Susie Kelly and her husband Terry had long dreamed of owning a home in France, but ironically it wasn't until they were facing homeless penury in England that they realized their dream. With five dogs, two parrots and their elderly horses, they moved to an old farmhouse in the Poitou-Charentes region with dirt floors, no water and a primitive electricity supply. While Terry was back in England trying to support them all, Susie Kelly contended with a homicidal gas cooker at the bottom of the garden, burst pipes, a guinea fowl that turned somersaults and bit people on the shin and a constant stream of people turning up at her door with needs of their own. Sometimes the enormity of renovating a house with insufficient funds and little help seemed overwhelming. She saw her husband infrequently. Their English neighbour was imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges. And when Terry developed a condition that brought him close to death, the dream threatened to turn into a nightmare.
There were times when Susie and Terry seemed to be taking two steps backward, but the kindness of the local community and the tranquillity of the landscape inspired them to make a new life for themselves and their animals in the place they now called home.
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