One year on

December 2015IMG_3454

So, there we have it, we have officially passed the one-year mark in our new home, as we celebrate our second Christmas ‘Chez TêteBlanche’. The weather has been unbelievably mild, with not a drop of rain in sight for weeks. It’s incredible to think of the floods and destruction back in Yorkshire, when we’ve been in T-shirts and eating outside! And still, it is hard to believe that some people are denying climate change!

Global warming is something I’ve not really talked about in my blog, despite it being the basis behind the changes we are making for the future. We are trying to take the necessary steps to secure a future for our children and our future generations so that when the time comes, they will be ready to tackle whatever life may throw at them. Like many, if you’ve chosen to ignore the facts and continue living your life in the belief that it’s not your problem, maybe this video might make you change you mind. Sky News : What happens if the world warms up.

So what changes have we made?

Adopting a self sustainable lifestyle is a way of ensuring food security for the future. For further information, take a look at this report about climate change and farming. Already, we have started to make changes to our diet, reducing our meat intake and eating more legumes (pulses, beans, lentils) and vegetables. No longer eating processed food, the majority of our food is now homemade and we aim to pass on our culinary skills to our children. We try to eat seasonal produce and buy local produce where possible. We have started to teach our children about where their food comes from, how it is cultivated and we have shown them various different growing techniques. We have started to put in place a vegetable garden, and we hope to put up a polytunnel before the spring.

We’ve installed a wood burner, so we rely less on our fuel boiler. It’s a start! In the future, we hope to remove the boiler completely and replace it with some form of renewable energy…

To save water, we already have one composting toilet, with plans for a second one in the upstairs bathroom. The children have adapted to it with ease and it has become a part of everyday life for us. As a bonus, we get our own free compost, which, in time, is returned back to the soil…and thus the whole nutrient cycle starts over again. The icing on the cake will be when we get a reed bed system so we can remove the old septic tank.

Our main concern for the future is our water supply, as we currently depend on tapwater provided by the local council. We really need to dig a well, put in place a rainwater harvesting system…and eventually, a natural pond, to ensure we have a dependable water supply for the future.

The double-glazing has been finished now and the difference in temperature indoors is quite something. We haven’t even really got going on the insulation yet, but the heat is definitely staying in the house and wearing long johns for bed seems to be a thing of the past!

So, a lot of progress in just one year, but so much still to do!

In renovating our house, we try to use reclaimed materials where possible but there are certain things that only money can buy, which brings me on to the next subject…
Our 5-year old daughter is at the stage where she has begun asking us about money and wealth. It is logical for any young child to want lots of money, because in their eyes, money equates to buying everything they could possibly want, but trying to answer her questions without over imposing our views is not that easy. She is a bright kid and we are sure she will learn for herself that consumerism, capitalism and everything that is money-orientated in the world is wrong, but unfortunately, at this point in time, it is also the underlying factor that makes the world go round.

“A stark choice faces humanity: save the planet and ditch capitalism
or save capitalism and ditch the planet” – 
Fawzi Ibrahim

I’ll leave you to ponder that thought, and until next time, all the best wishes for the new year 2016.


5 thoughts on “One year on

  1. Amazing…you are amazing ! You surprise me ! And I am very happy to keep in touch ! I look forward to come and see you, and cook Chartreuse Soufflé same Albert 1er…just for your family ! Happy New Year 2016 !!! Christian

  2. Well done guys, like being nosy ,often read your blog. Looks like your hard work as paid off, Happy new year.

  3. Hi Lisa
    I’ve just sat and read your blog from start to finish. I’m truly amazed by what you both have achieved in what’s seems to have been an eventful year.
    I’m sure your children will love reading the blog to there children it’s an inspiring read.
    Your certainly living the dream.
    Take care and I look forward to the next installment.
    Happy new year your old friend Helen (Metcalfe) newton

  4. Hi guys. Finally got round to reading your blog. It all sounds great. Keep up the good work, and I hope this year brings more adventure and happy times.
    You’ve inspired me to get going on our veg patch and greenhouse again. We’re out in the garden today.
    Rach and Jack xx

  5. Thanks for all your kind messages of support. It’s nice to hear that you enjoy reading my blog and that I can inspire you, even from a little hamlet in rural France. One of the best things I’ve learned during the past couple of years, is not to be scared of change, and furthermore, embrace it. If something’s making you unhappy, it might be your job or where you live, then change it! You only get one life and you shouldn’t settle for second best! Lots of love, Lisa x

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