Smallholding in rural North West France - caring for the animals

House Sitter Needed for Username: Vannerie   


Posted or Updated: Feb 16,2017   Applications: 0

St. Pierre sur Orthe, Le Mans
Mayenne,Pays de la Loire France

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Mar 8,2017
For 2 months | Medium Term

I am seeking house sitters to care for my animals in rural NW France whilst I continue to visit with my family in Australia (until mid May). You would be in a hand-over situation from a lady and her son who are currently there but are moving to their next assignment on or before March 10. 

This position is likely to suit you if the following apply:

1. You are happy and wouldn't be lonely in a truly rural environment (nearest village is 3km away). The place is tranquil with a lovely gentle energy at any time of year.

2. You are comfortable with farm animals, all of which are non-aggressive and offer lovely companionship (3 sheep; 9 goats; 8 hens + 1 cockerel, 2 pigs). All are female except one castrated male pig and of course the cockerel. In addition I feed 5 cats who are descended from feral cats but have become friendly and live in one of the barns.

3. You can relate to countryside that is normally very green because it tends to rain a lot! We are still in winter though spring is inching closer. The climate in NW France is much more like southern England than the south of France, so you would need to be comfortable in that sort of climate which can be quite variable.

4. You are comfortable living in a stone farmhouse that obviously requires a good deal of internal renovation and decoration - whilst still being perfectly "liveable" (hot and cold water, functional kitchen and bathroom - including a good shower, washing machine, closed log burning fire, large bedroom with king-size bed, single bedroom). The two bedrooms have been insulated with new plasterboard installed, but are not yet painted. There is no central heating at present. You would need to make-do with a variety of electric heaters. Free firewood is provided, and so the wood-burning fire can burn as often and as long as you like. Because the roof above the attic is not insulated yet, the house is not energy efficient but the fire is capable of heating up the largest room in the house, in which it's situated. 1/2 of that room, nearest the fire is set up as a temporary sitting room; the other half is still functioning as a storage area for my belongings when I shifted there from England last year. It offers a basic standard of living at present, but with the essentials covered.

The property is approximately 9 acres, in which the former agricultural land has been turned toward microforests, with many trees throughout - more like park land. There is a large wildlife pond and a stream which runs from one end of the property to the other. 

The buildings are situated on the traditional French farm courtyard with 2 large stone barns on either side. At the opposite end of the courtyard to the house is an open barn where your car could be parked. If you don't have a car, you are welcome to use mine - an old but trusty Peugeot 106.

I am a New Zealander, who lived and worked in England for 30 years and finally fulfilled the dream of living at my own home in France in having owned it for many years previously. 

There is a lovely gentleman in the nearby village, a part-time farmer, who helps me a great deal at my property. He is always willing to be called upon and to support anyone with the animals - or any other issue which arises that I can't deal with myself via . 

Larger cities in the region are Laval, Le Mans and Alencon. For supermarket shopping, I use of the two nearby smaller towns: Sille le Guillaume or Villaines la Juhel - being roughly equidistant from both. In the nearest village there is a bakery and a small bar/restaurant. 

If you wished to stay beyond the advertised two month period, you are welcome, using the large bedroom and perhaps shifting to a different type of role e.g. HelpX/WWOfer etc. 

I am happy to answer any questions you may have before taking a decision. Thank you. 

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