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My husband and I (English speaking Canadians) have recently inherited a large wooded property in the South West of France. It has been badly maintained for many years, and needs some TLC. We intend to create a bike lodge here, and are busy making three apartments in the big house. We need help with construction, carpentry, tiling, plumbing, electricity...you name it!
I am a visual artist and work in my studio making monumental welded steel sculptures, and my husband is a musician, and plays guitar among other musical instruments.
My husband Ross is an amazing construction worker and knows so much about what needs to be done, but there is so much to do for both of us that we definitely need some help! There is also so much work to be done on the property itself, from splitting firewood to hauling branches and landscaping. We also have two goats that need socialization skills!
Since we are trying to build a lodge that will house 12 people, we also need help maintaining a website presence on the internet. A worker helped us build a site but now we need to keep it alive. Both of us are luddites when it comes to computer stuff!
We would love to welcome you in our home, serve you some home cooked meals (with a focus on fresh veggies), lend you our bikes and give you some tips for exploring the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Coast (both destinations about an hour's drive away). We can give you jobs that suit your interests, then on your free time you can have fun in the beautiful Bearnaise countryside!
Help with Computers / internet
You will be able to explore Bearn in all its glory...sweet little villages, views of the Pyrenees...and you will be on the doorstep of the mountains and also the ocean. Use of our personal bikes can be arranged, and we can take you out to explore the quiet country roads around our home. You can eat some fresh veggies from our garden, and eat some famous duck from the South West if you like!
We are both artists, and you can join in on some creation here in a printmaking, painting, sculpture studio, or you can jam with Ross who is an accomplished musician. You can enjoy the novel company of Laird and Luna, our goats, and enjoy their company.
We have friends that are French natives and also some expat friends. You are welcome to join us for a pub night, or a get together at a party with our very social group. This way you can meet new people and have a fun time!
We really need someone who can use a chainsaw and who has carpentry skills, and also who can do plumbing, and is not afraid of power tools. Is that person you? We have grouting to be done on the tile floors, an Ikea kitchen that needs assembling, baseboards that need to be fitted and a whole bathroom toilet space that has to be removed and a new one added. Are you up for the challenge? Please contact us soon!
Eventually the house will have bikers from around the world come and enjoy a stay here. A small cabin in the woods needs to be finished and waterproofed, (you could possibly stay there if you want, in the summer only) and a couple of horse stalls are going to be transformed into washrooms and an old pigeon coop needs to be finished into a new bedroom. We could really use a plumber, an electrician, and a construction worker, and independent workers. Our two goats can be interacted with, both need some socialization.
We especially need people with general know how for general construction and renovation projects.
I can cook you some amazing meals! We can have fun.
English, French, a little Spanish, a wee bit of Hungarian
We can offer two bedrooms in the main house that is being renovated and there is a rustic cabin as well that is available in the summer. The house will be worked on so the living conditions will get better and better as time goes on...for now you will find the basics, but it's not luxurious. There is a fireplace which is nice and cozy, but the central heating does not work in the house yet. You will though have your own digs for the duration of your stay. We prefer that workers stay for a maximum of three weeks. The main house has a kitchen so breakfast and lunch is on your own, but dinners can be shared with me and my husband. In the evening we can have bonfires sometimes, and if you are musically inclined, a jam session here and there as well! We can have a great time!
On your time off you can catch a bus, train, ride share or drive to the Pyrenees Mountains for a glorious hike, or go to Spain for a day trip or weekend stay, or just pop over to the Atlantic Coast and visit surf spots or walk the dunes. There are some small villages nearby where you can buy bread and groceries, and see the sites. There is a sizable city about 30 minutes away by car where you can find anything you need. You can get there by bike, or you can catch local bus transport. For the artistically inclined, I can show you great spots to paint in nature, and am also an avid mushroom hunter and can show you some of my favorite spots. For the musically inclined, a variety of musical instruments are available and loads of musicians to play with. For those who are animal lovers, you can play with our two goats, Luna and Laird, who also like running, walking and hiking with us.
We like getting up and working by 9-10am, getting to work in the morning and then after lunch a bit more, then having some downtime and enjoying some kind of sport...running with the goats, biking, tennis, and paddle boarding are just a few. We wrap up the day with a bit more work some days, then enjoy a dinner, maybe a bonfire, some music, or just chill out time in the hammock.
In the winter, we do not really enjoy the hammocks so much....it is a bit wet here during the off season. Just a note that since everything is under renovation, the house you live in is not heated except for a wood fireplace. There are still sunny nice days through the winter months, but this November has proven to be cold and soggy.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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