Hi, my name is Dorian I'm 53 years old, dual national, half french and half English. I teach Tai Chi Chuan 3 days a week in Toulouse, South West France, where I have been living for the past 28 years.
In march 2014 I acquired a house in the mountains, the previous owners called it a chalet... but it's not made of wood, it could also be called a "Grange" because they were originally used to keep animals and hay during the winter.
The house faces a local (mystical) mountain called the "Cagire" and is a 10 minute drive from the lovely mountain town called Aspet in the French Pyrenees. The nearest town with a train station is called Saint Gaudens situated 15 Km away from Aspet.
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The house is isolated and the local village is very quiet with only a few permanent residents, people staying would have the opportunity to connect with the surrounding nature and deepen their sense of place, just being here and letting go of the stimulus and distractions of our virtual world. No electricity, no internet or humming fridge, just the rustle of leaves and the odd dog barking across the valley...
Aspet is a five minute drive from my house, here there are 2 cafés, a resourcerie which is a wonderful place where you can give things for others or just pick up something you want for free, no money and no expectation to give back, they have mainly clothes but sometimes you get find something really cool ! Aspet is where I do my shopping and there is a typical french market there on Wednesday's and Saturdays.
Volunteers would be asked to help with clearing the land of brambles and the ferns that are taking over the main field, this involves using a petrol powered strimmer which is noisy but very efficient! Cutting back branches from overgrowing areas close to the house, collecting and moving wood for the fire, digging some holes to plant some fruit trees, cleaning the house, painting the shutters and some painting in the house. Plus any other suggestions you may have during your stay to create a harmonious and eco-friendly environment around the house.
The house has a big upstairs room with beautiful wooden roof which can be used as a dormitory-shared space to sleep and already has 7 mattresses, you can also camp outside on the land next to the house or lower down on the land in a sheltered area. The ground floor is a large communal room with cooking facilities, dining area with table that can seat up to 8 people when we hold courses, a big fire place and a wood burning stove.
I am happy to consider most types of request and will always answer your emails, however if you come to stay with me you need to be of the self sufficient type. I enjoy receiving guests, shopping and cooking and making you feel at home. It may happen that during your stay I have to leave the house for a day or two to teach in Toulouse, you would be welcome to stay at the house on your own or come with me and do some sight seeing in the pink city of Toulouse where there are some great places to see and a vibrant student ambiance.
The house has running water but no electricity or landline, therefore no fast internet access, which is a fun thing if you want to test your ability to be away from the "virtual world". The mobile G3 phone network does work and all my hosts have been able to use their mobile phones to access the internet, so you will not be totally cut off!. Most people tend to use Whatsapp when they stay with me which works well. The G3 signal is not really good enough to stream media or to Skype.
I am happy to cook to cater for most needs, i enjoy mediterranean food and also like spices, indian and north african cuisine. I am happy to cook vegetarian food. At certain times I might need to leave the house for the day to work, volunteers will be required to fend for them selves and do there own cooking, fear not ingredients will be provided.
There are many wonderful walks and places to explore in the local area, but you must also be aware that Aspet the nearest town with a café is 6 km away, which means an hour and a half away to walk. I have a mountain bike you are welcome to use. If you don't like the idea of being isolated in the mountains then this might not be the best location for you...
Please be aware that the house is located in a area that has many deer, they sometimes can be seen from the house when they graze in the field. Deer are unfortunately also the carriers a decease called Lyme which can be transmitted to humans via tick bites. If you come and stay with me during the summer months you must be careful when you walk and work outside to keep your legs covered when in long grass and ferny areas !
Acceso a Internet
Acceso a Internet limitado
Puede alojar familias
Más de dos
4 or 5 hours depending on the tasks we need to do
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