I'm Jane and twelve years ago we bought a small house in a big empty field in the Pas De Calais region of northern France. 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, just last year we bought a huge 5 ton 1978 Mercedes camper van, that we call "The Pig", that's in need of serious restoration.
We speak two languages, English and French, but are also able to point, grunt and grin in as many other languages as you like.
Cooking / shopping
Help in 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 9 years. We play free gigs at a local bar and restaurant some weekends in Summer and Autumn so of course you're welcome to come too!
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 5:30 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 need weeders and diggers, as we are organising the garden into raised beds and have declared war on the nettles. 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.
The camper van needs help with the mechanics, the interior and helping us to find all the leaks! If it is watertight and running we may need house/duck/goose/chicken sitters for 3 or 4 weeks in 2021 so we can go on holiday!
We'd like some more murals or designs painting on our back wall
We have 1 bedroom which has a double bed. We have a second bedroom which doubles as the office but we can make a very comfortable bed or two in there too. These two bedrooms share a bathroom and toilet. We have our own en-suite.
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 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
More than two
4-5 hours per day 5 days per week
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