Help us out around the house and garden in Niort, France



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  • Description


    Hi, we are Patricia and Aidan, are in our 50s with two adult children who will be away most of the time. We are from Ireland and live and work in France. We are restoring a house so need lots of help - a jack of all trades! We live in a beautiful village called Coulon which is in national heritage site called the Marais Poitevin, 45 minutes inland from La Rochelle., This area consists of a network of navigable canals and 45kms of cycling and walking paths - it is very pretty, a gem for nature lovers. Also, we have three cats, two rescued cockerels and two rescued dogs; a huge gentle pyrénéen mountain dog called Marius and a new dog, Snoopy, who is half Newfoundland and half Collie (our little dog recently died, he was 18 and a half!) - so you really would have to love animals! We are all vegan so no animal products in the house, no chemicals and my spider's stay where they are!

    We are very easy-going. Aidan works from home and I used to teach English but at the moment I am looking after my Mum. I spend the rest of the time looking after the animals, house and garden and I can't manage to do it all! Our daughter is a 'workawayer' so we though we would try it too.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Elderly Companion
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We can help you with your French and/or English and introduce you to French culture. Also, we spend a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food, with emphasise on produce from the local market. The local village has a museum on this special area and there are lots of festivals. We can lend you a bike so that you can discover the area by land or organise a traditional flat-bottomed boat and enjoy exploring the Marais' waterways.

  • Help


    Basically, everything around the house, in and out. Gardening, weeding, mowing the lawn, helping with the dogs. We are also making a fence from the bamboo growing in the garden so help with that would be good. The wooden swimming pool needs to be treated. The shed needs clearing out and painted as does a cellar so lots of trips to the dump. We are very friendly and relaxed so don't expect you to help more than 3 or 4 hours a day, 4 days a week max (unless you want to do more!!).

    We would, of course, expect you to help tidy and cook and do all the usual things for day to day living.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French, some Spanish

  • Accommodation


    Your own room with either a double bed or two singles but shared bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The town of Niort, 10kms from Coulon, is very interesting with its dungeon and wonderful market. It also has a train station that goes directly to Paris or La Rochelle. And there is a bus between Niort and the house in Coulon - the bus stops outside. You can rent a flat bottomed boat and travel through the extensive net-work of canals in this protected area or get on your bike or hiking boots and explore the 45kms of cycle paths. This area has a micro climate so is quite sunny and we like nothing more than sitting chatting in the evening sunshine with a nice cruelty free dinner and glass of wine.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 3 or 4 hours a day, 4 days a week

Marius delighted to meet his new friend.
Our new dog, Snoopy, cheekily snoozing on the couch
Marius and friends in Puppy School
Brother and Sister
Marius likes a good hug!
The four of us in Versailles. Freezing!
Our poor old dog, Porridge, died recently (here with his best friend Mel). He was 18 and a half!
Myself, Aidan and Adam in Bruges

Host ref number: 961653951492