2020. Blow it up, they say. It's useless, depressing, and a year that should disappear from the history books...
You see where we're going with this. But we're going to (try to) prove the opposite. Well, for some people it really was a truly awful year and we can't deny that. We think of our family, friends, and others who have really been affected and had really bad news this year. Even if we can't see you and don't talk to you often, you're in our thoughts and we're sending you our love.
So what happened in this strange year that wasn't so bad for us?
Well, it was the first full year we spent in our beautiful little house. It's always a bit scary becoming a homeowner and there's always a lot of things to check: if any slates on the roof have broken and need to be replaced, getting the chimney swept, getting the boiler checked...But after 11 years of living with flatmates, we finally have a home to ourselves. And in February, we were able to buy the big fuck off oven of our dreams so we can make great brunches for our friends and guests.
For my birthday in February we slept in a Tiny House for the first time. Slightly strange since we'd already signed for our own one without ever trying it out for ourselves, we just knew it was right for us. And our little trip showed us the same (thankfully!). If you haven't tried a Tiny House, 2021 should be a year for you to try it out, you sleep really well in them and it's a great escape (and we know where you can book one ;) ). But it doesn't have to be a Tiny House, it can also be a yurt, an igloo, a tent in the forest, or a tree house, a boat... the idea is to live an experience that you haven't lived yet, and what's more, you'll be happier for trying it (even if it's not as expected).
Magali was elected to the town council of Segré en Anjou Bleu, one thing Magali never imagined she'd do, but isn't surprised she did. Now, she's caught up in loads of interesting meetings, some that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. And of course, making choices for our village about its future. It reminds her a little bit of London as it makes her feels useful... She's also very proud to be able to say that she goes to the town hall by bike, in the pouring rain or in a heatwave! (And yes, she's selling herself, ecology is her passion, she can't help it, well, it's a choice;) )
During the confinement (and afterwards), even though we never managed to bake amazing bread, we can say that we did manage to sell our first vegetables! Our garden has taken shape, along with its good and bad surprises. The idea is that we have enough for ourselves and then sell everything we can to the restaurant, and the rest to our guests. Our dream is to be able to sell a menu with ingredients that come from us...fingers crossed it's only a matter of time.
In the end, the most important thing for us this year was the arrival of our Tiny House, La Tiny Kiwi. It's an integral part of our project, and without it nothing else could be done. And in 2020 it came into our lives! Built between May and August, La Tiny Kiwi's arrival meant that we were able to start our business, starting off slowly, and we just love it... Even with the current state of the world, we were able to meet so many lovely people already, and this is just the beginning! On top of that, I was able to (finally!) finish my New Zealand puzzle that I got in 2017, and that I'd preciously kept to put in La Tiny Kiwi. When I hung it on the wall, it was a totally satisfying moment that was long awaited!
Speaking of things stored for so long, we were finally able to finish opening all our boxes from the move! We still need a few shelves and cupboards to store things but it feels great to be able to unpack everything finally. We had to push ourselves but it was so worth it!
In August, we were able to celebrate a cousinade (a family get together) for the first time at Le Boulay. Although the number of family who could attend was much lower than usual, it was a great day, especially for Magali who could catch up with cousins and discuss very, very, very old memories. Magali's direct family was also able to get together for a few days, which hadn't happened for a long time. But one thing she enjoyed the most was visiting the seaside and bodyboarding with her goddaughter in huge waves, they had so much fun!
The summer saw the arrival of our chickens, ducks, and rabbits. That sounds like a lot, and it did take some time to adjust, because books (and Google) don't have all the answers. But these little creatures are so interesting, fantastic, intelligent, almost magical. They have already brought us so much (and we're not just talking about eggs!) in smiles, laughter, emotions, and even fear! When you think about it, what in life can bring so many different emotions in so little time? Oh and the idea of having dinosaurs in our garden is so cool! They can count and make jokes, and when they look at us, we feel like we're seeing the eye of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park...
The fact that we no longer have a roommate, and having all these little living things around to take care of, isn't necessarily ideal when you want to go on holiday. But thanks to a wonderful person, we were able to go to Portugal for the very first time in October, to join a good old friend we missed. Portugal is a simply superb country. And it will be on our list of destinations to do again for a long time to come! The highlight, of course, was our surf lesson! And we can confirm that there's no age to learn, it's so important to be able to push your limits, but it makes it easier when you're in good hands!
Speaking of learning, this year we learned how to make hay, cider, and lots of other useful and delicious things, as well as some totally disgusting ones! To name a few: wine that wasn't wine, pear brandy that turned to vinegar, pears in syrup that started going moldy and fermenting... in short, we still have a lot to learn.
2020 didn't pass without emotion. But we know we're very lucky and we're so thankful for that. Of course, 2021 can only be better since we'll be able to share with you many more things, and maybe even see some of you again! So we can't wait! We hope you have a happy holiday season and you keep safe and well.
See you soon ☺