Sunday, March 02, 2008

Making ends meet … with words: Our aim has never been self-sufficiency and, even if it was, I reckon that we’d still have a need for a little bit of the folding stuff with which to engage with the cash economy. So, on two levels, I’m chuffed to bits, as I’m proud to be published and have even been paid for the privilege. If you rush out and buy this month’s Country Smallholding, you will be able to read an article, wot I wrote, all about our permaculture Kune Kune pigs we raised out on the field last year.

We’re no strangers to the pages of Country Smallholding, as our friend, Mark Sampson, writer and builder of a straw bale house in the Lot region, wrote a couple of articles last year based on our lives here in Brittany. We invited Mark to our September wedding. Initially, he excused his young daughter—and thus wife Debbie as well—from the very long trip (he travelled the furthest, notwithstanding he actually lives in France and we had guests coming from the UK) as school had just started back, known here as La Rentrée. A day or so later, he called again, slightly embarrassed and profusely apologetic, to say that he’d looked into getting a train ticket and found it just too expensive. It’s then that I had one of my all-too-rare “light bulb” moments of inspiration and suggested that he should write an article on our wedding, thereby earning his train fare. Eleanor O'Kane, the editor of Living France magazine, was taken by the idea and so Mark got to travel and cleared a bob or two besides and we got a lovely extra souvenir of a wonderful day.

Both Eleanor and Diane Cowgill (editor of Country Smallholding) have generously sent me the articles as PDF files, which you can download to read by clicking on the links under “Magazine Articles” on the right. I hope to sell some more articles but if either Mark or I ever have need to rush out and earn a couple more centimes in the future, I spotted a great business idea this Saturday near the food market in Rennes: click on the arrow to play the video below and watch out for the necessary technical adjustment halfway through.