The morning starts well with a little sunshine and a promise of rain, the vegetables in the garden need that as does our well. I bake a coffee cake this morning before going off to the shops. A friend is 60 tomorrow and I will decorate the cake with sparklers and take it for part one of the party at lunchtime.
I leave all the cats in the garden enjoying the sunshine.
There is Tortue who was living in one of the barns when we found the house, she gradually gained confidence and now is part of the family. She's a real lady. Then Pie arrived. She had been found in a local bar where some men thought it was good fun to play catch with her !! A friend saved her and when I saw her it was a ' coup de couer,' love at first site. She arrived just before Christmas and is the colour of mince meat hence " Pie " She is tiny but with the heart of a lion. Pie had a hard start in life and still wants to suckle at Malcolm or my neck, she missed out on that time with her mother. So there we were the first Christmas here with 2 cats and one dog. Hannah was so patient but being old just accepted her new companions. Sam's arrival will come in another post.
Rain wakes me this morning, I hear it on the roof as I sit in bed with Pie having her early morning time with me. In the kitchen Tortue and Samuel are curled up together. I will explain in a later post how they all came to be with us. When we arrived here 7 years ago we had just our one dog, Hannah, a border collie. Sadly Hannah's sister, Tess died 6 months before we came to Kerjacob. They were wonderful dogs and we shared many happy times together.
The second year we were here I decided that I must start to do my own work again. Its too easy to let the domestic life take up the time and it was important for me to work on my art work. As many know the ideas have to be there, the inspiration. A blank piece of paper or canvas can be very scary. All around me were the most wonderful swathes of wild flowers. In the country here the flowers are allowed to be, they provided the inspiration. I made myself work even though it had to be on the kitchen table or on the work top. The usual frustration of having to tidy up for each meal and the stopping to do the cooking etc, etc. Gradually the paintings came and the pleasure of being totally involved with my work pushed me on. Summer of that year I had my first exhibition, shared with two French artists and two English artists. It went well and I was please that people liked my work and bought it. I worked in with wax, inks,dyes and paint. I'd made a start.
We found Kerjacob about 8 years ago. Looking, looking and not finding the untouched gem we hoped for. Then 3 days before packing up our tent and going back to England we found this wonderful house just waiting to be brought back to life. Neglected for so many years only lived in for a couple of weeks each year. Windows blocked up and cobwebs everywhere. However it was love at first sight. I remember sitting on one of the stone steps in the September sunshine wondering whether it was the sound of the car or the wind. I laughed to think that I could be in a place that could be so quiet. June of the following year we moved in or to be more precise we did 7 journeys with all our belongings, mostly mine. I have lots of "stuff" as my father used to call it ! We lived our days working and slept in the caravan at night. Each time I came up to the house it was difficult to believe this was home. A different world and life was starting.
Out by 10.30 today and off to the local troc et puces.
I love going to these as its my equivalent of a lucky bag when I was a child ! I never know what I will find.
Not so many stalls today but did manage to find some wonderful Manuel Canovas fabric pieces at great prices.
The man who was selling them told me his brother worked for the company, I will be using some of the pieces for making my bags. I have been collecting old French textiles since we came to live here nearly 7 years ago. I love the old linen torchons and mattress ticking. I've just made one bag so far and have started on the second.
Back home and out into the garden again. Planted up three window troughs with trailing geraniums, white with tiny touch of purply pink to them, also added white busy lizzies. Many more pots to go.
Also started to plant up vegetable seeds. So far there are broad beans, pumpkins, butternut squash and basil.
I live in a late 18th century farmhouse or longere
with my husband .
I taught Art in England for over 35 years and have always done my own work.
We moved to France over 12 years ago and and continue to work on the renovation of the house and making the garden. I make many things out of old textiles and also sell vintage sheets etc.
I have had over 6 exhibitions of my art work since living here and in the summer manage a small art gallery in a nearby village. I make home made cards and other ephemera.