I should really tell you a bit about my mother-in-law. Picture a small 70 year old lady with light hair and glasses. Now imagine her driving huge trucks all over Europe bringing aid to eastern European countries. Add a sheepdog that never leaves her side and you pretty much have my mother in law.
She's eccentric, spontaneous and so very generous and kind. So it shouldn't have come as a surprise to myself or Geth when she came to us in December 2012 with a crazy idea.
"Let's pack up our whole lives and move to the French countryside!"
We were surprised. I had just started back at work from maternity leave. My job as a community artist for my county council wasn't paid particularly well but I loved it. Geth worked as a PA at our local college. Shosha was just 6 months old.
So at first it was a bit of a pipe dream; something we mused over and day dreamt about. It pretty much stayed that way for the next year and a bit. In that time I had 3 miscarriages and fell pregnant with Arri.
It all switched gears in April 2014. I was 30 odd weeks pregnant with Arri and was suffering from crippling SPD. Of course it was a natural decision to hop into a camper van and go driving through France on a house hunt.
Amazingly, we found a dream home in the Dordogne department. A huge property with 4 'gites' attached, a huge garden and a pool! Gites are small properties which are usually let out to holidaymakers. We did some research and realised it would be a great business. What sold it to us was that we'd both be able to work from home and be with Shosha and Arri all the time.
Fast forward to now. We're here. In our French home. Our forever home. We have no mortgage. My mother-in-law has set us up with an incredible opportunity to establish and secure a better lifestyle for Shosha and Arri. The place needs a lot of work doing to make it ready for next summer. It's a fantastic challenge. I'm hoping to document the experience here so in years to come when we're millionaires or tycoons in the hospitality industry (!) I can remind myself where we started.
And most importantly, I think, WHY we started.