Hi, time for an update

May 6th, 2013

Written by .  3 Comments - read/leave yours;

We’re now well into our third year of our free range adventure. Having been here for so long it’s not really much of an adventure any more, it’s become normal and our routines and activities and environment all seem normal to us. Every now and then I’ll catch a glimpse of how I saw things when we first arrived and I’m reminded of how different our life here in France is from our previous life in England. But different doesn’t mean adventure, which is fine I suppose, it doesn’t have to be a white-knuckle ride 24/7. I do quite like white-knuckle rides though.

I mention this ‘settling in’ effect in an effort to explain why I haven’t posted anything about what we’ve been up to for so long; blogging about your mundane everyday life sometimes seems like a bit of a cheek. But the sun is shining and we’ve been out in the garden the last few days and, whilst it’s not adventurous, it is free range; we can enjoy what we’ve got together, when we please, without outside commitments getting in the way. Except Soren who has to go to school every now and then.

Additionally, I’ve been progressing quite well with alternative ways to make money. By alternative I mean not working for someone else in an office. My website making business – Uncomplicate – is doing well, far better than I ever imagined it would; I currently have 4 websites to make. I’ve been writing for a local English magazine, have published a collection of very short stories on Amazon, and am about 1/4 of the way through writing my first novel. And we’re in the process of buying another house just two doors down from ours, although the news from the solicitor last week suggests it might take quite a long time; there are 27 owners! Corrie’s also considering doing more of her cake-making that made her a fair amount of dough (pardon the bun) at the Christmas markets. None of this will make us wealthy, but it just might mean that we can continue doing what we’ve been doing for a little while longer.

So here, accompanied by some pictures, are a few of the things we’ve been up to…

Apple blossom on our dead apple tree


A bench I made (using a frame I found in a junk shop)


Our 7 chickens in their winter patch - we're getting 4 or 5 eggs a day at the moment


We planted a clematis last year to brighten up the bland front of the house


Corrie's been getting a load of vegetable seeds ready to plant out. Here they're inside


And here they're outside getting a bit of sun


Tomatoes. They're a fruit you know.


Corrie's already put quite a lot into the ground - here are onions, garlic and shallots


Potatoes, lettuce, spinach, beetroot and some flowers


Strawberries with an experimental 'snake shelter' method to keep the fruit clean


Last year's strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants


This year's use of our field; a playing field. Only goalposts so far....


A sort of rockery


A small pond - we'll be putting some fish in there soon


Herb tyres


Weeding (grrr)


A living willow den


We expanded the boys' sandpit using tyres and, er, more sand


My cool tool board - when it's tidy I feel a sense of contentment


My welding bench. I am SHIT at welding


We sold our UK Mercedes Vito van and replaced it with a French 9 seater Renault Traffic


We also knocked down a wall to make two pokey rooms into one lovely, sunny one, but I can’t for the life of me get a good photo of it. Trust me though, it looks like something ‘Grand Designs’ would spend a few minutes slowly panning their camera round.

I’ve probably missed something out from this overdue update, but I think you get the picture.

Your comments

PA May 6th, 2013 at 11:45

I don’t come for a few months and it’s all go there. It all looks lush – especially the living willow den, sandpit, snake shelter strawberries, herb tyres…er…everything really. It seems like, quietly, you’ve been making a real free range habitat.
I like it.

Emma May 6th, 2013 at 21:50

Lovely to have an update – and the everyday is an adventure! It all looks absolutely idyllic x

Paul AKA Khatru May 11th, 2013 at 23:19

Nice to see its all progressing nicely, and now your an author !! Can’t wait for the novel, whats it about?