help exchange   Host 19475
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 1-2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 19475
Country: England

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Last Updated: June 9, 2017

I live in the London borough of Walthamstow - a thriving, creative, multi-cultural patch of north-east London. I'm looking for people who would like to sample a bit of London life in return for helping me to help me create a house and garden that are both "beautiful and useful".

*June 2017 update: This summer's main project is to dig out a wildlife pond & harvest water with guttering into water butts and the pond.
I am keen to host mature single or couple helpers who have experience with such work.

Your accommodation would be in the spare bedroom; it's not large, but big enough for a comfortable double bed. You will share the house bathroom and kitchen. There's Wi-fi. Whilst I'm happy to provide food, it would be great if you enjoy cooking; either just for yourself or sharing. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet but am not in the least strict about it & don't mind you cooking/eating meat for yourself.

There is easy access to central London - the 'tube' (London Underground) is a 15 minute walk (or hop on a bus) to Walthamstow Central, on the Victoria line, which takes you straight into the middle of London. There's also an overground train from Walthamstow Central that goes to Liverpool Street station, in the heart of the 'City' district of London. I travel a lot myself so am happy to provide directions/advice/recommendations/maps if you don't know London already - and always willing to share stories over a glass of wine or hot chocolate ;-).

Locally, there is a swimming pool & gym at the top of the road; a fabulous yoga studio, two great cafes nearby with wi-fi & other great cafes I can recommend and direct you to. The William Morris gallery just two blocks away celebrates the designer and social reformer and, again, has a great cafe, and sits in the grounds of a beautiful old Victorian park. (William Morris said you should have in your home only things that you "know to be useful or believe to be beautiful"). All this is within walking distance, or you can borrow the spare bicycle & explore further afield, down the Lea Valley river/canal towpath or into nearby Epping Forest. Back at home, I have an extensive collection of fiction, both classical and contemporary, and a couple of shelf-fuls of french literature, as well as non-fiction (psychology, art, travel, gardening and cooking) that you are welcome to read in your time off.

I would like to hear from people who are capable of working independently, at least some of the time, working on specific home improvement tasks. I'm looking for people with real practical experience to help with house-renovation projects (e.g. reclaiming bits of old wood for new projects). I have a number of projects to get the house in good shape. These include designing and putting up shelves, painting walls, ceilings and woodwork, reclaiming scaffold boards for shelving.

I am not purist about living organically, but do much prefer living without too much waste, and using natural materials.

Outside, there is a 100 foot / 30 metre garden which is currently laid out simply with shrubs & some grass. There's lots of potential and I am intrigued by permaculture principles of garden (and other) design, so anyone who can help me think about this too would be very welcome. Outdoor jobs include digging out a pond, building a wooden shelter from recycled wood, and garden maintenance appropriate to the season.

Although there are some facilities I can't provide, such as accommodation for anyone unable to manage stairs, I won't discriminate against anyone on the grounds of age, gender, sexuality or - kind of obviously for HelpX - cultural heritage.

Finally - I can offer you a personal introduction to HelpX host no. 23946 for a beautiful alternative stay in the countryside of South Wales!

If any or all of this interests you, please write and say what relevant skills & experiences you have to offer and what skills or experiences you are looking to gain. If you don't have HelpX references yet, please provide contacts for two people I can write to. Thanks.

reviews (17)
Helper: John and Linda Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: May 11, 2018
We spent 10 days with Jane, in which time we enjoyed an interesting variety... view complete review

Helper: Nadia Buick Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: May 3, 2018
Jane is a fantastic Helpx host. She is practical and very organised but also ... view complete review

Helper: Marie Saint-Lô Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: February 6, 2018
(I should have written this review a few months ago, sorry again for the dela... view complete review

Helper: Patrick and Nicole Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Canada Date: July 6, 2016
Our stay with Jane was our first HelpX experience, and I doubt it could have ... view complete review

Helper: Santiago Usoz Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: February 26, 2016
I spent three weeks with Jane and first time I want to say thanks. I contact ... view complete review

Helper: Catherine and Eric Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Canada Date: April 15, 2015
Jane was our first host on a six months journey. After crossing the ocean for... view complete review

Helper: Matthew Farmer Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: February 12, 2015
Thank you Jane. You're a lovely, friendly, genuine person. I really enjoyed m... view complete review

Helper: Jesse Brown Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: January 5, 2015
I just finished staying with Jane for a month. As this was my fist HelpX, I c... view complete review

Helper: Sofia Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Argentina Date: December 10, 2014
I spent a week with Jane and she was a great host. She is very clear about wo... view complete review

Helper: Sarie Ackermann Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: South Africa Date: October 21, 2014
I stayed with Jane for a few days in Late August, and really enjoyed the expe... view complete review

Helper: Nils Fletcher Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: October 6, 2014
Jane was a great host! She was very warm and welcoming. There was always plen... view complete review

Helper: Yulia Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Russia Date: July 15, 2014
Just a quick message to say: thank you so much Jane for your hospitality!! ... view complete review

Helper: Clay Thomas Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: October 7, 2013
Well, what can I say? Jane is exactly what Helpx is supposed to be about. ... view complete review

Helper: Alison Mason Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: August 1, 2013
Hi Jane, and thank you for hosting me! I stayed with Jane for over three week... view complete review

Helper: Jose Fernandes Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Portugal Date: July 5, 2013
Hi! I was for two weeks during April 2013 in Jane´s place, and i would like t... view complete review

Helper: Lesleyanne Harvey Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: June 17, 2013
I spent two weeks with Jane, who was friendly and welcoming and kindly took m... view complete review

Helper: Socratis Socratous Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Cyprus Date: May 24, 2013
Sorry for the late review Jane! That was another interesting experience for ... view complete review

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