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Home, studio, agent, exhibitions, publicity, strikes in France and sailing…

My house hunt continues.Maison_FB__CdM_IMG_7045_d.jpg
I have not been trying very hard to solve this issue partly because I have a lot to cope with here at present, partly because I am now thanks to my friend Francoise Boitel who is now my landlady, I’m reasonably secure at Castelnau de Montmiral until May if I want to stay here.
At least the pressure is off.
Francoise has spent much time money and efforts renovating this house and now given her changed circumstances wishes to sell.
I’m ‘housesitting’ for her and of course paying the usual rent.
While the property is not full completed, the hard work is over so here is a bargain in the heart of a village officially rated one of the most beautiful villages of France, which I have heard people call paradise,  a bargain  for some lucky person.Maison_FB_int__CdM_IMG_7046_d.jpg
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Francoise has also very kindly found and given me 3 excellent French web site addresses for people wanting to buy or rent.
If you know of others please leave the address in blog comments below, thank you.
The sites are very easy given minimal French and a dictionary to use.
About 40% of the properties in the rental sector can be rented direct from the owners so no agent fees or horrid ‘official’ paper work is involved, it is man to man face to face, is that better?

www.annoncesjaunes.fr/immobilier-location/

www.ouestfrance-immo.com,

http://www.ogis.fr/selection

and anyone thinking of moving to France could usefully read

The Connexion – The Newspaper for English-Speakers in France

Next, as recommended by my new friends Mike and Julia Hewlett,who run Les Bons Voisins in South Brittany,

mikehewlett@nullLBVfrance.com

I had a look at http://larochebernard.co.uk/.
I have visited Roche Bernard a few times and the property looks very interesting, can I afford it?
The web site tells us available from April.
As mentioned before I can’t at present afford to buy, only rent or maybe a deal that includes payment in some kind of kind.
The situation may change after the exhibitions next year but at present while I have a startling earning potential (over 95,000 in available prints alone) and seem to be weathering the storms, my income remains a potential.
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Things here have moved on a bit.
Besides making slow but steady progress painting, the invitation to exhibit at the European Parliament was confirmed yesterday for May 2011.
Exact date to follow soon.
This is a seriously big deal for any artist.
This means a lot of work and some expense arranging the show and importantly, publicising, brochure, invitations, catalogue and so on.
If you would like an invitation email info @ frickers.co.uk or if you prefere, phone

Skype: gordonfrickers;

Or phone either 0044 (0) 1865 52 2435 / 0033 (0) 977 195 595

All my contact details can be found on page

http://www.frickers.co.uk/contact.html.

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I am going to need help but from whom and at what price I know not…
I am also actively looking for an agent to take over that sort of work, probably for a substantial share of my turnover which if I was marketed competently would rise to be significant.
Various other signs of progress too including the American journal Marine Quarterly has asked Pickthal Picture library for a  feature, a profile and 2 front covers of my work.
It means more unpaid work for me preparing their requirement including a painting on spec for one of the covers.
As it goes to marine art collectors in the USA it could be a good break, maybe.
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The fuel issue is a problem here in France.
One needs to be careful.
In the SW it seems about 1 in 3 fuel stations have run out of at least the basic fuels.
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I am planning  my postponed trip North and onto England some time around the second week of November.
I’ll be looking at ferry prices this week end.
I am considering using Norfolk Line because of the rising cost of Brittany Ferries also to give me a chance to make some contacts in NE France including Paris and maybe with a major gallery in Lille.
I have delayed for numerous reasons including the strikes.
I have a lot to do in England including try to push forward an offer of an exhibition next year with the City of Plymouth and other significant tasks.
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I have also made an offer on a 31 year old wooden Wayfarer which has been accepted.
She needs work.
Nothing serious (I hope!) mostly cosmetic before she starts to rot.
She was very well built at Rye, East Sussex, from the finest materials including Brunzeel ply, the same used in the first lochin Class RNLI lifeboats.
She was one of the first boats in Britain to benefit from SP Structural Systems epoxy encapsulation.
Unfortunately her coating has been neglected and needs a lot of attention or she will soon rot.
Fortunately while at the Monaco Yacht Show I was put in touch with exactly the right expert to advise me which he has generously and very well done.
My friend of many years Robin at Welsh Harp Boat Centre, West London is preparing a new combination road trailer and after many years i have had the pleasure of phoning my great friend Mike MacNamara who has advised me and  is to  supply a road cover and main and jib.
I intend to bring her to France.
Which is the cheapest way to cross  of the Channel with a boat in tow, will be with Norfolk Lines?
Next I will need a dry barn shed or similar to sit her in until I have time to recondition her but where?