Come sit awhile, let’s just be. A place of French peace for you and me….

farmhouse

Into life flow moments that take your breath away and Belle and I were blessed to share one.

It was lunchtime and pottering in the kitchen I became aware of a new noise coming from the sky. Belle and I went outside to see hundreds of Cranes calling to each other as they flew South for the Winter. They fly in V’s with the newborns from this year nestled safely between them. They climb high if any buzzards are about and we watched them circle ever upwards till they were safe. It was magic and a blessing to see. I have never heard a noise like it and we could still hear them long after they had disappeared over the horizon. Nature’s wonder unfolding and Belle and I sat watching the sky for many magic moments.

cranes

The peace of this place is heartfelt. It seeps into your soul and you rest into it. The simplicity of life and the warmth of the sky meeting the earth in harmony weave a fabric for life that is natural and allows you to simply ‘be’.

From my ‘heart’ family there is a home for sale nestling next to the Dordogne river. It is a wonderful mixture of an old stone farmhouse with log burners and fireplaces, wooden floors, stone and wooden barns, old pigsties, workshops and sheds. Oak, walnut and fruit trees, land sloping down to the river and all within walking distance of Gardonne, which has all the services you need.

dordogne-river

Not quite my time to make the move, otherwise I would be there like a shot. It’s perfect for someone though and my heart wanted to flow the magic to share with you all, just in case that someone was you.

The link below will give you the full details:

Gardonne Farmhouse Ref: BH842

Discoveries as the new weaves into the old…

River Weaver

The first day of my new venture started with me finding Dad and smiling at him:

‘Dad, I am on the cadge.’ I smiled.

‘Oh yes’ he replied, as he peered at me over the top of his newspaper.

More smiles….

‘I haven’t got any clothes to paint in, so have you got any of your soft cotton shirts that you don’t wear anymore?’

I took his puzzled look as a ‘go ahead’ signal.

Rootling around in his wardrobe I pulled out a faded white and blue checked little number with a frayed collar.

‘Can I have this one Dad?’

‘It’s my best one……..!’ He smiled over the top of his newspaper.

‘Great stuff, thanks it’s perfect.’

I kissed his forehead and sailed out of the front door complete with a lunch box (packed with goodies) and a flask that Mum had unearthed for me from their old picnic gear.

Jo and I have sorted out our arrangement on trust and we both pottered together this morning, each doing our own thing, in harmony. As Jo left for the day we shared a caring look that flowed with gratitude for the divine timing that has brought us together.

I have made a start on some pieces and I am very grateful to Tracey and Chris for their encouragement as I put together a new design this afternoon. xXx

The lovely scene above was my lunchtime spot. I walked down to the boats and shared my roll with the ducks and soaked in the peace.

On the way home, as I was coming up to the bridge, three ducks crossed the lanes of traffic in single file and we all stopped to let them pass. The last duck may have been a bit giddy with the sunshine, because she broke rank and started to weave through the traffic. Bless her. We all waited till she was safe. It’s a beautiful day here and as I pulled up at the traffic lights a young lad, who had been behind me in the ‘duck queue’, drew to a halt beside me. All our car windows were down and he shook his head at me. I interpreted his look to mean ‘You daft old bat…’. I smiled at him and spoke across the cars; ‘May you get the life experience that means it’s OK to stop for ducks.’ Then I smiled at him gently and drove away.

Many blessings and possibilities as I find my way with this, with a heart full of gratitude for all the footsteps that have brought me here.

Much fun with splashing and biscuits……

Nature reserve

I am back caring for Charlie, the beautiful marmalade cat, and this time we have Phoebe with us, his greying and graceful dog buddy.

Phoebe joints are not what they once were and we amble rather than stride along. She nestles her nose in my hand as we make our way down to the nature reserve, so she can potter along the edge of the river and slash in the water. She is well known and her tail wags as she greets her friends and happily shares biscuits from loving pockets. Fudge and Floyd are Basset Hounds and their Mum and Dad have special fish skin biscuits for dogs….well, Phoebe thinks they are the best. When our friends made their way over the river bridge to the canal, I called Phoebe to stay back. Her back legs go if we walk too far and I didn’t want to have her happy ‘tail wagging time’ spoilt by pain for her. Cheerful farewells were called out, Phoebe had an extra splash in the river and we headed off for home.

A couple not familiar to us were walking down to the river with their pooch and Phoebe headed straight for them. I said to the chap (without thinking) ‘Gosh, you must have something good in your pocket!’ He caught my eye and we cracked up laughing.

Fortunately, his wife has a sense of humour!

Get down off the gas stove Jane, you’re too old to ride the range…mind you, it would help enormously if I could keep the blessed thing alight!

Forest views

I have landed in my next assignment and fallen under a spell.

This beautiful old deep stone walled home is way up a very high hill, looking down onto the valley below and across to the next hill. As I wound my way up here yesterday along a single track, a rare feeling came over me. I just knew that I was entering a different world and there were creative and loving souls living in the cottages dotted amoungst the trees. These hills are surrounded by an ancient forest and look out onto a wide river that is tidal.

I have come here for a week to care for a family’s brood whilst they take a well earned break abroad. We all got to spend some time together before they left at lunchtime today and loving bonds were formed very quickly. I am caring for a retired horse, a Shetland pony, hens, a timid rooster and a characterful fox terrier.

The forest is full of bluebells just coming out and to walk there with a dog that bounds joyously whilst I throw her sticks, is a very happy thing to do.

This little dog has many friends up here and on the way back from our walks she stops to greet her buddies at different gates. I have met the neighbours across these gates and invitations have been extended to stop for tea, cake and a natter whenever I feel the need. This hill is full of writers, musicians, artists, happy animals and love.

This morning I found myself grooming and mucking out my charges at 7am. The air is so clear and fresh up here, and there are trees left from an old orchard dotted across the fields and paddocks. It is an idyllic setting and I cannot think of a better way of starting the day. Mind you, two hours later I was more than ready for the cooked breakfast I was offered.

So far, I have managed to get to grips with some trails through the forest and finding my way back, the mucking out/grooming/feeding routine for my four legged friends, the hens needs and a few challenges.

The old kitchen range and I have yet to find a balance. I am sure there is a knack and so far I don’t have it, as she keeps going out. Thank goodness for the solar panels as this ensures me a much needed deep bath later in the luxury double ended hip bath…oh Yes! However, the challenge of making a hot drink still remains as I have a whistling kettle that does not recognise mains power.

Another interesting moment, was when my little furry companion took off as I gave the hens their lunchtime pellets. Mmmmmm, I suspected she may be making her way to the motorway to follow her family. We were in the paddock for goodness sake and it was supposed to be ‘escape’ proof. It wasn’t….I have nicknamed her ‘Houdini’ and I found her an hour later playing with her buddy, a Springer Spaniel, next door. This was just as I had started to ring round the neighbours, her family having left me a long list of phone numbers and contacts, so I take it that ‘Houdini’ has done this before.

I’m off outside now to water, feed, bed down, tidy and settle everyone before darkness falls. I am in my element, with a grin on my face a mile wide.