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Donkeys, canoes and upcycling

Created: Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Written by Elle Owell

Those of us who have made the move to a new country bring a variety of skills and life experiences to a very different type of community.

It is, if you like, up-scaling for people-skills.

It's a long and windy road to explain why the picture shows canoes crammed into a horse-box.
It's a tale of integration. Integration doesn't have to mean only ever speaking French.


We bought a house with more land than we would have got in the UK. To me the 'spare' field screamed, 'Donkeys'.
So we have donkeys and a reputation as a soft touch.
Donkeys are, in themselves, life-changers (for us!).

We're still in contact with vendors for whom we took the instruction to sell their property several years ago.
They next bought on a river, and became donkey owners.
Life is changing for them once again, and we agreed to re-home their two Baudet de Poitou (there is another story to come in that specific regard!!)

We had to transport the donkeys, so what do you do? Obviously you get help from the BVI Customer Support Team - one of whom is a fully qualified racehorse trainer.
We're an eclectic bunch.

In the course of collecting the animals, conversation turned to the canoes perched in the roof of a barn.
It turned out these had been left by a previous owner, and were surplus to current and anticipated needs.
Now, Jenny from the BVI Customer Support Team had bought a house (with BVI) on a river ............ and was delighted to re-home said canoes........

Lots of wins.

There is much about this story that wasn't in my thinking when we watched from the ferry the white cliffs of Dover fade into the background all those years ago!
It is still as fresh and exciting as it was back then.

The sweet smell of success

Created: Monday, 26 June 2017
Written by Julie Savill

We spent an exceptionally relaxed Sunday morning touring a delightful cottage industry a few kilometres from our Montaigu de Quercy office on the borders of Tarn-et-Garonne and Lot-et-Garonne in Midi Pyrénées, south west France..

Lavande en Quercy, Ferme de Lacontal had opened its doors for the weekend and whilst it would have been equally easy to sit by the pool, we ‘dragged’ ourselves out at the crack of 11 am!!

We were greeted at the farm gate by a delightful family who were happy and proud to share their knowledge and passion for a niche business.

Entry was free and we wandered happily through the fields stirring up clouds of butterflies and being ignored by massed bees.

We listened to brief talks about the history of the industry, and current production methods, had a peer in the still and took the sniff test to appreciate the difference between types of lavender.

There was the opportunity to buy products in a delightfully under-stated ‘shop’ in a corner of a barn.

I now know the difference between the lavender I have in my garden, and a bit about the commercial realities of producing lavender oil: it takes one hectare of land (2 1/2 acres) to produce 5 litres.

Read more ...

Summer is coming !

Created: Thursday, 22 June 2017
Written by Helen Stothard

When the cows start swimming it's officially hot !!!

89% of Brits would like second citizenship

Created: Monday, 19 June 2017
Written by The Independent

89 per cent of UK citizens would like to have a second citizenship and many of them are prepared to spend a considerable amount for the privilege, according to a new survey.
Some 58 per cent admitted Brexit has been the motivating factor in their decision. According to the "Citizenship Survey", conducted by CS Global Partners, three in four participants believed a second passport would give them the ability to travel and explore the world with greater ease.
The second most popular reason was the belief that a second non-UK citizenship would mean "increased freedom and human rights" - with nearly three in five citing this as their concern. One in six people wanted a second passport for business and career opportunities.

Read more ...

Make room for mushrooms

Created: Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Written by Don Quay

Mushrooms are a passion in France. Possibly even an obsession in some parts.Collecting them and identifying them is almost religious in its fervour.
The excitement of our friend when he found a morille (morel) in the middle of the path as we strolled through local woodland was something to be savoured; much like the mushroom - if you like mushrooms.

Now, it's a normal part of a pharmacists job description to supply an identification service to anyone who asks.
You bag up your finds (each type in a separate paper bag to avoid cross-contamination), pop into La Pharmacie and tip 'em out on the counter. Pan-fried or poison? Tasty or toxic.

What a responsibility! And imagine the insurance premium.
Several people die each year from mis-identified fungi consumed at home. Should have gone to the chemist!
Our friend confidently gifted his find to the first pensioner he saw as we re-entered the village; no need for a second opinion...

And we cruelly told him later that there had been a mysterious poisoning in town that very day.



Welcome to South West France

map franceThis part of France enjoys a temperate climate, favoured by the Atlantic breeze, and stunningly beautiful and incredibly diverse countryside, open and available to all, with abundant and varied bird and wildlife.

Contact Beaux Villages Immobilier

telephone +33 (0)5 56 71 36 59

telephone+44 (0)800 270 0101 Freephone from UK

telephone+33 (0)8 05 69 23 23 Freephone from France