HAUTE-VIENNE Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Our columnist Gillian Harvey (38) purchased a house in France in 2009 with husband Ray (66). Having both worked as teachers in the UK, the pair chose to move to France for a more tranquil pace of life. Since moving, they have relocated from a small villag
We began our house-hunt in a small, pretty town. However, searching for the ‘right’ property, we chose size over location and ended up 20km away in a remote village. Seduced by the idea of a large barn and 5,000m2 of garden, we signed on the dotted line without a second thought.
Unfortunately, having a large garden wasn’t as wonderful as envisaged. Having bought the property in the April, we arrived in the July to find five-feettall weeds crossing the entirety of the garden and all over the shingled drive!
Once a neighbour had mown down the weeds with his tractor, maintaining the garden became laborious. Worse, while beautiful, the garden was far bigger than we’d ever need – even though we lived in the property for three years, there are still corners on which we have probably never set foot. We also began to feel a bit lonely in our remote location.
After a few years, we sold up and bought a different property in a local town. This time we chose a more modest property with 100 metres of garden – more than adequate for our children to play in and much easier to maintain.”
Gillian Harvey downsized when she realised her garden was too big
Gillian and her family moved to a house in the local town