Packing up and moving to rural France with four kids under the age of 7 and no knowledge of the language would seem a big step to most. But for PMC jewellery making expert Caroline and her husband Adam, it was a no brainer.
Caroline remembers, “I always loved travelling. We wanted an outdoor lifestyle and I wanted the kids to be bi-lingual. Then one day Adam just said, ‘so where do you want to live then?’ and that was it. We decided to just go and we’ve never looked back.”
While it’s now commonplace to see a family of Brits settling in France, nearly 20 years ago, a family of 6 moving into a quiet Gascon village was a rare sight.
“The first week we arrived we were in the local paper. This big family with huge white landrover had landed,” Caroline said.
Life before France
Before the move, Caroline worked as a geography and PE teacher and had trained in reflexology and massage. Her husband Adam worked in finance.
However, with a jeweller for a grandfather, a signwriter for a father and a passion for teaching and jewellery – Caroline’s ultimate dream was to set up a jewellery making holiday.
But it wasn’t until Caroline discovered the unique precious metal clay (PMC) that she made this dream a reality…
Falling in love with metal clay
“It is the most incredible thing to work with, I am so passionate about it. Sometimes Adam has to ask for a few hours where I don’t talk about it!” Caroline said.
Caroline’s experience with this new type of luxury metal clay makes her jewellery making holiday one of a kind.
Metal clays act just like clay, so it is easy to work with while you’re perfecting a design. But once the metal is fired it turns into pure silver.
After renovating their 150-year old farmhouse and gite that overlooks the rolling countryside, fields of sunflowers and lush meadows – they were ready for people to come and stay. Not only sharing Caroline’s knowledge of this unique silver, but also Adam’s passion for cooking with the fresh local produce.
Discovering new passions
After a career in finance, Adam was also keen to explore different avenues as they settled into their new life in France.
Moving to Gascony, known as the “garden of France”, kick-started Adam’s love for great food and wine. During his time there, Adam has honed his cookery skills and become quite the accomplished chef.
“Adam is probably more enthusiastic about the local Gascony produce than the locals! Sitting down with the meals he’s cooked and a glass of wine with the guests is always a highlight,” Caroline said.
In fact, Adam’s food has been such a hit, they are now running a cooking and jewellery making holiday.
“We really love all the people we meet from all over the world. We really are living our dream!” – Caroline
A day in the life of Caroline
We really love our lifestyle in France as we are busy in the community and running holidays. I feel like we’re finally doing what we had a vision of so many years ago.
I start with breakfast, which is usually a croissant and coffee. Then, I’ll go down to the local market and buy fresh produce from around the region. We have an organic farm right next door so I might even pop over there instead to buy veggies.
I’ll stop to have a chat with some of the locals. There are a lot of artists in the town so I often meet up with them or go and see an exhibition. We’re very sociable and have made a lot of friends in the community. It’s a small place so everyone knows each other and we’ve been here for nearly 20 years.
In the afternoon, we might go and play tennis or I will go for a jog around the countryside. Some afternoons, I go and work in the local beauty salon doing massages and reflexology. I really enjoy it and it’s a nice way to be involved with the community.
Then I’ll usually work on a jewellery piece before dinner, which my husband Adam usually cooks. He’s a fantastic cook.
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