Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Bonjour from Normandie, France  (Read 4 times)

Verdant monach

  • Joined May 2023
Bonjour from Normandie, France
« on: June 05, 2023, 04:25:20 pm »
  :chook: :goat: :sheep: :farmer: :bouquet::horse: Good afternoon fellow smallholders. I am not sure if this forum is meant for smallholders overseas, cannot see for looking, apologies to admin if it's not.

I am a shall we say, a seasoned gardener living in Calvados, Normandie, France with my husband who is a Landscaper/farmer by trade but pretty good at most things (except housework!) thank goodness as he saves us a fortune! We took a property guardian's job in Tuscany Italy but the management style was not for us shall we say, so himself returned to his previous job in Surrey and I got stuck in France with my 3 Jack Russell's due to rabies protocols at the time, the only other choices being euthanasia or rehoming, neither of which I wanted for them as all of them had come from 'broken' homes already and were all too young to consider the alternative. Homeless and jobless I used a network called to earn my keep and board, it saved us from destitution. I eventually ended up in Normandie where I was working at a kennels and had use of a vehicle to explore this lovely region. House prices then were daft so I decided that one day would like to live there. I sold my lovely live aboard boat bought a cottage in North Wales, him indoors couldn't;t get work up there so after 2 years we sold up and moved to France, risking another property Guardian's job which would allow us to be near our own place which would take years to renovate.
That was the state of play, only after 7 years of reliable, hardworking service the owner of the property we worked at was found to be pocketing the cotisations (UK equivalent of NI) instead of paying them to the French government and it took 2 years and a lot of frustration but we got the delightfully honest man to pay up and now we are leaving to live full time on our smallholding. I can't wait.

Over the years husband Ed has been rescuing the old, lame and injured Ouessant sheep from our employers flock - they would have just been left to meet an unpleasant end otherwise - they are now healthy, happy, rotund bundles of black fluff decorating the field. I say decorating because all they do is eat, we don't eat or breed from them. He started off with 6 that the previous Guardian left behind and ended up with 32 !!!! for goodness sake. Cute as they are, 32 is too many!
I have recently acquired a horse, fully functional and only 11. We have 3 rescued terriers, one deaf and apparently unmanageable, one escaped from a chasse and hours away from euthanasia and one form the refuge at Cabourg. All 3 have turned out well and are adorable, however, quiet and un-excitable they are not!!  I expect to add 6 or 7 chooks to our menagerie once we move as we eat a plant based diet and eggs are good for protein. We are not vegans, though I fully support anyone who is, and our chooks will get the best of care, protection and food (as do all our animals) so I don't feel guilty about eating their eggs.

Husband Ed is a real grafter and he's given up hope of trying to find a decent employer and is branching out on his own doing garden & paddock maintenance, fencing, landscaping etc etc. I work as a Gardener on a stud for one of the Princesses in Dubai. The friends we've made here are lovely, a mix of French, Dutch and English, and I never miss a chance to make new ones.

Keeping sheep has been a steep learning curve for us, Ed had taught himself how to shear them and trim their feet and I keep Prince's (the horse) toes trim in between blacksmith visits, he's a barefoot horse and needs trimming more regularly. The dogs toenails are another matter, copious treats and persuasion are required!! As for him indoors, well..... 


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