I deleted the page "Gardening by the Moon" as few people that had visited the site went to that page. I know that a lot of people are interested in the idea, so I would like to know if any of you would like to receive a monthly newsletter sent to you by e-mail instead. If so either send me a private message via FB/Messenger or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org - I have an account with a mailing service under that address, and which I have used in the past for newsletters.
I have updated my "About me" page, now to work through the whole site. I will still be offering writing services of all types, but I need to think outside the box with new ideas. I was talking to a friend from the US earlier today, she is now happily settled in the south of France with a view of the Mediterranean. We were discussing the number of people who are thinking about relocating to France. I have seen the same trend on various Facebook groups, but not just Americans - Australians, South Africans and more. France is an amazing country with so much variety that some of the first questions people ask are to do with location and lifestyle. Some, but not all, are interested in buying property.
For those of you that live on the other side of the world, this presents a problem. Few people can afford to fly over on a regular basis to check things out, and many have personal commitments that do not allow for long visits. This is where I can help. I am NOT an estate agent and do not sell houses, and I do not handle visa applications or provide advice in that area. What I can do is help you to narrow down the best places for you to start your search. I live in the region called Nouvelle Aquitaine in the beautiful Departement of the Correze, and within 7 hours drive from the borders of 6 different countries. I can be your eyes on the sky and boots on the ground. Let's talk at a time convenient to both of us - send me an e-mail or a private message to me via Facebook Messenger.
Stephanie Hunt Crowley
I was staying at an hotel in Limoges 5 years ago, and the desk staff told that this was a place I had to see. I had a rental car at the time so set off and drove through the beautiful Limousin countryside without knowing the full history of Oradour. As I turned off the highway and took the road to Oradour, I had no idea what I would find. It may sound "woo-woo" to some people but as I drove up the road and saw the first buildings through my passenger side window the atmosphere hit me - it was palpable. It was as if I had driven into another dimension where the air sat on me like a blanket.......
It was a quiet day on a midweek, and there were very few visitors as I walked through the iron gates looking for directions and the story unfolded in front of my eyes.
It was an early morning when the Panzer division rolled into the town. The villagers were told to assemble and have their identity papers available for inspection. The women were herded into the Church, which was then locked and barred. The men were escorted into an array of barns and sheds where armed soldiers stood waiting. The men were first – the SS started firing, aiming for the legs of the men and when they were all crippled or incapacitated, they were doused with an inflammable liquid. The SS then turned and set all the buildings on fire. 190 French men died, burned to death. They marched to the Church, and using incendiary devices, set the Church on fire. 247 women and 205 children and infants died that day.
I walked past the shells of all the other buildings which the Nazis destroyed, and took photos of burned out cars and sewing machines, imagining the people that had been using them the day before. Stopping before one building I met a professional photographer who was there on a shoot - he was a photo-journalist and his specialty was recording and writing about disasters, wars and battle zones. He said to me that he had felt the same as I had when I arrived. Something unexplainable but real, so it was not just me.
After the War, General DeGaulle ordered that the ruins of the village be preserved, and that they should remain as a memorial to the town that had fallen, and the lives lost. A new village was built on land northwest of the site, and the old Oradour remains as a tribute, and as a warning about the horrors of war.
© Stephanie Hunt-Crowley, 2019