Black the dog and Silver the cat, near Geneva, Switzerland
I am Emma, a 51 year old Brit living in France, close to Geneva Switzerland. I have lived here for over 20 years now. I have a big house now almost empty (I have three kids, two of whom are away from home at boarding school or university). Mike, my sweet husband, died in 2017). So it's now just me, my almost 15 year old, Julia, and the pets.
I am a business psychologist working freelance and work a lot - partly because I love what I do, and partly because I need to work....
I am not proposing the "typical" Trusted House Sitter profile... but read on if you are curious. What I offer would suit a "digital career" professional who works remotely; a student who's between things and wants to have a secure base for a bit; a retiree who wants to scratch around a new area. Or anyone who is "between things" and just wants to live cheaply/no cost for a period of time in a lovely area, in return for caring for pets.
Note that my youngest, Julia, was away at boarding school till late November 2018, but things have become too hard away from home so she will be here with me for the remainder of the school year, figuring out on-line schooling and just getting to a better emotional space after the death of her dad. What this means is that both she and I are present, so that is something to take into account.
My interest and need is to have a house-sitter/pet sitter who stays for one, two, three or more months at a time, who can be a presence for the pets when I am not around (either through travel or just long work days), and also when I am around (I work long hours even if I am not travelling - sometimes from home when of course I can care for the pets). And overnight for Julia when I am away. She is self-sufficient but too young to be alone overnight. She is vegan and tends to prepare her own food. She might have activities, so having someone who can drive (manual/shift car) would be good.
Given that this is more than a typical petsitter arrangement, I would willingly cover food costs (typically about 200 euros/month) and also pay a small "salary" of 100 euros/week. I would assume that you have your own source of income and that my contribution is just to cover the need for some "supervision" and driving of my daughter when I am not around.
I find it very challenging to keep up my freelance work, which does require travel, and taking good care of the pets - particularly our dog. Now that Julia is back I know I need more support and am happy to pay for the extra. We have had au pairs for 15 years prior to all the kids leaving home, so I am well used to having live in "help". This is low-key help, and more a swap arrangement with some financial contribution. If you feel that you can offer what we need, I'd love some live-in help for the right kind of person.
I have had cover with a range of wonderful people until now, coming for weeks or even a month at a time. Sometimes I am around, sometimes I am not, but with some communication we have figured out what's what. And of course when I am around, there's a lot of time off to explore this beautiful area if that's what's wanted.
Why not write to me and say what you would like to do and what might work for you. I have put up sets of monthly dates, but it's just to offer an idea of what I am looking for. I realise this is not a typical house-sit as sometimes I am around (but working) and sometimes I am travelling. Even when my kids are around there is still space. The older kids (Ben & Megan, aged almost 18 and almost 20) might be around for holidays (half-term, Easter).
If you are interested in staying for quite a long period of time - e.g., two months or more - then of course there'd be lots of opportunity for time off. Even if you just stayed for a month there would be times you could get away completely for days at a time. It's mostly about there being a presence when I am less available, and we'd work out the details as we go.
If you're independent, want to have a "base" near Geneva for a period of time, with lots of free time as well as some commitments to being in the house to support Julia and my dog, then please get in touch. + More info
Our Home & Location
The Pays de Gex area of France is a little pocket of France surrounded by Switzerland - closest airport is Geneva, some 20 mins away. We are on public transport (but think rural areas, not London) with a bus to the airport that takes 38 mins. 45 mins drive from Annecy, under 2 hours from Lyon, 75 mins from Chamonix, 60 mins from Lausanne, and Montreux about 90 mins. Jura hills on one side, Alps on the other. It's a gorgeous area.
Our house is big and old and never particularly tidy ;) Very much lived-in. You'd be in what was for 15 years our "au pair" room... small shower room, double bed, massively tall with velux windows. Can be chilly in winter but I have extra heaters....
I have a piano, plus other instruments, and noise is not a problem as though there are other old houses around, the walls are thick and our neighbours are good.
Wifi, Netflix, small garden, bicycles, trampoline... what more could anyone want? + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
Mostly it's about caring for Black the dog, and Silver the cat.
Even when I am around, walking Black at least once a day (or running with him!). When I am not around, then it would be great to walk him twice in a day....
In addition, feeding the pets is twice a day and being a presence overnight if I am not around.
NB - Both pets can be left alone for long periods (so you'd be able to go out unencumbered), but being home after some hours to walk/feed/be a presence will be vital if I am doing long work days and/or overnight travel. + More info