We are Frances (from Scotland) and husband Dima (born in Russia). For over 20 very happy years we have lived in the Czech Republic in our house and orchard in the countryside not far from Prague. We are both visual artists and have traveled and worked together on various creative projects including video and film, puppetry and light installations. As well as working on our joint projects, Dima’s other keen interests are music and electronics. While Dima spends a lot of his time in our music studio Frances is the gardener in the family. We both love animals and have a cat, two dogs, chickens and last but not least, our three terrapins.
When we arrived in the Czech Republic, our house had been empty for some years, the garden was a jungle and the orchard very neglected. After some renovation we built new studios onto the main house so that we could invite friends and groups of artists to stay and work alongside us on creative projects when we were not traveling.
At home, whatever we are doing during the day we always get together at mealtimes and our kitchen is very much the heart of the home both for socializing and entertaining friends in the evening. We share the cooking; Frances doesn’t eat meat but Dima is an omnivore so between us we can cater for most people’s tastes.
Dima’s mother, who came to live with us to look after the house and animals when we were abroad working at concerts and summer festivals, is now bedridden and in poor health. We provide daily care for her which is why most of our work now is done from home. Because of these caring duties we would expect our workawayers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 - and of course we are both fully vaccinated too.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Although Dima’s first language is Russian and we both can speak Czech, the language of communication at home is English - so there will be lots of opportunities for you to improve your English language skills if you are not a fluent speaker and if you are learning Russian you will be able to have conversation with a native speaker.
If you like to cook, we are always eager to learn new dishes - and we’ll be happy to share our favourite family recipes with you too.
There are always things going on in the house, whether it is testing cameras, filming performance art, making videos, constructing puppets and masks or there are visiting musicians working in the recording studio. Particularly in the summer months, instead of spending the evening in the kitchen, we often end the day outside in the garden with a barbecue or sit round a fire outside - and of course you will be welcome to join the company if you wish. We always enjoy hearing travellers’ tales and learning about their experiences.
We are looking for people who are easygoing, friendly and helpful. It is very important that you enjoy working outdoors and like animals (our dogs need lots of love and attention and are always looking for people to take them for walks in the forest!)
Principally, Frances is looking for help in the garden - where there is always a lot to do whatever the season. Because she was ill, Frances was not able to grow any vegetables, keep the grass tidy and do general outdoor maintenance last year and our 2 year old border collie dog took this opportunity to use the garden and orchard as his own personal playground. Help needed could range from cutting the grass, weeding, clearing and planting to gathering the apples, digging, pruning old bushes and stacking wood. If you don’t know a useful plant from a weed, don’t worry, Frances will show you - and for anyone interested in D.IY. there are lots of things to do like helping to repair the fence around the vegetable garden and reorganising the garden tools.
We also hope that our workawayers will take an active part in the domestic activities of the household, participating in routine cleaning work when needed and it’s not possible to work outside.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
You will have your own private room (for one or two people) with a writing table and chair/s and your own bathroom (which occasionally we would ask you to share if we have a lot of guests staying). There is WiFi everywhere in the house.
Our house is at the edge of the village; the forest is five minutes from the front door and walking in the other direction into the centre of the village there are two supermarkets, post office, pharmacy and pubs. Prague is only an hour away by bus. Some buses go directly from the village to Prague but 3 kilometres away is our nearest town where there is a bus and train station with good transport links both to Prague and to other places.
On days when you are not working you can go off on your own to visit Prague or explore the countryside and we also will let you know about any exhibitions, concerts or events that we think you might find interesting. If you like we would be happy to share a day out with you going in the car to some of our favourite places in the countryside nearby - and which most tourists don’t know about!
If you are arriving in Prague by bus or train we can come and collect you in the car or we can pick you up from Prague airport which is only a 30 minute journey away.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have good Internet access all over the house.
This host can provide space for campervans.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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