My home is on the edge of a lovely Cotswold town, with a park/meadow a couple of minutes walk from the front door. There is a VERY small garden (but lovely south-facing terrace) with the house. I've made some changes but still inevitably have DIY and garden projects on the list.... and the house is in need of a lick of paint inside and out!
We also have two half-allotments a three minute walk from the house, and there is always something to do to keep those ticking over. We have a shed, a greenhouse, soft fruit, three raised beds, and more bindweed & couch grass than I'd like. ;)
I speak rapidly rusting intermediate Spanish, my 18 year old son is a native Spanish speaker. We're only too happy to welcome Spanish speakers.
Main issue will be that I work really difficult shifts so can't be with the helpers anywhere near as much as I'd like. I welcomed lots of volunteers at our previous home in Spain and fully understand it's all about interchange of cultures as well as a healthy sharing of hours doing tasks - preferably together but as I said, this is not so easy for me here in the UK. Subject to college, though, my son is usually willing to help with hosting & obviously to join in convivial evening meals!
Ours isn't likely to be a really long stay project, but somewhere for people to visit for a week or two depending on the weather, help us on our way and meanwhile enjoy what the Cotswolds have to offer with our home as your base. Or just spend time with us - whichever.
oh … and if visitors like dogs, our dogs will LOVE your input with extra walkies ;)
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We are happy to communicate in Spanish or English and love actually discussing language, cultural differences and similarities, national characteristics whether humour or whatever.......... and I don't think it's about what the travellers would learn but about what we'd all learn.
If pushed, I suppose they'd learn just how many stones there can be in Cotswold soil!!
I'm happy to help alongside volunteers or leave them alone after basic explanations - really just want everyone to get along happily. All progress is good progress in my book!
Our projects are a mix of DIY work/painting, and lots of weeding in the garden and on the allotments. I'm quite flexible and easy-going providing both sides agree at the outset what needs doing that day, and often the weather decides that. I like people to be doing tasks they enjoy, so a list of different projects is always available, and if things gradually get marked off the list that's the main thing ... along with clearing up after yourself, of course !!
The usual 4 or 5 hours a day: very likely less; is fine providing you're also prepared to step in with domestic stuff like tidying up as we go along, washing up/unloading dishwasher, that kind of thing -preferably without needing to be reminded! And if there's any kind of emergency or something needs doing urgently outside your 'helping hours' well we'd hope you'd step in. It's worth saying that though most people think of the weekend as free time, I usually have Sunday and Monday off so we'd rather work on five days out of seven, mutually agreed and not necessarily at the weekends. That way we all get the help and time off we really need. Everyone needs advice and reassurance, but if you've a practical attitude & preferably some experience with the basics, particularly when it comes to DIY & gardening, that'll help!
Oh - breakfast and lunch I usually can't be there for, although I'll co-work whenever possible; but I think it's important to share an evening meal, maybe a glass of something, and a good chat or game of cards or whatever. It's not all about the work.
This host offers a language exchange
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There is one free double bedroom in our house, the bathroom would be shared with my son. The house is within walking distance of a fast-food outlet, two supermarkets, a steak restaurant/pub and another pub - and in fact it only takes about 20 minutes or so to walk into town. Other than that there are bus stops within a 10 minute walk.
I would expect to cater for you in the evening, but breakfast would be up to you to organise (from our cupboards if we've got the kind of thing you like!) on days you're helping. And I would expect we would all eat together - dinner tables are the best place to get to know each other! Of course if you're a whizz at cooking I'm not going to say no............
I work shifts so unfortunately would probably have to ask visitors to help even when I'm out - once we've all thoroughly understood what needs doing, of course. I'm more than happy to give lifts in the local area on time off ... it's all about give and take.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have fibre internet/wifi, and although my 19 year old still sometimes complains I think it's pretty fast. The dining room table is our customary laptop space but there's wifi throughout the house so in your bedroom would be ok if you needed to concentrate!
Maximum 4-5 hours, 5 days a week