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All change – French property plans

I have been a little too quiet on this blog.  Life’s ups and downs as they are.  But today in December was wonderfully windy, autumnal and the bright golden leaves looked like the sun had been scattered to the ground ready to swept up for a winter slumber. The chickens were out – the coop can get kind of stir crazy as the nights draw in – and the geese, Bumble, Barley and Bonnies are babysitting, even if sometimes to Bonnie that means picking a chicken up and shaking her!

Finally back in France, since my mothers passing, a lot has changed.  Dreams are becoming reality and the next year will be a tad hectic, with some big projects in hand – more renovations, a demolition, a new build and all our feathered friends moving to our new farm house.  The barn we adore and will continue to renovate, and although we have negotiated buying the barn behind ours, we needed more land to pursue our self sufficiency dreams.  The chickens need more space as our garden is becoming a mud patch.  I still want to create my wildflower meadow and herb garden, so the barn and its now larger area of land are ideal.  I will be documenting how to create a wild meadow and how to manage it throughout the year.

The new farm house needs very little work – more a case of cosmetic surgery, a small nip and tuck here and there.  But the two hectares of land will take some work.  Tony has ordered a small tractor as we are not getting any younger and our backs are complaining.  One field will house the chickens [ boy will they be excited being able to free-range, dig for worms and have a huge barn area to bounce about], an orchard [ we are planting apples, pears, plumbs, walnuts and quinces] and the other field will be our “Good Life”, full of potatoes, root veg, pumpkins in the autumn, and two goats – our lawn mowers with attitude.

 

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We both have businesses on hold after years of money worries.  Now released from this strangulation of our creativity, we are free to embark on these again.  An old car-paint factory came up for sale after the owner was killed last year in a motor-cycle accident. His widow needs to move on.  It comes with enough land for us to extend if needs be.  Our local town is a buzzing place and it made sense to invest in our local community.  On the site is a house.  Not needed, we are demolishing it to rebuild a timber-framed atelier for my work.  I have spent too many years working of kitchen table corners with piles of papers strewn all over the floor.  I want to write, paint and sew.  I want to be messy. I want to draw on my happy memories of the seventies and decorate the space as retro has I can.  Purple, yellow and green.  It will be my indulgence and a place to nurture my projects.

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Our final madness today, after climbing steadily upwards towards our favourite village, was to put an offer in for a tiny mountain house.  The views are spectacular across the hills and pine forests and rocky outcrops of this area.  The owner had almost completed the renovation of this stone cottage. But she has cancer.  She needs to fund treatment.  So we will buy this quaint place and make it like a bon-bon. Its for feet up, dog walking, hot chocolate and Christmas. A place for friends to stay. A place to do, well, nothing for a time.

The blog will also be expanding.  I am learning so much here and want to share what I am learning.  Every month I hope to be posting about our gardens – “Cauliflower Corner”, about the chickens and geese – “Poop and feathers” and our renovation work and building dreams – “Big House, Little House”.

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And who are these two handsome guys with the big orange rubber feet?  Mr Chickens of course.  Our girls are not interested in them at all.  Mind you when they walk, they do look as if they have very wet nappies on. But I am growing very fond of them. They are a German breed of chicken with bald necks. Maybe they too will come with us to the farm house and our menagerie will keep growing.

Well its past midnight and very windy outside.  Time to grab a hot water bottle and cuddle up under the duvet. Our chickens have finally realized that inside the coop is warm and dry too.  Why is it that chickens just never go to bed properly.  I worry about them. I am a mother hen.  Until later then from me and Mr Chickens. Lights out for the day!

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19 thoughts on “All change – French property plans

  1. Oh this is wonderful news … such changes! I’ve missed your blogs so it’s lovely to have you back. I’m so happy for you that at last you can do what really makes you happy. God bless and keep us posted … I think that you are the modern day Felicity Kendall from The Good Life! Tom and Barbara I think they were called! Katie x

  2. Great to see you back. I was just thinking about you this morning and wondering. How lovely that there has been some sunshine at the end of a dark year. Really pleased that you are able to expand and do the things you have dreamed of, it all sounds exciting. I will hopefully have some good news in the new year too but not posting about it just yet until I know its all confirmed. Naughty Goose, poor Chicken 😦

    1. Hello. Sounds exciting! Naughty isn’t the word. Bumble likes to peck our legs and have a wrestle. How’s your chickens? Mine are moving soon to new big The Ritz coop. More room to run a mock and keep dryer too. I didn’t realize how much rain we get here in winter..we all need chicken wellies!

      1. My one hen that was poorly has just about recovered from her molt which I think was the cause of her listlesness. I really didnt think she would survive poor girl. So glad she did. Sounds like you will have lots to blog about soon. 🙂 Hope your feeling more yourself after loosing your mum. New projects definitely help.

      2. Yes molting an be tough on them. Mine haven’t molted and are still laying. I wish they would take a rest. Yes I am ok ‘re mum. We were not best friends and that’s actually made this quite a sad time. A lot of wasted years.

      3. It certainly was, she really looked at deaths door but is now nearly back to her healthy self. I know how you feel about you mum, thankfully I got a bit closer to mine when she moved up to be near me but it was never really natural. Its a hard one feeling like things could have been different but your not alone .

      4. It’s sad mother’s make relationships so difficult sometimes. I never had children but if I had, I would have felt blessed and very responsible that they were happy and I could help them in life.

      5. I hope we are improving as generations go by. They seemed to think they were helping us by allowing us to face hardship even though they could have stepped in while they were alive. Its sad but i hope you can find peace about it as you enjoy all your new ventures. Hope you have a really nice Christmas 😊

  3. Great to see you back and I look forward to reading more about your little farm and all it’s goings on. How I envy your plans to have a dedicated space to nurture your creativity – my house is slowly becoming swamped everywhere with my creative stuff, I need a spot of just my own too!

    1. It sounds indulgent, but I spent so long not having space it’s almost like an obsession now. And it’s not easy being creative with no room. Can you convert a shed or conservatory or loft for example?

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