very few of the villagers speak English. Maubourget, at 5kms away (downhill on the way there, uphill back if going by bike, but I am happy to play taxi especially if the weather is bad!) ), offers more scope for practising French.

    Please be aware that the village is quiet and relatively remote so this is not a placement for people who want entertainment or a lot of company during their off-hours. It is more suited to a couple who enjoy country living or single people who enjoy the same and also their own company! Obviously we will have meals together but not breakfast, although it will of course be provided - as light or substantial as you wish! I enjoy lively company and conversation, but not all day long and nor into the wee hours!

    I would normally agree to an initial stay of one or two weeks, with the possible option of a further week if the work is there and we are all happy in each other's company. This is not a suitable placement for people looking for long term stays.

    Please note that I am a smoker and smoking is permitted indoors except in bedrooms and during meals. Both smokers and non-smokers are welcome. I ask that ash-trays be regularly emptied and cleaned especially at night.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Plenty of space and shade. Outside a access to electricity/water.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Can be discussed, but no dogs that chase, or are unused to cats.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours per week

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (4.9)

Host ref number: 599949833358