Wednesday, 11 July 2012


I have been absent for a few days on account of a small trip to France. After the spate of burglaries (3 in 2 years) and lack of funds to maintain the land and gardens, we were becoming increasingly concerned about it. It rather got to the point where we were just grateful it hadn't burned down. The last time it was burgled we were not even able to go over and tidy it up again, due to financial and work constraints. Needless to say, knowing our home lay in tatters and not being able to get there, was quite a horrid feeling.

My brother stepped in to save the day, by agreeing to live there for a while. So early this week I headed for the airport, to pack up our little house and make room for my brother to move in.

To say it was an emotional few days is quite an understatement. I cried the whole time, though it was lovely to catch up with much missed friends and to breathe in the scent of home (albeit a bit musty) again.

As we drove to the house from the airport, the route being mainly farmland, I remembered each little house and garden we passed....the pretty maison d'maitre with it's blue shutters and glorious hydrangeas decorating it's front wall. The petite maison with green shutters and wysteria... the way the wildflowers bloomed especially brightly as we turned the corner into our village... Monsieur Honesty's house, now sadly empty since he moved to the Maison de Retraite (old folks home), but his rose garden still living on in his absence, and the light, the glorious french light.
I had a lump in my throat the entire way there, it was bittersweet.

I was quite overwhelmed by the state of the land surrounding the house, it has been little over a year since a gardner popped by, nature has well and truly taken over.
Whilst I was at first taken aback by the sheer amount of work that would be involved in getting the land in some usable order again, it was nice to note that the 8ft high brambles shielded the house from view and made it quite difficult for any subsequent burglaries to take place. It felt very much like mother nature had put her arms around our home and taken care of it for us.

Here are some picture you may remember seeing here a long while ago, when we lived there.



Here are the same spaces now...



Quite spectacular growth, isn't it? We can't see the lake, or reach it...

I miss France terribly, and still hope to return, it may be a while yet, but while I breathe, I hope.


  1. Oh, what a touching post! I really feel for you. Amazing photos, what a wonderful spot!, and I love the idea of Nature encircling the place in a protective embrace, though it's going to take a bit of work to free it again!

    We're planning to move to France in the next couple of years to build a house on a plot next to my MIL's house out there, which is thrilling for us, but quite scary too, as everything will have to be in storage for a few years and we'll lose our (rented, but fantastic) place here, and of course, we'll be in chaos for a while... (years). It will be comforting though for Jude's mum to know that we'll be able to keep an eye on her house there, which is where her heart is.

    I expect this endlessly crappy weather in Britain will see an exodus of people to drier climes...

  2. how lovely. thinking of the story of sleeping beauty, when the brambles grew around the castle to protect those within. i don't know the story of why you are not in france, but i hope your heart's wish comes true for you.

  3. i can feel the bitterness and the sweetness!! i'm so glad you showed us and i share your longing. i hope that it works out well to have your brother there and that he can tend the place a bit again. i'll have to read back in your blog and learn more of the history of your places in the world!

  4. oh that must of been so hard....i really hope it all works out for you. It is such a beautiful area...and darling house. xoox HUGS

  5. I used to love those posts from your little piece of heaven in France (and hopefully not too long before you and your family are back there...by the lake). I often had this mental image of you freewheeling into the village on your bicycle....basket filled with creative goodies to mail around the world.
    I'm so pleased your brother will be staying in your home for a while, keeping it safe.

    Jacky xox

  6. Hi sweetie. Like Jacky I used to love your posts from France and have taken a trip down memory lane via your blog to revisit some of your memories from there. Am very pleased your brother will be staying in your home. That will give you peace of mind. I can visualise you and your family back there one day. Lots of love
    Dot xx

  7. Best wishes to you and your home - that is a tricky one as the brambles are doing a good job (grrr to people who do that to others). It all looks so pretty and wonderful.

  8. hope is a good thing to have...I am hoping for you too now.