Looking for someone who is enthusiastic and creative to come and join our exciting project in Southern Normandy, France

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France

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    Last activity

    12/10/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    *We are currently still isolating from COVID-19 due to a high risk member in our family. We would love to start hosting workawayers again, but we can only host people who are willing to isolate before they come to us. Thanks for your understanding :) ****

    We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic and creative to come and join our exciting project in Southern Normandy!

    We have a beautiful 6 bedroom house in 'Le Perche' in Normandy, with 3.5 acres of land. We have renovated most of the house (with the help of Workaway!) but there are still lots of 'finishing jobs' and lots to do in the garden and outbuildings. We have also got to the stage where some rooms need re-decorating. We have started work in 'La Petite Maison', which is a small gatehouse at the bottom of the drive. This will soon be used as a two bedroom Gite.

    Last summer was crazily busy and we even had 15 workawayers staying in the house at one point! But it was amazing and a lot of fun. We now have some workawayers coming back, we've even had some come back for their third or fourth workaway with us - it's so special and something we've loved about workaway - forming lasting friendships with people from all over the world.

    I am a doctor, but am currently taking a career break to get the house ready. My husband is in the army and is based in the UK at the moment, but he will come and join us for weekends when he can. We have a 5 year old daughter, called Viola, who is full of life and the happiest little person I know. She goes to school in the nearest town, so her French is better than mine - she already hates my English accent!

    We have a dog, called Aloysius (or shi-shi for short!), who is a German Shorthaired Pointer. He needs lots of exercise and loves joining people on runs or bike rides.... the faster the better! He's very very friendly and completely soft, so soft that our cats are the boss of him! We have two cats, Gustav and Beatrix, who are very friendly and will want to sleep in your room unless you keep the door closed!

    We have 13 chickens, 4 ducks and 2 pigs. The chickens and the ducks live in luxury in houses built by our lovely workawayers and roam about the grounds. The pigs are lots of fun and love a back scratch and a tummy tickle.

    The house itself is an old 'Maison de Maître' and was built in 1845. It is structurally sound, but just needed decorating. In one of the rooms, we found 'Bonne Année 1970' under the wallpaper - which shows how in need of updating it was! We live in a small village, but the nearest town is 5 mins drive away, where there is a supermarket, lots of shops, cafés and a few restaurants. The market on Saturdays is beautiful and bustling. Le Perche is a National park, known for it's beauty. The forests and countryside are second to none. Our village is very quiet (no shops or bars), so if you’re after somewhere with lots of nightlife, then we are probably not for you! However, if you love the countryside, a slower pace of life etc, then continue reading!

    We are 1.5 hours from Caen port. There is a train to Paris from L'Aigle (half an hour drive), which takes 1hr 15mins and there are lots of towns around us that are worth exploring. The battlefields of the Second World War are approx 1.5-2 hours away. Most workawayers use 'BlablaCar' to get to us, which seems to work well and is a cheap way to travel.

    We are looking for someone to join our family for a few weeks/months. We need some help with jobs in the house or the garden (3.5 acres of it!) and general help around the house (ie cleaning, cooking, help with the animals, perhaps watching Viola and walking the dog). In return, we offer a bedroom with a shared bathroom and all food/drink, including alcohol (although we only really drink alcohol at the weekends). We are an English family but will often speak French with friends in the village. Viola understands both English and French. My husband also speaks German and a bit of Spanish. We would be very happy to help you with your language.... be that English or French!

    We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative person, ready to join us for our project in the south of Normandy. Someone who is willing to 'muck in' and contribute to our home and family. We have had such a wonderful experience with all of our workawayers so far and look forward to meeting the next group!

    Please get in touch if you would like to know more information. We look forward to meeting you!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Language practice
    Art Projects
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Come and live with an English family in France! Be a part of an exciting new project and help get a business up and running. Learn about the history of Normandy, especially with regards to the Second World War. Explore the beautiful area of Le Perche. Improve your English or French and be part of a busy family.

  • Help

    Help

    Decorating and general help with renovating the house, especially looking for anyone with carpentry skills.
    Help with caring for the animals - feeding, entertaining, cleaning out.
    Our Drawing Room needs some attention - I would like to build a kitsch cocktail bar in it - somewhere fun to go after supper!
    Help with building some nesting boxes for the chickens
    Help in the garden - perhaps helping build another vegetable patch, compost, herb garden or bug hotel! Would love someone with an interest in trees as we have quite the forest! I would also like to create an orchard. We have not done any real work in the garden as yet, so anyone with an interest in garden design or landscaping would be very welcome.
    Walking our dog and help with feeding the animals
    Occasionally babysitting
    Household tasks eg cleaning and cooking, changing beds etc,

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Bedroom with shared bathroom... you might be asked to move bedrooms if we need to decorate the one you're in or if we have guests staying.

    Very occasionally we might ask you to share a room, but only if you’re comfortable to do this and it would be in our large ‘dormitory’ room, which has 6 double beds in it.

    We like to eat together as a family. I love to cook but it's always nice to have some help. You would be more than welcome to cook too and show us some of your cuisine. With previous workawayers, we have done a rota for lunch and suppers, which was great and a fun way of trying new foods.

    I am pretty easy going as a host but I do have one rule... no mobile phones/tablets at the table! Some of our best times during workaway have been meal times and this has only been possible, I believe, because people have been ‘present’.... call me a Granny if you will, but I won’t budge on this rule! 😊

    We are meat eaters, but not very often... perhaps once or twice a week. We have had lots of workawayers stay with us who have been vegetarian and we’re very happy to go totally veggie if you would rather.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We would be looking for 5hours work a day, 5 days a week, as a maximum.

    In your free time you can explore the local area or just relax in the house. It is preferable if you have your own car as we live in a small village with limited transport options, although I usually go to the main town once a day and can happily take you in if you need. We also have 3 bikes at the house, which you would be welcome to use.

    You can travel North to the coast (1.5 hour drive) to learn about the battles that took place on the Normandy beaches in the Second World War.

    We have had a fair few workawayers now and have absolutely loved having them to stay. The atmosphere in the house has been great, lots of laughter and the house has progressed hugely with their help.

    We are now absolutely positive that workaway is for us and are very keen to continue this wonderful experience.

  • 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

    We have plenty of space for a campervan to park in the grounds and have had a few workawayers stay who have come with vans. You'd still be welcome to stay in the house or we'd understand if you'd prefer more privacy in your own surroundings.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

A busy summer (2019)! People from the US, South Africa, South Korea, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Denmark and Ireland. What a blast!
Aloysius and Gustav posing around the fire pit
One of the bedrooms that the workawayers use
Cristina on her second workaway with us - she’s spent 10 weeks in total with us and she’s now well and truly part of our family. She’s hoping to come back next year too 😍
Our beautiful chicken coop! Lucky 🐓!
Viola on the parkour circuit about 20 mins drive from the house
Our beautiful kitchen is completely unrecognisable thanks to the hard work of our amazing workawayers.
The amazing Liv and Brenton from Australia x
Michael and Samantha (& their dog Annie) from the US having a well earned cider after picking lots of redcurrants!
Bastille Day celebration with workawayers and some French friends.
Aloysius posing on the stairs
Gustav enjoying the view on a misty morning.
The house in the snow, February 2018
The day we picked up the keys!
Viola and I at a lake, 10 mins drive from our house.

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Host ref number: 842263475699