Wednesday, June 11, 2008

David, a friend I met at university some ten years ago, and from our old home town of Brighton, has just come to stay for a few days. That's him with the green hat standing under the blue arrow buying a large slice of reassuringly expensive cheese. We invited him to write a guest blog, over to you, David:

Although I’ve visited Brittany twice before, I was struck by how verdant the countryside is: A broad-brush landscape executed in every shade of green. Woods and fields dotted with small hamlets. Long, empty, country roads. Huge skies.

I arrive chez Stuart et Gabrielle for the first time. Leur petit hameau est trop chouette! [literally, their little hamlet is too owl, the word for owl also meaning “great”, ed.] Being a friend and an avid reader of their blog, I know all the triumphs and failures they have experienced since settling here and so thought I would find myself somewhere very familiar.

To an extent, I was. However, when walking around their permaculture smallholding, I realised I’d had no real conception of where everything lay in relationship to each other. Stuart’s descriptions, his pictures and videos, of sheep being sheared, goats climbing Palet Mountain, pigs cleared for take-off etc., hadn’t given me a real notion of the topography.

So, I took it upon myself to create a map. It is somewhat naïve in execution, not totally accurate in depiction and wildly out in proportion but it will, I hope, give readers a sense of location when following the further adventures of Stuart and Gabrielle – Permaculture Agriculteurs Incroyables.

Much as a radio DJ invites a caller to dedicate their chosen record to someone, I shall take the opportunity, as a proud father and grandfather, to dedicate this blog to my younger daughter Emily, who gave birth to her second daughter the day before I left for my holiday. So love and congratulations to Emily, Danny and Amy, who’s now got a bonny sister!

Click on the image on the right, under "About Us" to get a bigger version.