We are a small family of two middle-aged professionals and we live in a large house (a wine masters house) in a small wine-growing village in the Languedoc in the South of France. From Easter 2020, we are looking for help around our home.
I was an English teacher, but am now retired. But I'm happy to teach English on an ad hoc basis.
Because of my job, we have always been obliged to speak English AND watch English TV all of the time so we are not therefore looking for someone who wishes to improve their French. The confidence to shop would be wonderful though.
My husband, Peter, is often working in the UK so he comes and goes!.
We have a barn cat! He's elderly and lives quietly, mostly in the garden, under the lavender bushes, in the summer.
Our house is well organised and both I and my husband are good cooks. We are happy, therefore, to teach some cooking skills. We have plenty of visitors and I am often catering to eat around the pool with friends. There are no major league renovations to do here, we just need help with cooking, cleaning and gardening. Although due to the death of my Mother, we have been away from our home in France for two years so there is plenty of catching-up work to do!
Non-smokers are essential as I am an asthmatic whose asthma is triggered by cigarette smoke. Therefore, we are not smokers.
The village here is small - about 500 residents - but we have some facilities including a chemist, supermarket, doctors, post office, etc. We also have a bus service to Carcassonne at one end and Narbonne at the other end. The countryside around is beautiful, surrounded as we are by vineyards and stunning scenery.
This is a large house with large gardens and a full-sized in-ground swimming pool. We also have full internet access
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
In this house, you are more likely to learn conversational English. As I was an English teacher before I retired, I'm happy to give a few lessons, if needed. So living here would give travellers the opportunity to become involved in both French and English culture.
From Spring 2017, I will be looking for 4 different types of people.
I need a carpenter to complete a couple of projects I have in mind. Nothing mega but they do require an experienced carpenter or joiner. The work includes putting up a small stud wall on the top floor of the house to divide the room into a bedroom with an integral bathroom - and putting up some sheets of insulated board on my kitchen ceiling.
We have decided to paint a lot of our furniture and make it more 'shabby chic'. This is not a commercial enterprise. This is just the modernisation of our existing furniture. We are happy to teach someone how to do this ... its not very hard work but it could be easier to do in the spring or late summer - it gets quite hot here during the summer.
This is a large house so I have a choice of bedrooms to offer, some with en suite bathrooms although it would depend on the number and type of Workawayers in the house before I could confirm which bedrooms were available.
You would be expected to eat with the family, en-famille. We eat fairly well and enjoy the odd glass of the delightful local red wine with our meals. We are social people and often have friends around and this village is blessed with an active series of fetes and social occasions.
We are happy to loan the volunteers bicycles, if they wish to get around the countryside and they are without their own transport. However, you will find life in the village quite sterile without your own transport. There is a bar/pizza restaurant newly opened in this village.
Ideally, we would prefer volunteers to stay with us for a minimum of four weeks.
We are sure there won't be more than 25 hours work each week - if that. So there will be plenty of time for seeing the countryside and travelling around. Our nearest railway station, which is connected to the main lines, is at Lezignan-Corbieres, some 7 kms from here. I'm always happy to take Workawayers to Lezignan railway station and collect them later in the day from the same station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours per day/5 days per week.