When I moved from my house on the Welsh borders, it was to provide a home that was suitable to raise my (then) two small children. I needed a large-ish house, plenty of barns and other outbuildings, and a couple of acres of land. A decent sized property.
My quest stopped outside the tall stone gate posts that led into the courtyard of an old farmhouse, and surrounding barns. The house had been unoccupied for a few years, but after a quick clean was livable in at once. I bought it.
I had been looking for a home where my children could play safely, and have open fields and woodland as their extended playroom. I wanted them to breathe pure fresh air, and to have the advantage of home produced fruit and vegetables. I wanted them run with our dog (Hamlet) wherever they wished, and to have daily adventures. This property seemed to offer everything I'd wished for; and it was affordable.
All this was over 45 years ago, and I think the children had the very best childhood I could have offered them; and as a bonus they both later learned to speak French at the local school.
These days I look at my decision anew. We are no longer in that original farmhouse, but just a couple of hundred metres away in a tiny, but very pleasant, little cottage (above) with unbroken views over open countryside; and not a coronavirus in sight.
The two children who came with us on our adventure both now live in big cities; one in London, the other in Brisbane. Our third child, who arrived a little later, is presently living in Amsterdam.
I'm still very happy to be living away from the madding crowd; away from pollution, away from crime, and away from all the hussle and bussle. It remains to be seen, of course, but hopefully we will remain away from illness as well.
However, not all is as it was here in our little corner of paradis, as there are some around us who we'd prefer lived elsewhere. Threats have been made, and we've suspiciously lost two dogs to possible poisoning. The natural friendliness of genuine country folk has been, in part, exchanged for the ways of urban newcomers. Change is not always for the better, so we continue to keep ourselves mostly to ourselves.
I've recently been talking to neighbours that I've known since we first moved here, and they still believe (as I do) that we are in as safe a place as anywhere. Our only problem would come from town dwellers heading for their second homes in the country, and bringing viruses with them (even though I believe such travel is outlawed).
The weather isn't always perfect, the red wine doesn't always taste like Pétrus, and one can't expect ALL one's neighbours to be 'couth'; but I'm still extremely happy living where I do.
I'm just praying that the virus stays well away.
Looks like paradise.ReplyDelete
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Every thing looks so beautiful. Stay safe Cro.ReplyDelete
I'd just mowed the grass, it always looks so much neater. I think we're as safe as anywhere here; fingers crossed!Delete
I must have lost the plot. Who is living in the ex barn? Is it a holiday home for one of the three children and their families?ReplyDelete
It belongs to my youngest son. He moves around a lot. He has homes in Oz, and Thailand (not yet finished), and is currently renting in Amsterdam. He's a busy boy.Delete
It looks beautiful. I'm quite envious.ReplyDelete
Nothing to be envious about, just the choice of a simple lifestyle.Delete
You made the right choice all those years ago. It looks beautiful.ReplyDelete
I'm sure we did. I've never regretted moving here.Delete
Young professionals don't want houses in the countryside these days where I live, they prefer a different culture of wine bars and coffee bars and open plan kitchens. All very odd.ReplyDelete
A good thing. I really don't want to find young Chavs in my woods holding mobile phones and bottles of Perrier. Let them live in Docklands' high rise blocks, and eat at Nando's or Café Rouge. They can keep it.Delete
If that is a "pleasant, little cottage" then the first place must have been on a par with Buckingham Palace! You made a good choice all those years ago.ReplyDelete
My first house here was a pukka farm with a huge stone barn, other outbuildings, and one hectare of land. Compared to our present little house, it was BIG.Delete
It sounds like you have had a great time living in your rural idyll in France. I love Spring in rural Ireland but I hate the dark nights and winter gales. I wouldn't mind living on the edge of a village in Dorset.ReplyDelete
The edges of Dorset villages are already over-subscribed. Every amateur Alpaca farmer has reserved a plot.Delete
If circumstances had been different we would never have wanted to move away from our home in France. It has such beautiful countryside and most of the people are charming.ReplyDelete
Such a beautiful house too; and Phillipe as a voisin.Delete
I am horrified that someone would poison your pets. What kind of person would do that?ReplyDelete
I wish for you many more years in your lovely abode. Less people means less contagion.
You wouldn't believe these people; everyone in the village would be happy if they disappeared.Delete
In answer to your last question Cro - aren't we all?ReplyDelete
An ideal place to bring up happy children. I'm glad we live somewhere safe where children can run free.ReplyDelete
All our neighbours aren't friendly natives either. We have bouts of animal poisoning and cruelty. Also a few arguments over land though they haven't got as far as shooting each other .. yet
Some people just shouldn't be allowed to live out in the countryside. They pretend to be country folk for a while, then the pretence wears off and their true urban colours reveals itself. Yuk.Delete
Can’t imagine someone intentionally poisoning a pet and especially a dog who’s main mission in life is to please humans.ReplyDelete
Almost more unbelievable was threatening to kill one of our dogs in front of about 6 other people; for no apparent reason.Delete
Where is Haddocks in relation to that photo? and the barn.ReplyDelete
Off to the left is Haddock's Paddock, then a small path/track, then Haddock's. The barn is about 100 metres behind the house. I'll do a map one day.Delete
I think you are as safe there as anywhere. Strangely, even in the middle of a big city, I feel safe enough. People are obeying the rules and being respectful to each other.ReplyDelete
That's the important thing; to be sensible, and respect all advice.Delete
A wonderful decision all those years ago, and at what today would seem like silly money to buy such a palatial set-up.ReplyDelete
Second homes here are very much a feature of Ludlow living. One of our neighbours visiting from wherever, asked my husband who was loading up some stuff to take to the council tip. She queried when the rubbish was taken and why they had left some of hers? Her question hung in the air... unspoken but very real for all that... ‘Would you take mine?’ The council she had seen take a photograph of her rubbish and leave it behind! Husband keeping well back thankfully didn’t pick up her request.