I figured I’d better get writing this month’s post now, because it is highly likely I won’t have time over the next few weeks. We’re half way through the packing, the hire van is booked and we’ve had a fuel delivery at the new house to see us through the winter, or at least we hope. Christmas has almost been put on hold for now. Unfortunately this year we won’t have the time to send Christmas cards but if all goes to plan, we might just get the tree up for Christmas Eve and it will be our first real family Christmas in our new home, the four of us together, without work constraints keeping us apart.
A couple of weeks ago, we went back to the UK to visit family, where we explained our plans in more detail. Audrey, my mother-in-law called us ‘pioneers’ which made me smile and feel proud. She was definitely very proud of us, and although she sadly passed away last weekend, we will continue our journey knowing we had her love and full support, and she will never be far from our thoughts, making us laugh and smile along the way. It is because of Audrey, that Pete was able to appreciate true home cooking at its best; growing up in an environment where meals were enjoyed together at the table, where even the most basic of ingredients were brought together to make delicious, well-balanced meals that didn’t cost the earth. I think it must be where Pete’s love for cooking came from, and now he is following in his mother’s footsteps, cooking for his family and teaching me to cook at the same time.
I had always been encouraged to bake with my mum and my cooking began with dessert recipes, making biscuits, tarts and icing cakes. Now being a mother myself, I guess I wanted to branch out and be able to feel proud in the fact I can feed my children a healthy meal, as opposed to throwing some processed ready-made meal in the oven. Cooking is still a learning curve for me, but I’m really enjoying it, and I love it even more when the ingredients come fresh from the garden.
We are really excited about our move and looking forward to adopting a new way of life. We have already started to adapt our current lifestyle somewhat, so that the change is gradual and not a total shock to our system. We are eating healthier food and no longer eat anything processed. We have cut down on animal proteins and we are eating fresh and plant-based foods. We are taking less baths (but still showering of course!) and consuming less water. Our electricity bill is still high and it is something we will have to work on, but eventually we hope we will be able to run entirely off solar power.
One of the biggest challenges for me personally, will be cutting myself off from social networks. In the beginning, Facebook was fun and exciting, a great way to catch up with old friends. However, as the years have passed by, we have come to realise that it is manipulative, corrupt and totally anti-social. The sad thing is, it has almost become a way of life in our house and the simple beep of a message on the Ipad affects all of us, deeming it impossible to continue what we’re doing until we’ve discovered who or what it was. So this week we’ve removed the app from our devices, to stop it interfering with our day-to-day life. I will most likely keep my account open and check from time to time if I have any messages, but I am hoping that I can prove to myself that life not only continues beyond Facebook but that it thrives without it. You can still follow us on our journey to self sustainability and permaculture-living in France via this blog and of course, feel free to contact us by e-mail.
So, until next time, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy new year.