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

Living France - - Lifestyle -

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

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