The Little Barn Retreat
In 2014 I spent a month in France and on the first night we camped on the shores of the Loire and I fell in love. I started to look in estate agent windows and began dreaming of having a place to call my own. It didn't take long for the ideas of 'a place of one's own' to transmute into a fully fledged artists' retreat centre where people could visit for relaxation and maybe even workshops. I bought a book and costed it all - and even worked out how I could raise the money (as long as I could persuade enough people to 'invest'.) Anyway, long story short - on returning home it became clear that my 'plan' was just a bit too ambitious and so it was shelved.
Three years on and I was still talking about having a property/retreat centre and my friend sent me the details to a tiny place in the Haute Vienne. It's small and simple - but once it is officially mine (the process of buying property in France is a slow one) it will be fabulous. The open plan living area downstairs will double up as a gallery and I plan on offering it to photography/artist friends and family as a bit of an escape place. For a few weeks a year, it will serve as a retreat and individuals will be able to use it as a base to think, rest and create. The offical 'artists in residence' will in exchange give something to the community and either run a workshop, open the gallery to show work, give an artists' talk or performance... You get the idea.
So, watch this space and see how a one time not really achievable dream is going to become a much more manageable reality.
And, in advance - thank you for your encouragement and support!
Denise - The Little Barn, Vayres.