It was in June 1990 that we came househunting in the Poitou-Charentes region of France. We were looking for a holiday home but with a view to eventually moving to France. We had some spare cash for the first time in our married life and it seemed like a good investment. We were looking for a house with a few acres as I wanted to be able to have a horse when we finally moved fulltime.
On the last day of our 10 day visit we were shown a Longere with about 3 ha's of farmland and 4ha's of woodland. All week the weather had been quite miserable but on that morning as we walked through the wood to the meadow the sun came out and bathed us in it's warm rays. The sunlight glinted on the river that flowed through the fields and it was love at first sight.
We went back to the Immobiliers[agent's] office and signed the Compromis de Vente, the first and legally binding stage in buying property in France. The Acte de Vente was signed in late September and we had our farmhouse in the beautiful French countryside.
It very quickly became obvious that someone needed to be there all the time to look after the large garden and the land. It would have deteriorated without constant attention. We decided that one of us would have to give up work and live in France full time while the other partner would pay the bills, and visit as often as possible. It was a really difficult descision !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!but I agreed to give up my job and live in the most idyllic corner of France you can imagine.
After spending the Summer of 1992 at the farm on my own to see if I was happy, in November 1992 I collected my two dogs from England and took my first lone trip back to France. I was now committed to staying and I have never regretted my descision. I think it was one of the most important choices I have ever made and I think I have grown as a person because of it.
For the first time in my adult life I was entirely responsible for what I did and had no-one to turn to for help. I had no-one else to look after either and I enjoyed my new found freedom immensely. I always say how lucky we are to have been able to do what we have done but it took courage on our part and we have had to work hard for what we now have. I am lucky but very often luck is what you make for yourself.
It has not all been plain sailing and one of the reasons for this blog is to show some of the trials and tribulations of Sheep farming in a foreign land!!!