Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence vegetable growing, home preservation of food, and small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. This blog is about my homesteading life here in cow country, in the heart of the French countryside.
I am a photographer who loves taking images of flowers and grasses, seedpods, wild weeds, flowers of the hedgerows, on the edge of meadows and in forested landscapes. A change of career, I was an accountant, a decision to be more creative in my life and to develop my photo work, meant a move to France, to a rural area full of lakes, fields and woodland. This blog is my place to write about what inspires me, setting up a new home, exploring places and living a lifestyle long overdue.
This blog is also an exploration of how over the next few years I am aiming to live as self sufficient as I can. Probably not so much of the Good Life I remember from the series years ago, but who knows. I came here with little or no money and will not be turning round to go back because I have overspent on over ambitious projects. Here is a commitment to a new lifestyle, to start new businesses long overdue in the making and along the way learn new skills. I haven’t picked up a paint brush since my teenage years and the commercial sewing machine looks difficult and demanding. But best to get stuck in.
This was a stark contrast to where I had been living, right in the centre of London for over three years. Don’t get me wrong, I adore London, the fast pace, the red buses, the many places to shop and eat, but I love photography, loosing myself, caught up in capturing the image that has caught my eye, the way the wind blows the flower heads, the sun making petals seem translucent and the dryness of the sun burnt autumn seed pods about to burst. The countryside here is pure inspiration and the light to die for. Look for the light, photographers say. Well that’s what I will do.
Its all about the moment, capturing them in their space, in their landscape. Not easy as they move a lot and the odd stem you didn’t notice stands out like a sore thumb in post-production and throws the whole image into a fail. You cant tramp all over them to get the right angle, the background just wont throw out of focus enough, the other plants muscle in and your standing in the weirdest positions trying to focus but that’s what I love, getting home to find one image just grabs that moment.
Hankering after a place to grow my own veg and find those landscapes to photograph, a visit to France presented the classic escape – an old run down barn, a plot of land with only the cows to keep an eye on us and room to create a future studio – just perfect. So in 2015 we took the big leap. We had a jungle of brambles to hack down and weeds up to our shoulders, but we found a garden and a small arbour of trees too amongst the wildness and knew this was home.
I also changed my name. Leaving England was an important step in changing my life, changing career and moving on in many ways – stories I will share. I kept my Scottish name from my father, and added the French Castille to always remind me of the country I love the most.
My other passions are illustration, writing children’s books – see my site http://www.Premofromlondon.com [being able to think like a five year old is a good excuse sometimes],making gluten free bread [book in the making] and experimenting with various sewing projects that I hope will come into fruition and provide some income at the same time.
Tony my husband and myself will be doing extensive refurb works on the barn and other buildings and gardens, keep an eye on the blog for these projects. And if you want to know all about jointing and pointing masonry, well there will be an article for that too.
Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org