A New Beginning?

Yes yes, I’ve been quiet. Yadda yadda yadda as my buddy Sprocket would say.

I’m here now, aren’t I?

A brief summary since last summer :

My mother (Granny) came to stay for an indefinite period of time.  She’s no bother… looks after the balcony flowers and keeps us on the straight and narrow when it comes to tidying the house.  She’s gone back to Ireland for a break but will rejoin us soon, I hope.

Granny’s sister, my feisty, independent, argumentative Aunty Kathleen, died at the start of November, leaving the extended family with a lot of work to do clearing out her house.  It’s almost there… we expect to have it up for sale before the end of the month.

I had cortisone injections in my back which have helped me enormously (four herniated discs, in case you missed that. The result of a lifetime of disrespecting my spine. Who’s sorry now?).

I started working on the farm again, on a more or less permanent basis.  I’m job-sharing with a young lady who also has back issues – neck and shoulder in her case.  We do 3-4 hours per day, 3-4 days a week, feeding, bedding and providing whatever nursing type care is needed.  It suits us both.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do it, but I love just spending time with the horses. And ponies. And donkeys.  And it pays my livery bill.

Looking after these guys is NOT a pain in the ass!

I haven’t ridden since I did the Mountain Trail clinic last July (eh yeah, sorry, I just realised I never blogged about it.  Maybe I’ll get to it later. It was fun.).  I’m afraid riding will set my back off. Right now, I can do everything I want, relatively pain-free.  I’d like to keep it that way.  It’s not that I’m afraid of falling off… I’m afraid that the movement required from my lower back to ‘go with’ the movement of a horse is going to be too much for me to cope with.

Sunset Years? Surely not yet…

I haven’t done any groundwork with my horses, either.  I don’t know why, I just have no mind for it.  So the Boyz are semi-retired.

I’ve been painting and drawing like a mad thing.  Loving it.  I’m ready to take commissions… here are my two most recent pieces as a sample.  I’ll do a full on advertisement post next!

The New Beginning referred to in the title of the post?  We’re buying a second house here in Reillanne to run as a holiday rental – Villa Amande.  Check out our Facebook page!  We have a steady trickle of bookings so far for Summer 2019.  We’re on HomeAway and SimplyOwners but if you’re tempted by the thought of an idyllic rural location with a private pool, contact us directly.  We promise to give you the best deal you’ll get!

We have a butt-load of maintenance work to catch up with on the two houses, and are recruiting people who’d like to come and stay with us in exchange for work.  Mostly painting, some light gardening – and we must be finished by mid-April.  If you or anyone you know would be interested, email me on tailsfromprovence@gmail.com.  I’m recruiting via Facebook and Workaway as well, but I’d rather find people with whom I have some sort of connection, however tenuous.  Our first volunteer arrives on Saturday – she’s a friend’s sister, I’m looking forward to meeting her.

And that’s it.  I’ll keep the horsey twist going, but Tailsfromprovence seems to be morphing into an Art and Holiday Home blog.

A bientôt.

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