By Richard Wiles
A dilapidated, rat-infested stone barn set amidst 13 acres of overgrown wooded area and unkempt pasture is probably not many people's imaginative and prescient of a possible dream domestic. yet for English couple Richard and his spouse Al, the cavernous, oak-beamed construction in a sleepy hamlet of the Limousin sector of France is ideal. Tussles with French forms allied with fierce storms that wreak havoc at the estate do little to hose down unravel as they immerse themselves within the calm of this quiet nook of France, taking journeys in Richard's balloon and beginning their own llama farm. Their colourful, frequently eccentric pals are regularly able to be in agreement: the jovial ex-Gendarme and his spouse, who's capable of foretell the elements; a lonely widow who deals copious quantities of gateaux in trade for convivial chat; and a brawny cattleman with suspicious explanations in providing to scrub up the couple's land. This frequently hilarious and heartwarming story is certainly one of stumbling blocks triumph over and goals fulfilled.
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Additional info for Bon Courage!
If we want this field as well, we’ll have to discuss the price with him,’ Al translated for me. ’ I asked. ’ she asked the farmer. ‘Cinq hectares,’ he replied. ‘Five hectares,’ she told me. ‘That’s about thirteen acres, I think,’ interjected Hero. ‘Whatever would you do with that much land? ’ 48 LE MAS MAUVIS I recovered my composure and grinned. No problem! ’ I said. I’d always fancied being a landowner and had dreamed of breeding llamas in my dotage (which seemed to have crept ever closer of late).
Said Hero, bringing me back to the here and now. ’ Monsieur L’Heureux, who professed to speak no English, smirked cannily as if he understood much more than he let on. Urged to step over a rickety wire fence at the edge of the copse, we found ourselves enclosed within a tunnel-like, tree-lined pathway, through which the dappled sunlight filtered. This, we were told, was the route à la Pentecôte, an ancient communal way of historical and religious significance, which formed part of a pilgrimage held in honour of St Maximin.
Impetuous we might have been, but we determined there and then not to leave France without securing this property. 51 BON COURAGE Chapter Four Baby Wipes and Bureaucracy So that is how, some three months later, we came to be camping inside the grange, awaiting completion of the sale that would make the ramshackle property our very own. The day after the thunderstorm the constant rain finally abated. We emerged from our tent tired, dishevelled and grumpy after a disturbed sleep. I was also suffering from mild queasiness due to an insufficiently inflated airbed, which threatened to pitch me onto the floor with each slight stir that I made.