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help exchange   Host 54278
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): .01
Persons: 6
Category: Boat
Host ID: 54278
Country: England

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Last Updated: June 17, 2018

I am a live aboard a house boat owner on Thames river in SW London, having designed built them myself with many reused windows e.g. double glazing and kitchens. As its in water we are all here at our own risk. My four house Barges (House boats) have young mixed sex,mixed nations tenants, ages 18 to 35 in SW London. That is my business renting cabins. they are currently on Thames SW London zone 6, near Hampton Court and Kingston, you might cycle between them and stay on different barges so come with a back pack not suitcase! I am direct (do not take it personally), chatty, opinionated, interesting, fun, single with children that live with their wonderful mums, that do not visit often as they are dispersed sadly. Originally from rugged New Zealand, Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud, kiwi fruit, All Blacks, Alpes, volcanoes, deserted beaches, lakes earthquakes and a whole lot else! I like exercise, boating, cycling, rugby, history, parks, going to movies, pubs. You will learn much off grid living knowledge from me, I give talks and independently you should look around you, observe how we do. Particularly plumbing, filtering, sterilising water. Generating, regulating, storing and distributing energy from solar panels, regulator, batteries, generator and fuse board. I provide warm dry private sleeping zone and food, normal deal is you give 25 willing flexible hours a week work in exchange, very infrequently if I in away or your on light duties it maybe you get your own food and just do 15 hours a week for accommodation, we share shopping on our own time (I do most) just when your coming back from town you get a few things (I would first give you money for food shopping and share cooking and leaving kitchen clean) (sometimes I get lazy and I might buy you pub dinner instead!) We normally start around 9.30 am so you can have good sleep. When u have done your 25 hours for first week only then can you book time off always letting me know day before if u unavailable for morning start. I also have annual pass to Kew gardens nearby the largest and oldest botanic garden in the world I can take you for free, its really beautiful. You just need have a willing attitude, no skills needed.
Immediate start can host eight volunteers (and do, which assist with a few work hours morning afternoon or evening) in total so we can cover evenings and weekends and all have plenty time off plus meet other sociable volunteers. You can book your days off in advance as long as your up to date in hours.
Our barges are off grid, low impact build with reused and new materials. Very warm with large coal burners, hot water, Shower, separate female / male toilets, 24/7 lighting, electricity, wifi, free use of phone, unlimited data sim card with calls and texts for first volunteer that claims it and can turn on hot spot for all, Management also turn on hot spots for wifi. Large common areas with leather sofas, tables, chairs and decks. Radio, TV and of course stunning river views.
I need help with day to day simple tasks, keeping things tidy and ship shape inside and basic assistance, administration, cooking and maintenance or extra pair of willing hands for the live in handyman or pulling barges holding ropes, visiting local pubs and restaurants seeing if any staff need cheap accommodation. You do not need any skill just be willing. Minimum stay one week, no maximum longer the better for willing worker. You get your private sleeping zone or cabin and plenty time to explore beautiful SW London, with all its large green parks, stately homes and river Thames.
Its does not have all comforts of an on grid house but we have what is essential plus. Hours are flexible, Keep things tidy and organised to save space and time. Message me for immediate start! As its four house barges (large 25 metre boats) on water you are here at your own risk so always walk slowly dealing with trip hazards before you pass them. keys phone and valuables in pocket so they do not fall in river. bring sturdy work shoes, work trousers and if winter a woollen jersey to wear under a jacket. Welcome Aboard! :) PS note we are not a farm we do not grow things we are off grid sustainable house barges, :) All volunteers will come on a weeks trial first, minimum stay one week, then we review each other, we must both be happy with each other. As long as your cooperative, communicative, friendly willing and reliable you will do fine! No special skills needed. the longer term the stayer the better for me! Clean tidy respectful people only! Boats operate best on a hierarchical structure, you must be prepared to accept direct speaking, dont take it personally! To follow instructions precisely, if unsure, ask! Hampton court is nearest current train station but barges will hop about locally so be sure email me and get precise instructions. my barges are normally between, hampton court and Kingston upon thames kt1 1dn. I will put you in your own private sleeping zone with other young friendly volunteers and tenants. If you are needed on another barge for a day or three I will provide bike or bus fare to go between barges when needed. Its great to see different parts of the Thames!
Check with me by whatsapp or email before coming to barge so i can give you directions as they move.
Anyone you bring back to boat is probably inexperienced in off grid barge living so will need keeping an eye on to make sure they are safe. so you must attend them at all times. Also as I value my down time not supervising people and as my business is hosting people to stay on the boat and space is limited on a boat you will be charged 15 for each guest you have after 9pm and before 9am in the morning that you do not have my prior written permission which i will normally willing give if asked for.

I do have some south facing riverside agricultural organic land and a 30 square meter by two level barn in sunny South France with plenty of sun and water where I want grow salad and other green vegetables (whilst buying my sacks of onions and potataoes, much easier), make (non stinging) bee homes from cut bamboo stacks and bird heaven to help pollination of crops where ever those crops may cross that Bees path. Barn has dormitory and kitchen in a barn in south France near Beziers and the Med so if you like the barges you might want go there also from April until December. I would pay your flights also from London for proven good workers. Please state in your message if you might be interested in that as well.

Note: any recordings, including pictures, videos or sounds you take of of from any of my property become joint copy right between me and yourself and you agree to provide and allow copies. (If you take a good photo I want it for marketing) Welcome aboard, walk slowly, as its on water your here at your own risk, email me any questions :) Alistair

PS please note house boat moves so address listed in Teddington is incorrect, email 2 days before arrival but you will be probably asked asked to head to either Kingston or Hampton Court train stations.

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