Thursday, 20 October 2016

Capturing A Dream

Four months ago, 23rd June 2016, Referendum Day. What were Paul and I doing on that day apart from voting and praying that we stayed in Europe? Before the votes were even counted, we signed our Compromis de Vent to buy a barn and two and a half acre field in France.
Some would call it fool hardy, but we believed we were capturing our dream before it escaped. We want to plant our field full of lavender and create winding paths and seating areas around the land. Did we get our priorities straight? Of course not! We bought a tractor and two thousand lavender plants before we'd even bought our little piece of France.
Can we speak French? Un petit peu! We can order a meal, pass the time of day with strangers and smile...surely the universal language. I suggested we take French lessons but Paul assured me everything was fine because he could say, 'Zut alors! Mon pantalons est en feu.' Our worries about the language were over.
We love France, especially the south-west of the country. For many years we've been visiting Aubeterre-sur-Dronne and I've even written a novel set in the surrounding area. We're thinking of our future and how we can incorporate the things we love (writing, creating and nature) in to a way of making a simple living. What better than planting a lavender field and building a few shepherd's huts set in amongst the rows of blossoming plants to rent to holiday makers? That's the dream. It will take time, but there's no rush.
Lavender takes three years' growth before its oil can be extracted. Our only job for 2016 is to transport the tractor and rotavator attachment down to France and dig up the field. We're wintering the plants in England, in poly tunnels that have taken over our garden. The big planting event will take place next spring and we hope to bribe, beg, invite family members to join us and help.
The plan is to spend each summer in France, making lavender soap and other beautiful-smelling products in what are at present, rooms that once stabled goats. I'll add to my new blog fortnightly, if not with news of the lavender field, then with creative ideas using this beautiful plant. I made some lavender shortbread yesterday, so I may even post some recipes. Just to whet your appetite, here is a photograph of the tiny flowers I pulled from the plant before adding to my shortbread mix.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Angela - brave and courageous I'd call you ... but well done and you are creating your dream ... cheers Hilary