• Daily life,  Our journey

    The Trickster in our midst

    It’s been a little over six months since we moved to France. The actual anniversary day of us moving into our new home went by without us noticing. We were probably absorbed by the multitude of things we need to do on a daily basis. The pleasant winter activities of feeding the chickens and letting them out for the day and feeding the five goats have been taken over by worries about cutting the grass that is not far from being knee-high, getting rid of the brambles, clearing the path towards the river, finishing the renovations at the gite, decking the concrete base that we inherited from the previous owners…

  • Daily life,  Our journey,  Work in progress

    The joys of pollarding trees

    When we moved to Maison Barbe in November 2017, we found the driveway covered in leaves from the four huge plane trees on both sides of the entry gate. Walking around the grounds, we’ve identified another four, even taller, plane trees, three of them sustaining the goats’ hut. We didn’t think much about it, but have subsequently found out that the said trees need to be pollarded yearly so they stay under control. If you don’t know what pollarding is (and neither did I until now), it is a method of pruning that entails cutting the higher branches of trees to restrict their growth in height. I didn’t know what…

  • Our journey

    First night in our new home

      I never thought my French was any good, to be honest. I had learnt it in school  many years before and not practised it for over fourteen years. But I was perfectly capable to talk to the notaire and understand the contract, as well as his jokes. An hour later, we received the keys and drove off to our new home for the first times as owners. Our property comprises of a renovated barn that has been done-up to a very high spec and a farm house that the previous owners rented out as a gite. As charming as the farmhouse was, it was also in desperate need of…