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help exchange   Host 8246
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 4
Persons: Up to 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 8246
Country: France

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Last Updated: June 18, 2018

Help in Normandy

We are particularly looking for help with outside stuff, and maybe some painting. Minimum stay 2 weeks, and the longer the better in general. We are happy to have people anytime of the year.

We are coming to the end of the major renovation project that is our 14th century home. We moved in in May 2017, and have been working ridiculously hard to try and finish the house, while setting up our small holding, with sheep, horse, ducks, chickens and cats.

We are a bilingual French/English family with 4 kids (13, 12,12, 9). Since 2010 we have had over 50 helpers, with quite a few staying for over a year (and some over 2 years) which has been fabulous.

This stay would really suit a couple or 2 friends, so that you have company as we are out all day and away pretty regularly. Or someone happy with their own company, and good at visiting by themselves. We do our best to insure that if you need a car then there is one available.

The principal reason we are currently looking for helpers is that I am hopefully going back to work full time and we really need to get all the unfinished tasks done, so that we are not just constantly doing the jobs that should have been done a year ago.

Currently these jobs are :
painting an apartment
picking veg/fruit depending on what's happening in the garden
hedge trimming
tidying out all the storage spaces

In the future it will be helping to
build a new barn
rebuild a very very old barn and cider press

On a daily basis, the dogs need walking and supper needs cooking. Dogs, cats and poultry need feeding. In the winter the horses and sheep need feeding too. I normally do all this, but happy to have some help, as we leave at 7 am and get back at 7 pm.

If you can ride we have 2 really lovely horses (well ones a large pony) who need more exercise. No particular expertise required as they are both ex riding school ponies.

We are in a great location for visiting Normandy - Mont St Michel , Bayeux tapestry and the D-Day beaches. Our closest town is Saint Pierre sur Dives and we go to work/school in Caen. We have a beach house close to Granville and Coutances, which you are welcome to use but only out of season, while doing any odd jobs that need doing there. Deauville and Honfleur are an easy drive from home.

HAVING A DRIVING LICENSE AND BEING ABLE TO DRIVE A MANUAL CAR ARE AN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL PART OF THE JOB. Sorry to shout, but I cannot make this clear enough. There is no public transport within 10kms. If you have your own car that would be even better! You can generally have use of a car with a bit of prior notice.

We will give you a food allowance when we are away, otherwise most evenings your would eat with us.

So basically the job probably averages less than 20 hours a week:

Walking the dogs daily we have two unruly spaniels. Mostly I walk them myself but if I can't then this is part of the job

Gardening weeding, weed wacking/strimming, mowing, watering, picking fruit, veg etc depending on the season.

Generally keeping the place in working order.

Doing the recycling, bins.

Cooking the evening meal, or helping with its preparation.

Anyone with some serious carpentry skills would be very very welcome. There are a million little things that need finishing in the house.


You have your own part of the house, which has several bedrooms, that are used for helpers and guests, bathroom, toilet, kitchen etc

We are a bilingual French /English family and are happy to speak either at home. We are happy to have people from anywhere as long as they are prepared to speak either English or French.

There are always things to be done, so any helper must be really independent, a team player, a self starter and preferably a non-smoker.

We have a discount with Brittany Ferries for those travelling to & from the UK.

Please get in touch if you are interested.

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