I'm Jane and in 2007 we bought a small house in a big empty field in the Pas De Calais region of northern France and moved here to live. I make and sell jam for a living. My husband Dave is a cabinet-maker and carpenter. We LOVE music. I sing, Dave plays guitar, (he has seven).
We have ducks, geese, three dogs, chickens, a huge poly-tunnel, several vegetable plots and fruit trees. We like to keep our land organic and are aiming for a permaculture way of gardening and living.
To add to the chaos, in 2018 we bought a huge 5 ton 1978 Mercedes camper van, that we call "The Pig", that was in need of serious restoration. We've done a lot, but are probably going to need help with some part of her body and soul.
We speak two languages, English and French, but are also able to point, grunt and grin in as many other languages as you like.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Come help us get our place in order, chill, eat good food and play music with us. If you'd like to learn to play the guitar Dave has been playing for decades and is an excellent teacher. I can help with singing. We have guitars, amps, P.A.s, mics, effects pedals . . . . yes too much I know. Oh and a piano that I can play two songs on, very badly, after owning it for 10 years.
Dave can help anyone wanting to learn woodworking and saw-milling skills.
I work at the market at Arras each Saturday. So if you don't mind getting up at 6:00 you can come and help, meet my friends and customers or just shop and browse and see some of the sights in Arras which is a beautiful and historic town.
We always need weeders and diggers, as we are organising the garden into raised beds and have declared war on the weeds. We need painters, cleaners and labourers as our kitchen needs dismantling re-installing, and the walls and doors re-painting.
Laying paths, concreting, fencing and building wooden structures are also on the list.
If anyone can cook and wants to take over the job then please do.
We have been renovating a 40 year old campervan which is now actually finished but we'd like some Celtic type designs painting on the sides.
This host offers a language exchange
Would like to learn Italian
We have 2 bedrooms, one of which has a double bed.
These two bedrooms share a bathroom with shower and toilet.
I am a good cook and we NEVER run out of jam! We have had vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-intolerant guests in the past so I am not afraid to try new recipes and cooking methods to accommodate everyone - but let us know in advance please or you may have to eat just lettuce for the first day.
Most of the meat, fruit and vegetables you eat will be home-grown or sourced locally from the markets.
We cycle a lot, (I cycle very slowly!), and we have two mountain bikes at your disposal. One of our favourites is to load up the van with bikes and a picnic and drive to St Valery which is a lovely seaside town in the Somme region and cycle from one tip of the bay of the Somme to the other which is beautiful, is on designated cycle paths and more importantly completely flat!
We are about 50 minutes drive from the coast with its long sandy beaches and you can come with us. We go when we have time. When the weather's hot its nice to lounge about on the patio reading, relaxing, whatever.
Its quiet here and we're very easy-going.
We live in the countryside about 15 minutes from the nearest small town. Frankly there is not a lot of entertainment but there is a cinema in town and a couple of bars and restaurants.
For anyone interested in the history of the two World Wars, this area is where a lot of the fighting took place and has many historical sites and monuments.
Paris is an hour away by train from Arras.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have plenty of space for anyone wanting to come in a van, but due to a bossy Jack Russel are unable to accept anyone who travels with a pet.
More than two
4-5 hours per day 5 days per week
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