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help exchange   Host 17423
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St Charles de Percy
All Year: April and September
Area (ha): 0.6
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 17423
Country: France

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Last Updated: July 9, 2018

We are a British couple who divide our time between the UK and our delightful home in Lower Normandy (Basse Normandie). We think the house (it`s really a fairly substantial cottage!) was originally built in 1837 as part of a farm, but it has been entirely reconstructed within the last few years - highly insulated, central heating etc. We are about 1 mile from the village proper and our nearest neighbours are fourteen or fifteen cows who munch their way through a next-door field. We are right in the middle of the Normandy battlegrounds of the Second World War and there`s a British Military Cemetary in the village. If you drive, it`s just under an hour to Bayeux, an hour and a half to Mont St Michel. Paris is a 2 1/2 hour train ride away from our local big town (Vire).

We are not taking enquiries at the moment, but in April 2019 we will need some help with the maintenance and development of the land and house. Diana wields a mean paintbrush and is Head Gardener, I (Kevin) am pretty handy around the place, and act as deputy-chief-assistant-under-gardener. But as you will see from the photo we are both now of somewhat mature years, so there are limits to what we can manage. Ideally you need to be willing to do gardening and household maintenance/DIY kinds of things the way we decide we want them. In April the big task will be painting the outside of the house. You can`t see it from the photos, but the garage and three sides of the house are wood-clad, and need painting from time to time - this is the major regular DIY job. Also there will be weeding (surprise) and tidying the whole garden area, just over 0.5 hectare. In September, the big job is trimming/pruning the hedges - not very high, but quite long. We have also planted about fifty small trees and they need taking care of. Not such a big job, but a trained horticulturalist would be perfect:-).

We are pretty flexible but would prefer someone who would stay at least a week. We would ask that you be willing to do up to five hours a day for five days in the week (or the equivalent depending on weather and local travel plans).

You`d have a bedroom in the house (at the right end in the photos), the beds can be used as twin or big double, we are told they are very good for sleeping! No en-suite, but there is a bathroom (with shower over bath) and a separate small-but-perfectly-formed shower/loo room. Breakfast tends to be catch-as-catch-can, Diana (head cook) *not* being a lark. Some days lunch will be the main meal, sometimes dinner will be. There`s usually one light meal - maybe soup or sandwiches, cheese and biscuits etc. The main meal may be meat or veg. based: we don`t eat a lot of red meat, but we aren`t vegetarians. We think we eat quite well, and there is always bread, cheese and fruit if you have a snack-attack. With meals, we have water, fruit juice, Normandy cider or French wine or beer - not fancy, but decent quality if we get our purchasing right.

Other practicalities: INTERNET is very limited at the moment, we have a modest mobile phone data allowance. You must be non-smokers, sorry, that`s not negotiable. We`ve got bicycles for very local stuff, but ideally you`ll need a car if you want to visit local towns and the sights - strongly recommended. We could collect/drop you at Vire railway station at the beginning/end of your stay if you don`t want/have a car. We go to Vire for supermarket shopping, and a local market (Vire, Conde-sur-Noireau, Aunay-sur-Odon or occasionally St Lo) at least once a week, and of course we`d take you if you`re interested. Other trips depend on whether.

About the photos: Unusual view from the road - Kevin and Diana framed in a window - view of the front of the house (helpers` room top right) - view from helpers room - inside helpers` room - a neighbour!

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