A couple of months ago I found a site called www.workaway.info
The workaway concept is very simple. There are hosts who need some help and there are workaways who need somewhere to stay while they backpack around the world. No money changes hand, just a maximum of 5 hours work per day Monday to Friday in exchange for meals and a place to sleep.
I had a trawl around the site and found most of the hosts had organic farms and needed someone to help sow, dig, build or do something to earn their keep. There were also families who wanted help with looking after children and one or two old people who wanted help looking after themselves… I could probably fall into the later category but I have Mrs Sensible to look after me. Accommodation for the workaway ranged from a Teepee,(no kidding) to a self contained flat.
I thought is was a really good idea and decided to upload a couple of pictures of our house and announce that we needed domestic help in the house. After vetting one or two people and I have to say Facebook is really useful for this task because it is amazing what people write on their pages I accepted a young woman called Chloe from Tasmania. Normally I would change her name but I have nothing but praise for Chloe.
That night I thought I had better tell Mrs Sensible about my experiment….
Part of the discussion with Mrs Sensible was, “but she is on the way and you hate ironing just as much as I do”.
Mrs Sensible really couldn’t get her head around the workaway concept, maybe it is an Italian culture thing or maybe it was her friends who made remarks like, so how long have you known her, and what if she goes rummaging around in your knicker drawer. A week before Chloe was due to arrive Mrs Sensible said “if this girl is arriving on Monday we had better spend the weekend tiding the house and getting it ready!!!!! It is defiantly an Italian culture thing, “we have a guest coming, you start cleaning and I will start baking”. No amount of protesting from me about the lack of work there would be left for our workaway experiment cut any ice.
Even after Chloe arrived there were problems. My wife was mixing up the concept of workaway and guestaway. Due to Italy’s Ferraogosto the two-week period when Italy grinds to a halt and everyone heads to the sea, both Mrs Sensible and I were at home while Chloe was with us. So Chloe managed to do a maximum of around 1 to 2 hours work a day the rest of the time we spent showing Chloe places like the King Palace in Turin, wine tasting at the local cantina or we went out to eat at our favourite pizzeria. We also spent a fine Sunday morning sat in a cafe drinking aperitif. In the house the two of them sat and watched videos or disappeared and went shopping. My wife would say Peter please go and fetch the washing in and I would splutter but but we have a guestaway…
Both Mrs Sensible and I are back at work and today I received another application from a workaway, Miss X from New Zealand is due to arrive on the 12th of this month. I will warn Mrs Sensible after the weekend because no way am I spending this weekend cleaning the house. I have sent a very detailed e-mail to Miss X from New Zealand with the work that is involved including, ironing, cleaning the bathroom & kitchen and mopping the floors and under no circumstance must I have to fetch the washing in or should she spend the day shopping or watching videos with my good wife Mrs Sensible.