House sitting in country France
-Two weeks in a country hamlet-
Traveling around the world is a wonderful thing for families. Whether you are a single parent or a family with a few children, (like the one owning this home), travel can be an amazing time for bonding and a great opportunity for education.
So when this world traveling family asked us to care for their hobby farm, we jumped at the chance to spend two weeks in country France.
The family is just lovely, and we enjoy ‘learning the ropes’. Each house sits is different. Each owner has their own way of caring for their animals, and animal needs all differ.
Their lovely daughter has drawn maps for dog walks and made a chart for the animals.
We go to the vegetable patch and pick fruits for a pie they made and that she is decorating. She does a lovely job, don’t you think?
The father has made home-made bread, and we have lettuce soup made from fresh lettuces in the garden. I’ve never had lettuce soup before, but I highly recommend it. Absolutely lovely, especially with a load of garlic.
It was lovely to share a meal and to hear their travel stories (they have been traveling the world for the last ten months). It’s also a great time for Explorason to have some “kid time”.
Next day one of their sons makes us crepes for breakfast. How French and what a nice breakfast together. They head off on their adventure, as unpack and relax.
Having been quite hectic in our travels, we really enjoy having the chance to unwind. I have paperwork to catch up on and some blogging too.
At first, it is cold, so we head out with bags when we walk the dog and collect kindling for the fire. How nice to sit by the fire and enjoy some cuddles with my boy.
Another wonderful aspect of housesitting is that we get ‘animal time’.
We seem to have hit some rainy weather, but we don’t mind. We explore a couple of nearby towns, on our arrival as we have to go and purchase food etc. Then we have a pajama day.
Even the dog gets a walk – but the pajamas stay on. The cats often start the walks with us too!
Things to do on a hobby farm outside give us a chance to enjoy the fresh air.
I tend to the chickens, as I have done this at other house-sits (plus sheep and garden), and we are co-housesitting with another Australian lady who seems to enjoy cooking. It is a good arrangement.
Explorason collects the eggs each afternoon as one of his responsibilities.
We get to feed corn to the sheep and they eat out of our hands. So they get a little treat most days. They have water to fill, and we need to move the portable electric fence every few days so they have fresh grass.
We do have a bit of excitement when the battery goes flat on the electric fence. I wake to baa-baa noises at the back door, as two of the three sheep are muting on the garden.
So we rally them up and pop them back in. I’ve never rounded up sheep before and easier said than done, especially in your pajamas – it was quite a sight. An hour later one of them was out again. So I felt very Australian rounding up the sheep again.
There are two cats here to care for – both related, and we are glad we have them. There are field mice and they enjoy the hunt.
What is amazing is the hamlet has probably a dozen people living in it, and there is a restaurant hidden in a house.
We decide to go on a Saturday night.
We want to meet some locals and are glad we did. We knew it was a maximum of 15 people, and that we all sit and share a meal.
My photos here were taken by Explorason, and are a bit fuzzy, but I’ve popped them in the blog so you get a feel of the evening.
When we enter we meet a lovely group of family and friends They are staying in the area for their annual holidays, and one speaks English. But we want to learn some French so within minutes we are talking, laughing and sharing an Aperitif.
There are magic tricks, and then a local boy whose Mum works there comes to help clear the tables.
Explorason instantly goes to communicate. I love the fact that language provides no barrier and that he has made the effort.
They play and talk. Now he has a friend down the lane. Over the next week, they have a few play times. It feels like home.
There is a goat farm down the road, and I love goat and sheep cheese, so we get a treat that night with some really delightful strong cheeses. Perfect.
So it is also pretty fitting that we end up making friends with one of the co-owners of the goat farm.
We head down there one day when we have to get some documents scanned and printed and end up petting the goats.
The baby kid goats were our favorites. So soft – like puppies. So here comes the end of our two weeks in France.
It has just been wonderful, and we have loved the feel of the home; the animals; and the region. I felt a little more “caught up” with my blogs too. Something which is a huge challenge as a single Mum traveling, planning, budgeting, home-schooling etc.
We have had some car problems to attend to on our last day, and are setting about packing a small bag for the next leg of our trip.
When we finish a house sit we clean and wash everything so the home is lovely when we leave.
In this case, there are housesitters coming after us, so we always clean up and pop a couple of photographs to the owners so they know we have left it all in good order.
It will also be lovely as we actually have the new housesitters as guests for dinner, and meet another family traveling around the world. They also have two boys, so a bit more ‘kid time’ for Explorason.
We are currently visiting Europe and long for more house-sits.
If you know of any house-sits in coming months please pass on our details, or feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We love to house-sit and care for plants and animals and to also enjoy the feel of having a home. In this case, we really wish we stayed longer. It has just been lovely, and we are so thankful.
Here is our House-sitting Resumé
More great links:
Housesit Match: Housesitmatch.com by clicking here.
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Questions and Comments
- What fascinates you about France?
- Are you a family that travels permanently?
- Have you tried housesitting?
- How is the experience?
- Do share your experiences and comments with us below.