Ian (a carpenter) and I (Jo, a French teacher) found the house of our dreams in 1999. La Mouline, situated in the Languedoc vineyards yet only half an hour from the Mediterranean sea, was originally a cinnamon mill and later used for pressing olives. We fell in love with its old-stone charm, beautiful woodland and peaceful surroundings.
There was a catch however - no mains water or electricity and too expensive to install despite being only 1 km away from the nearest source.
Ian set to work and created an attractive , comfortable gite on the upper floors. Then he turned his craftsman's skills to the downstairs accommodation - our permanent home from July 2009.
All our electricity is provided by a newly installed system of solar panels, batteries and an inverter which converts the 12v to 220v. This supply is even used to pump up water from our well or rainwater harvesting container. This fills 2 pressurised tanks which feed directly into the house giving us instant hot and cold water. We use bottled drinking water and provide this for guests.
Our water is heated by calor gas which also powers our fridges and a radiator in the gite. In the downstairs property we have a woodburning stove.
We are currently investigating how we can install a swimming pool in an eco-friendly way.
Outside we have a herb and salad garden and we are planning to grow vegetables. We have hazelnut, quince, walnut and numerous fig trees, blackberries and many evergreen pines and oaks on our 2 -acre site which attracts a variety of wildlife from birds (hoopoes, rollers etc) and wild boar to cicadas which sing all summer. Our rural aspect gives us an unspoilt view of the night sky.
We are delighted to offer a comfortable, relaxing and traditional holiday in tranquil natural surroundings - a chance to escape from the frenzy, noise, pollution and technology-obsessed demands of modern life.