So we are 3 months into the build and i’ve never worked so hard in my life.. i’m talking hard physical labour.. like removing 220 tons of foundations dirt and stones from the barns renovation.
Now the place looks proudly more like a building site and less like animal barns, still a long way to go.. While excavating the mezzanine pillars foundations, we realised there weren’t any, cue knowledgeable builder to help us correct our little structural engineering problem.. quite impressive really to see the pillars just floating in midair.
So a few more months eating dust and dirt as we now start the reconstruction, fitting sewage pipes, windows, doors, laying new primary floor/under floor heating and then the first & secondary floors. Hopefully by November we can at least move in to a sealed premises while we work on the interior over winter.
I’m still managing to make a few sculptures too.. the first one called Demitri should be finished in a few weeks and is made entirely from the old boiler and pipes that were ripped out of the barns.. a bit Steampunk for my taste, but nature of the beast i guess. I’m very excited to have my first little exhibition in France in October and i can forget about all the chaos for a few days and enjoy just being an artist again
So I was away in Ibiza for 3 weeks working on the new Cyberdog shop which was a great opportunity to reflect on my life and situation, as the island can have this magical effect on you (and i’m not talking about clubs and drugs)
I came back to France last week and for the first time in 4 months actually realised i was home, France isn’t an easy country to adjust to, especially coming from the heart of London and moving in to the countryside of south France, It’s conservative, quiet and the shops are shut half the time, but now i’m adjusting and seeing it for the beautiful place it is – just need to get to grips on the language so the locals don’t visibly cringe while i hack at their lovely idiom..
We got approval from the planning office to join the mains sewage.. too much information i hear you say! but believe me it’s important lol!! and after four days on adobe illustrator and photoshop, I have finally done the architectural plans for the modifications to the barn which were highly detailed to scale specs of what we are doing and it’s impact on the local environment. So fingers crossed we get approval from the planning office as what we are doing is gorgeous and i’m not changing it
Pixel by pixel.. stone by stone we will bring this thing to life and in the mean time as if i don’t have enough to do, i’m looking to exhibit some of my art locally and making some new sculptures in the spanking brand new art studio I just built in the garage.. watch this space
Spring is here and major work has started on building our house. My stone wall building is a bit rusty after 20 years, but the instinct is coming back quickly (it’s kind of like Tetris but with real blocks and more organic) there is something very primal about building things from the ground up.. Especially if it’s your own house.
Still feeling a little bit isolated in the countryside although it is absolutely stunning where we live. The salad and vegetables are mostly locally grown and still has the dirt on.. Still washing what i think is insect poo off the lettuce and still super paranoid about ingesting something I shouldn’t.. You can take the Londoner out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the Londoner. I can now definitely feel why we made such a radical decision to move abroad and completely change our lifestyle and it will be a year or two before we can relax a bit to enjoy the fruits of our labour.
‘Life is what we make it’ the mantra keeps telling us, but in the end it’s about belief in our own abilities and having the courage to realize dreams and ambitions.. One of the more endearing qualities of human nature that still makes me believe in the future of humanity