A pottery studio in St Civran, France

Welcome to this blog about the quiet rural life in the Berry Province of France where I have tried to open a pottery studio to hobby potters.
Your comments will be appreciated.

20 April 2011

55. The Snail and the Cheetah

Quince blossom
 Here's the story my grand-daughter told me as we were sitting on deck chairs in the shade of my quince tree this afternoon.

"Once upon a time there was a Snail who was friend with a Cheetah. They were very different but they were very good friends.

One day they met a Little Fairy who offered to grant them a wish. So they said they wanted to swap being what they were, the Cheetah wanted to walk slowly and the Snail run very fast. Unfortunately the Little Fairy disappeared before she could grant the wish and forgot even to give them her mobile phone number. Luckily they knew where the fairies' castle was so they started walking in that direction.

They walked for two weeks, Snail pace, the Cheetah by his friend the Snail. At one stage they saw two round towers in the distance, with a bridge up high between them. The Cheetah bounced, ran and got there in no time forgetting about his friend the Snail. As for the Snail he eyed a field of lettuces nearby and hurried to a crunchy one, eating at leisure. Meanwhile the Cheetah, realizing his friend was missing, started looking for him everywhere dragging his nose in the grass. He came to the patch of lettuces and running fast past a lettuce provoked the Snail to jump high and fall on his back. He didn't like the feeling of something crawling on his back until the Snail came to his forehead and fell on his nose and on the ground.

They were happy to be back together and realised that they didn't really want to swap being what they were. But, as they didn't want to have come all this way for nothing, they decided to go and visit the Fairies' castle anyway.

From outside it looked quite ordinary but once inside they saw that each wall was of a different colour and highly decorated. In the middle there was a kind of small village all in black and white and that's where the young Fairies were taught how to become proper Fairies. They met the Little Fairy again who was quite a debutante really and she said they had just arrived for a party. It was the beginning of their long holiday starting at Easter and lasting for a long time. They all looked for chocolate eggs together. The Cheetah found 11 eggs, the Little Fairy found 10 and the Snail found 5. They added all these chocoloate eggs and ate them sharing them.

Then the mother of the Little Fairy said it was time for dinner. They all said they were not hungry because they had eaten too many chocolate eggs..." 

16 April 2011


My plan was to open my pottery workshop to the public on 1st May. That will not be possible. I have to postpone opening till 1st June.

Three reasons:

1) I have been looking for a caretaker for the house next to the workshop to help me welcome hobby potters and their friends when they arrive. So far no one has shown any serious interest in the 'position'. It is not a paid job. The arrangement is that the house is let free of rent, all charges like electricity, water and telephone being at the expense of the caretaker.

2) Accomodation in the old mansion with creaky stairs is not ready. My customers will have to find their own accomodation independently. That has been the ongoing problem for me right from the beginning. I can't offer a holiday pack for that reason. It turns a lot of people off when they realize they have to look for their own accomodation.

3) Not the least! I haven't officially registered as a business as yet. From previous experience I dread it. At the tax income office the other day I was advised to register as 'help to the person' which is in France the category for people working with old age persons. I tried to explain that my aim was to attract tourists in the area and look after them and entertain them. I'm not a pottery 'artisan' either. When I looked on the net for the 'self-enterprise' category, I couldn't find anything dealing with the tourist industry, 'tourism' being for hotels, B&B and campsites, and 'industry' in French being for the manufacturing industry alone.

My BerryHobby summer camp in St Civran will open in June perhaps!

St Civran pottery house in March 2009