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Half Year Review 2020

Mother & Baby Saanen Goats

Where on earth did the time go? Bush Fires in Australia, Corona Virus globally, Lockdown, Isolation, ……… and yet life on our renovation farm with livestock has continued in perpetual growth. Its time for our first Half Year Review. A chance to breathe, reflect, revise, and action.

Gosling hatched on 16 July 2020
Gosling (baby goose) hatched in the incubator on 16 July 2020

We have achieved a lot since New Year

  • Stayed well, and Covid 19 free
  • Managed 8 Goat Kid arrivals
  • Begun goat milking, cheesemaking, probiotic & yoghurt fermenting, preparing for soap making
  • Created milking stations and processing area, for twice per day goat milking
  • Done the first shearing of the Angora Goats for Mohair, who will be ready again in August
  • First ever shearing of the Alpaca
  • Set up hatching our very first batch of Silk Worm
  • Set up and begun planting of the Vegetable Path (Potager) and Polytunnel
  • Hatched Muscovy Ducklings, and recently a solitary Gosling (still time for a few more eggs to hatch)
  • In recent weeks, we finally have hot water from the tap! Whoo hoooooo
  • In the next few weeks, we will have a proper installed bathroom (no more camping shower in the barn)
  • Workshops are now almost fully useable and I can begin to make textiles and jewellery again
  • Planning for teaching is underway, and a wonderful opportunity for residential location has been discussed
  • Installation of electricity throughout the property is in motion
  • Rearranging fencing, and restructuring the pasture layout to incorporate what we now know about the land, as we watch it through the changing seasons in practical terms

and thats just the headlines that I can recall in this moment. Most of all, we are still here, still working hard, and have passed our first anniversary of arriving in France.

The Bathroom build is now progressing well
The Wet Room base has now set, and the water insulated walls are being installed for the bathroom

At the beginning of the year, we had Workaway guests booking in, with plans to travel for a cultural exchange here with us. We had to cancel all of those as the Corona Virus Pandemic happened. We have suspended our account on Workaway for now, as we already have people requesting to stay with us in 2021, subject to any health risk limitations still ongoing. We hope to be able to embrace friends and family visiting for the first time too.

Maybe its time to reflect on our progress, check our future goals are still in alignment, and adjust our course where necessary. A half year review to assess and revise our strategies session. Hmmmmmmmm, will that be held in the sunshine, and include wine? Perhaps home made cheese and wine? Thats a jolly good plan!

Bonne journée to you all. Keep well and safe. Keep wearing the mask, and washing your hands. We will all get through this together if we do.

Bon Courage mes amis

Sunset over Chez Elie, 87230 Champsac
At the end of the day, the sunsets are glowing, whilst we can breathe deeply in the clean mountain air
We look forward to being able to share our adventure in person, in the next twelve month period

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Moving Forward

Mercury in Retrograde

Apparently, according to astronomers, Venus has been in retrograde causing chaos.  As it begins to more forward again, good old Mercury, the sly silver fox, has turned retrograde to “perform a cleaning up operation”.  

Cleaning up the operation is exactly what’s been happening here.  Unfortunately we are still awaiting a buyer for the UK home.  Its a little frustrating, as we are all packed to keep the place suitable for viewing, and the workshop dismantled.  Marking time isn’t in my nature.  So I’ve set up a little art and craft table in the back study, so that I can keep something happening in the handcrafting department.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the website, repeatedly scratching my head to resolve the shipping conundrum which has been putting off the listing of stock onto the site, to allow purchases.  


I think that, this evening, I may actually have settled the whole dilemma, so I will now start taking photographs and regularly applying listings of goodies for your Christmas shopping.

We also attended a gathering at York Weavers & Spinners Guild last weekend, helping out with a Spinning Wheel Surgery.  Martin had a particularly good time.  He lights up when he has a problem to fix for the ladies. We are looking forward to working more with Spinners and their Wheels.

Martin Berry under the close guidance of Clive Jones for the Spinning Wheel Surgery at York Spinning Guild November 2018 – ahead of the Timbertops Spinning Wheel business handover

Thank you for your patience.  We will cross fingers and hope to offer more interesting and exciting news soon.

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The Diary is open on the desk.  We have officially made our first Event decision for 2019.  Well, subject to application for a stall being accepted in January.


It will be a very long drive to Skipton from home.  Likely best done over a couple of days, and then a couple of days to return too.  Though I am certain the traditional Yorkshire welcome will be on offer.  Best get me big coat out and prep the thermos for some good, strong, Yorkshire tea.  We are certain there will be some familiar faces and hugs to be had.