Help me out with some small building and garden projects in Meerbeke, Belgium



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    within 26 days


 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hello, My name is Evelien.

    I have been a freelancer in the arts (scenography) and have been traveling a lot in the last years (England, Morocco, Cambodia, France, Germany). Since last year I have returned to Belgium, sold my Brussels City-appartment and now since october I am back for the first time in my hometown, renting a super lovely house in a small co-housing ancient estate in the midst of the fields (4 neighbors in one estate, all separate houses and one communal courtyard entree garden; some of us have our own private garden, small and big, as well on top). Other neighbors are cute white and brown furry cows and horses. It's super lovely here and I am completely in love with this place.

    When i was 16 to 18 me and my friends (with our horses) we came to this estate (in the other part of the house and gardens) to take horse riding lessons. The teacher was a crazy old Dutch lady, allowed us to hang around as much as we wanted, helping around a bit in the stables, enjoying the sun on the terrace a whole afternoon, using the space with our horses if we wanted. I know these fields as my home and roaming around here is like walking through time and space: often we have been dreaming one day we would ride in the green grasses of the American Outback.
    Unfortunately, earlier last year, my horse (who was enjoying her pension at a friends house with her friend horses) has past away, just before I moved in here; so I wasn't able to move her to stay with me for her last years. Maybe she thought the good old same grass field was good enough, and sticking to her friend horses :D

    I love having the time again for my family who all live here in 5km range, and I've chosen to pick up a full time helpdesk job online from home to be as much at home as possible and to prepare and fund my life before my own future project is really going. No traffic to work and all the time around the house :D I'm looking forward to get the house fully organized so I can start my own personal project asap (textile related)

    Why am I looking for some extra help?
    I've arrived here as an independent woman and although normally that would be my dream, I confront myself here with some helplessness and a shortage of time and I would love to have some extra (and experienced!) hands with the garden and the house. And I need to get a bit out of my own head, as I've found it strange to not be in my full force. Seeing things evolve would be so good. I do need people who simply know how to successfully build a strong cupboard, or a fence; and be strong enough handle it in a healthy way. I have a lower back issue since the beginning of this year, and I've been a bit immobilized by this. Normally I just start and things get going, but now that's different...

    I'm looking for 1 or 2 handy-(wo)man who have experience with wooden house construction (tiny house) and gardening.

    No couples allowed: never liked living with couples... sorry guys :D
    2 friends is no problem; male, female... no discrimination there.

    What's the day look like?

    Waking up around 6 or 7 is what I do. Usually I clean one room every morning for about 0,5 hour of 1h (it's quite zen and if you want to spend some extra detailled organizing it doesn't exhaust you) and then take a walk for another 1h or 1,5.

    I work (my schedule now is 12h-20h with some short breaks) in a separate room on the first floor and this could be OR your free time OR you'd be working at that time around the house.
    In the mornings I'd love to take a walk in the fields, do some shopping, visit my grandmother, doing some things around the house... and I love to get my breakfast in the sun, with time on my hands, some news paper, some chit chat, some mail, and the day ahead of me. Would be great to share some breakfast time and roaming in the fields around the house.
    & I love cooking too...

    Digital nomads: are welcome but it might depend on what you do if it would be a good idea for you to stay at my place: schedules for internet need to be adjusted to this, because they should be different (I want to avoid any cause of a weakened internet connection since I have a strict schedule from 12h to 20h). The programs I work with ar very heavy and need to load without fault: I work with 8 programs at the same time...

    And off course I'd like to avoid a completely separate life for me and the work away-er(s). I love to be on my own in the house, or in unison, in a fluid, flexible, & shared rhythm.

    What help do I need?

    Ideally 1 same team or person(s) who could stay for 2 or 3 months to finish the garden and the cottage ::
    Maximum 3 shifts of different workawayers for this project.
    5hours a day, 5 days a week. Accommodation and meals included (veggie)

    What I love about workaway, is that is help, but it's not work: you can, depending on the day, ask for re-schedules, have a late morning, muse around about an idea you have... there is a spontaneity and freedom in volunteering that I like so much: it's nice when people get the time to roam around, pick up ideas, follow a bird if they want to have a closer look; stare at the sunset for half an hour, find inspiration for themselves and in what they do.

    Most importantly I'd love to create a small cottage in the garden that would be a perfect cosy home for future work-awayers - as I'm planning on making it a regular habit.

    There's a garden house already, but it used to host goats... maybe it can be adjusted to do the task (it's been non stop ventilated already). Install some lights on the exterior of the house... A concrete outside working place that needs a transparant roof and needs to be a little higher.

    My Garden needs to be fully re-organized, and in the house I would love to install a wooden cupboard-wall hand made in the kitchen.
    A terrace would need to be installed, a wooden fence around my outdoor gas-kettle; little stones need to be re-organized and other things: some painting of chairs... Fencing, weeding, cleaning, planting, etc.. creating a small pond... It's a 40x40m garden (with a great view) so it's not the end of the world to handle... but it's the challenge all right.

    My attic should be cleaned / treated for wood-insects and well-prepared to install my atelier (felting is the first project - already have 200kg of wool waiting to be felted!), and also the basement needs some serious treatment as there's water coming in and rats seem to find their way there :D Organizing the house technically, upgrading the light-installation...

    The Happy Helper(s) would also need to score some proposals for new assets, online or in the shops.. as eco-friendly as possible and smart budgeted..

    And be happy to join in the cleaning and maintenance of the house (although I try to do that in the mornings, first a walk and then clean one room - there's something meditative about it :D - we can all join in, if you can find your zen there too) - keeping it tidy: the breeze of the day that passes by is lively but I don't like a stockage of stuff...

    I have experienced the last years that a good morning ritual makes the rest of the day, and it's great to hear the birds wake up and hear their singing, and peeping a breakfast table when the song is all up in the air.

    Make the house ready for the holiday season (which I adore) and next spring and summer (Garden parties!) . Get the garden ready for some ducks and chickens... remake some fences...

    I'd Love to get a cat (very soon) and a dog (as soon as I've got time for his/her training classes) Maybe some more farm animals afterwards (gambe even a small pony, roaming freely in the garden). I want to enjoy this place as much as possible and it would be great to have this place fully up&about done with the help of others as a shared accomplishment and adventure. I've also been occasionally traveling with Work Away myself in the last years (camel desert tours, surfing hostels, yoga retreats, mountain artist residency) and I'm looking forward to share this experience as a host now.

    So a Happy Helper Needed for doing a good job, and a friendly and cheerful guest I can treat well in good kinship and who's independent enough! I Hope to become good friends with however arrives at my doorstep.

    About the room: it's a big room for the guests, 4x3m; 2 beds are there and a cupboard. (picture of the bed and the view on the communal garden is the guest room's)
    My room (and office) has an only door that enters this guest room, but in the same corner in the opposite wall is the door to the hall.
    I'll be quiet :D off course, and there will be a woven screen to secure your privacy.

    But would be super to have the whole house live a bit in the same rhythm, going out and about. There are glass doors and I'm putting up some curtains there too.

    One room will be private for the guest, rest of the house is shared.

    In the middle of fields and the Breughel countryside of Belgium! Walking, hiking, biking: I live in the town where the Tour of Flanders Cycling event had it's finale, and the area is very filled with walking, hiking, biking routes.
    Forest closeby: half an hour walk. or half an hour biking to the second one.
    Denderwindeke centre is very close: shops and banks closeby on a 5min bike ride.
    a 15min bike ride to the river Dender, that you can follow all the way taking the small bike riding path next to it, or hire a kayak. I'd love to get my own blow-up kayak for the summer...

    I try to live as eco-responsible as possible, picking and plotting my vegetables from an open-garden closeby (we can all go and do that together) and getting by with other supplies. I'd love to quit smoking, haven't done that yet...

    I only smoke outside!! No smoking inside the house accepted! No pot either, no drugs, no alcoholism, none of that at all. Healthy people for sure; but I do enjoy some good food, wine and dine. being a good cook would be a plus, enjoying table time even more... I'd love to learn more about vegetable pies and oven dishes... We can dive into cooking books and sites together as well...

    But being happy and seriously hands-on at doing the tasks is the most important thing to me.
    Ideally some carpenter/gardener/all round handy person who's taking of a time to do some traveling and volunteering in exchange for accommodation and some food (veggie is served for the 3 meals; if you eat meat you should buy this yourself, and allowed to prepare this in the kitchen!)

    Movement, music and being around the house, garden, in the fields is what makes me happy. And I'm cycling when I can on my Elliptigo Stand-up Bike, getting in Back-pain-free shape.

    I love yoga need to keep up this more.
    If you know how to play the guitar, then you could teach me a little too (I quit that since I left my home town 20 years ago) I'd love to buy a decent piano 2nd hand and seriously start learning that... I play some classic radio's or cosy musics of all kind throughout the day when the feel is there.
    The neighbor is having some music tunes afternoons from time to time with local musicians in the shared garden, highly possible you could spend an afternoon joining in with him.

    But most important: being just hands-on and good at doing the job in a natural, comfortable and A HEALTHY WAY (watch your backs :D ) and friendly and respectful people, content to be here and a breeze to have around: be very welcome!! I'm very curious and interested, and keen on spending some shared time: we would be living in the same house and as I live here solo, other guests have my respect, care, curiosity and allegence. I expect the same in return.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travellers get to explore the countryside of Belgium, close to the Vlaamse Ardennen, Pajottenland, and the valley of river Dender. I am an open minded person, and love a good conversation. I like to get up early and take a walk. At night I tend to sleep not too late, and love a good meal with drink around the table for closures of the day. I've been traveling and been active in the arts, I love life... I guess I'm an independent person, I give space, or I allow you to move freely: I'd love to invite people who know to be just respectful and relax to have around. Would be great to have some more life in the house as well, as now with Corona all is a bit more silent then usual ... Corona-wise: obviously living together in a home has it's risk, so we need to get that test done before hand.

  • Help


    All written above. I am looking for a capable handyman/woman (or a set of 2 friends max / no couples! Never liked living with couples :D) who love to help, cheery, and in a good mood. A keen eye for finishing touches and details that make the whole complete, and that make you and me happy. I'm a big fan of decorating and creating myself (Ive been working for film and theatre in the art department), so I will be there with you. My vibe now is #wood chop / english cottage / Enola Holmes (netflix series) # Indoor and outdoor work!
    Small homestead in need of some extra hands to get things going in times where the woman of the house has been limited by an artritis back - it's been recently fully renovated, all white and clean and properly installed; just the garden is quite messy, and the indoor decorating can be improved. A fireplace outsider is my goal, a glass house living room in the garden.... If you have a van, be sure to mention it. So I can organize your stay and the thing-around-the house you'd be working on; since I need to move or pick up some things...

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate
    German: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    Love to get better in German as I have a small knowledge (from holidays since a baby) but I haven't had some serious spending time learning it

  • Accommodation


    The house is recently renovated and has one extra room with a great view free for a happy helper. If you have a campervan, there's room for you to park it on the spot. Water is there, electricity is outside present too. you just need your specific cable.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Public transport is closeby. (bus, train) Super for hikers, mountainbikers, runners... Half an hour walk through the fields to a forest. Located at the outskirts of a small town and village, it's an old Land House in the middle of the fields: with the open fields ahead of you. Halle is an hour bike, Brussels is 2h bike.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Hi, I myself am working from home, (in a room upstairs on the first floor - so the rest of the house is free) and since I need 8h a day a superbly running connection myself, I'm fully equipped with internet. We might want to get a second long cable and install a second 'office space' in the house, BUT with a different schedule (I simply cannot have a doubtable internet connection so I prefer to cancel possible causes) Working from home has always been without any troubles or a weakness in the line.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    No problem - parking available - outside water tap and electricity point available.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    A pet would be fine but he would need to be clean. Sleeping would be downstairs in the hall (preferably) of if the pet can't stand to be alone: in your room. Some extra care for the furry litter will be expected

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 816552668575