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Help Exchange

All Year: Spring to Autumn
Area (ha): 1
Persons: 1 to 3
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 94055
Country: France

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Last Updated: November 15, 2019


Born in England, brought up in Australia, after working in Southeast Asia and then London, I moved permanently to France five years ago. I live on a small property (1 hectare) in a hamlet in the Lot department in Southwest France. I have worked as a helper (# 731919HA) with HelpX in France and Australia. The area where I live is mostly given over to cattle farming and forests. I have been restoring a 240-year old farmhouse. The major works have been done. The house has been reroofed, rewired, and has hot and cold running water. The bedrooms have been insulated but I need help in laying insulation in the main living area. There is WiFi (which is reasonably fast as I am the only user in the area) and there is mobile phone reception. There is some plastering and painting still to do in the house.

The guest room (for Helpers) is fully insulated with an electric wall heater, double bed and chest of drawers. There is also a second guest room that needs some additional work - mainly painting. The bathroom is shared.

I have an organic kitchen garden. I grow heritage fruits.

One to three weeks is the ideal period for help, although longer periods can be negotiated. I usually want helpers from May through to September.

I would expect helpers to do around four hours work a day for six days a week. The timing is flexible, so you could work more on one day and and have a day off.

If you have carpentry skills, these would be very welcome as the house and outbuildings need some repairs - including repairing/replacing shutters on the house and doors on the outbuildings.

Help will mostly involve gardening and household tasks. Gardening includes cutting grass and weeding, and clearing away blackberries. Depending on the season there is a range of other tasks: pruning, picking fruit and vegetables, making preserves, collecting walnuts and looking for mushrooms.

I also need help in cleaning and household tasks

Meals are based on produce from my garden and local markets. I cook Malaysian, Indian and other Asian dishes, as well French and English dishes. I have a good selection of cookery books.

The area is quiet and there is no convenient public transport. Having your own transport would be useful. I can collect you from Brive (the nearest main town with train or Flixbus connections) or from Aurillac. I have some bicycles. I usually go down once or twice a week to the market town of Bretenoux.

There is a small village with a bar & restaurant, and a post office agency, 2km away. There are plenty of walks in the area and along the Gorges de la Cère. I will be happy to show you the walks and drive to other areas in the district for visits and walks.

If you like tranquility, stillness, forest walks, star-gazing and clean air this is the place for you!

It is a non-smoking, drug-free household, but you can smoke outside.

English is my first language and I am fluent in French.

Je parle français. Si vous voulez, vous pourrez me contacter en français.

reviews (1)
Helper: Patricia Griffen Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: August 29, 2019
Nicholas' home is a typical old stone farmhouse with modern conveniences but ... view complete review

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