Tuesday 4 April 2006


It's been a while since I updated this blog. I haven't been back to France and other things have been taking priority, but after some visits to friends it's become clear that there are aspects to the situation that can confuse. So here are some answers to some frequently asked questions.


The first question is always "When are you going to move over there permanently?" and the answer is simply that we're not, for the time being. Paul has a job that pays to support everything and also provides some personal satisfaction. He's not giving everything up just yet to become a subsistence farmer. While we have ties in two places neither location is going to become the main residence, we will move from place to place as is possible and appropriate. And with that in mind the plans for this year are becoming clearer; I will make a couple more short trips and then take residence in France from June to October and Paul will join me when he can.

So a second question is often killed on the lips "Are you splitting up?". No, we're not, but it's obviously going to put stress on our relationship. We're looking at this year as a trial, to see how things go, to find out how best to manage looking after the cat, the orchids, each other if everything is in the wrong place all the time.

And "what are we going to do with all those buildings?". In the short term, pray that they don't all fall down. Until the Irish house is sold there is little in the way of funds for major renovations and there will be little enough when it is. We have some time to assess priorities and immediate remedial work will happen if I can locate reliable tradespeople. There is no way that we can personally do all the necessary work to the required standard and we've no intention of trying. That said, I'm keen to learn to work with cob and lime renders and the Studio building will be my playground for this. It's going to be a very long term project.

"When will we get a tractor, and can I drive it?". We'll need a tractor p.d.q. and as I understand it anyone can drive it on our land but if they land on their head there will be no insurance so it's entirely at your own risk. Unfortunately neither of us has any experience buying tractors so it's definitely a trial to come, something else for my list for the summer months.

After that, nearly everything has to be answered with hand waving and hope. We don't know yet, but we will find out.

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