This is kind of a strange post because I have lots to say. I receive many emails and messages from people who tell me how much they love the blog, thank you, and also how they love visiting France through my eyes because it is their dream to visit but they think they most likely never will and this set me thinking.
And I’ve been thinking for a year now and discussing with Roddy, throwing out ideas, and making a plan. A lot of people think they will never come here because they are single and have never travelled to France before and the whole thing is rather scary. I fully understand that, let’s face it, I think most of us here are not 18 year olds taking a gap year and excited to embark on a backpacking trip to far flung places. This is what I have been working on, finding a way that perhaps people can visit on their own and come and stay in our guest cottage.
We are really excited to let you know of our plans to offer individually tailored one on one vacations (or two on one, if you are a couple or two friends). We will quite literally ‘hold your hand’ all the way, we’ll help you with travel arrangements and we will even come and meet you at the airport if that is a concern. Because I know, arriving in a foreign country, where everyone speaks a foreign language is nerve wracking. Finding a train, navigating the metro or even a taxi is enough to put one off even contemplating such a trip. But we will be there, we will meet you and accompany you back here to our home, if you want us to. We will treat you like an extended member of the family, we will show you around, we’ll share aperitifs and family suppers, we’ll chat and find out what you want to do but we will also respect your privacy and you can be as independent as you want to be. Imagine sightseeing, taking a village walk, visiting brocantes.
Or simply enjoying a cup of tea and some home-made scones in our farmhouse kitchen.
Well now the dream really can become a reality. I like to think of this as “hold my hand” travel, because that’s kind of what we would be doing. We would want you to feel as if you are visiting a long lost friend and we will do what you want to do.
For others, who want a break but like to be busy, we are offering long weekends and mini breaks that resemble a retreat more than a holiday. Cooking workshops and Nature Tours here in the Charente Maritime.
Basically, we live a very ordinary life, but we are lucky to live it here and we want to share it with you. Yes, we are busy, days never have enough hours and I know I am guilty of almost biting off more than I can chew, for the simple reason that I am so enthusiastic about everything. I want to be able to do it all because there is so much to do! I am only talking about simple things, for ours really is a simple lifestyle. But this simple life is so fulfilling, the pleasure from growing and gathering vegetables from our own garden and then eating them all together.
Laying the table, even if it is just the family and just a simple Saturday lunch. It is so much fun to gather a few twigs and leaves, cut some rosemary and ask the children to help me. This weekend the weather has been incredible. October days when we are in shorts and t-shirts. The doors have been flung open, the laundry drying on the line
and the puppies and their mum enjoying the sunshine. Saturday morning we had just three left at home. By Sunday we were down to two. One who we are keeping and one who has a fabulous new home in the UK and so will stay with us for another month before he departs. All of our puppies have the most incredible homes, their new owners have sent us photos. I am so happy we’ve made some people very happy and also that our four legged babies are well loved.
And this is Pixel who will be a permanent member of our family, so I am sure you will see a lot more of him!
It’s been a town and country weekend.
And also an active one. This was October Rose, a run or walk of 7kms just for girls to raise money for womens cancer. Over 7000 people took part, I did it with our two daughters who are at home and we had a fabulous evening. A wonderful atmosphere and what’s more, over 35,000 euros was raised. Three cheers to Rochefort for organising this.
On the way home we passed the edge of the Marais. The coolness of the evening after an incredibly warm day meant a mist had formed low over the land.
One final word before I say goodbye. Perhaps like me you are starting to think of the holiday season, maybe you are even super organised and beginning to look for gifts. I know I am trying to, every year I tell myself to buy early and avoid a hectic December! To give something back to you we are offering some special gifts with purchases in our Etsy shop. For every order over 250 euros we will give you a FREE French Market Bag and for every order over 500 euros we will give you a FREE white Ironstone tureen. Just click here. Hopefully this means you can treat yourself and your friends and family during the festive season.
And on that note I’ll say goodnight. Autumn here in the Charente Maritime really is the most perfect time of year. Hope you have all had a great weekend. xx