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Now based in an interesting historic property between Saint Gaudens and Aurignac in Haute-Garonne, Mary-Jo & Jonathan are a British couple who have travelled extensively for both business and pleasure.
Having escaped the rigors of corporate life, we find ourselves busier than ever with the refurbishment of a home which, in part, dates back to the 12th century, establishing wildlife friendly areas along with fruit, vegetable, herb and flower gardens based on organic principles and setting up new business ventures.
The house stands in the center of our land which extends to approximately 8 hectares and includes around 400m of frontage onto a small river. Although only 1.5km from a small village the closest local amenities are to be found in Saint Gaudens and Aurignac both of which are approximately 12km distant.
Outside of the work commitment, the property provides a haven of peace and solitude where our you can just slowdown and relax around the grounds or down by the river.
When with us you may have the opportunity to use a separate kitchen to prepare your own food but the preference is always for us to join together to prepare and eat meals. We are omnivores who are inspired by cuisines from around the world but are always open to new cuisines and culinary adventures.
We have an outdoor unheated pool which is for the use of guests staying in our Gite, however, if we do not have guests in the Gite the pool is available for your use, weather and your tolerance to low water temperatures permitting.
NB. Workaways will not be given any work tasks that are associated with the running of our small gite business.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We normally use our first language, English, around the home and will willing help anyone who wishes to develop their skills in this area.
As long term DIY'ers we have a variety of transferable skills including decorating, furniture upcycling / restoration, plumbing, vehicle maintenance and small construction works.
Having been brought up on a farm Jonathan has some inherent knowledge of gardening, agriculture, country crafts and wildlife which he has finally started dusting-off and putting to use.
Having worked and travelled extensively around the world we have knowledge of many regions and cultures especially southern and eastern Africa, Thailand and to a lesser degree, Nepal.
Mary-Jo is an intermediate level French speaker and would love to work with guests to mutually develop their language skills.
Mary-Jo is currently developing an online business providing tools for personal development and would be happy to share some of the principle with you.
In addition to the above you will be immersed into the culture of the surrounding area where you can visit places of interest, street markets, fetes and museums.
We a looking for assistance with a wide variety of tasks ranging from house work to gardening, DIY and small construction projects.
Specific work may include but not be limited to:
• Painting and decorating
• Preparing lofts and under-floor areas ready for insulating
• Establishing and maintaining gardens
• Undergrowth clearance
• Planting of trees and hedges
• Production of firewood
• Sewing (curtains)
• And with help with the day to day upkeep and cleaning of a large house.
Workaways who posses skills relating to the types of work detailed above and experience with power tools are very welcome however, the most important attributes are a willingness to learn and to try your hand at a multitude of different task along with and open cheerful nature and a 'can do' approach. Much of the work will be physically demanding so a good level of fitness would be advantageous.
During October and November of this year (2020) we have work where some carpentry skills would be particularly beneficial.
Although we have skills to transfer in some of these areas in other areas we may all be learning together.
It is expected that you'll work 5 hours a day for 5 days of the week , nominally 08.00 to 13.00 Monday to Friday but this will be flexible to accommodate your and our needs.
You will be have the sole use of a comfortable double or twin room either with ensuite facilities or a shared bathroom. Common areas (kitchen / dining, comfortable lounge) are shared with us.
As its a big rambling house with lots of outdoor space it is always possible to find somewhere to be quiet and alone if the batteries need to be recharged.
There is wifi available throughout the property and we have an extensive library of books including numerous volumes of travel literature.
As part of the cultural exchange aspect of workaway we feel that the ideal is that we all join together in the preparation, eating and clearing up of meals but there will be kitchen facilities available for your use if or when required.
Ideally we are looking for people who can bring some skills to help with the work we need to do and we feel that the situation would be ideally suited to couples BUT, anyone and everyone will be considered.
Although we will be working with you being able to work alone and on your own initiative will be a distinct advantage. You will need to supply your own work cloths for working both inside and outside including wet weather protection and working boots. Any specific safety equipment such as face masks, ear & eye protection, gloves etc will be provided by us.
We are in a very rural situation and having your own transport would be a distinct advantage although from time to time we may be available to transport you to the local towns or take you out to local places of interest.
There are a multitude of walks in the vicinity and the quite lanes and paths are ideal for cycling. We have a number of bicycles which you could use.
Further afield there are some wonderful walks in the Pyrenees which can be accessed by car within 1 hr and, if you desire a taste of Spanish culture or cuisine you can be in Spain in less than 90 minutes. For road cycling fans many of the Pyrenean passes that feature in the Tour de France are within easy striking distance.
In the surrounding area there are a number of historic sites ranging from prehistory through the Roman occupation up to the resistance and underground railroad (escape routes through the Pyrenees) of World War II.
Both Saint Gaudens and Aurignac are connected to the village by a bus service but the busses only run infrequently. From the railway station at Saint Gaudens there are frequent trains to Toulouse (1hr) and good connections into the broader French / European railway network.
Toulouse international airport is approximately 1hr away by car and 1.5+hrs by public transport.
Outside of the day to day running of the property our interests cover the history of the region, cycling, hiking, international travel & overlanding and photography.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have good wifi throughout the house with numerous locations where you could connect and work.
Unlimited parking on grass is available.
Probably no limitations however contact us first.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week