Manny's Blog

Sharing our French adventure as we live and work and renovate our forever home in the Haute Loire.
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Throw me a rope…

Well, what a week that was!

I threw a little dream out into the world and started a reality!

Thank you to everyone online and off who have been so enthusiastic and supportive. Two great quotes from two great friends were amongst the comments and I love both of them (quotes and friends!):

Make voyages! Attempt them, there’s nothing else.

Tennesee Williams from my inspirational friend Mel Gow


Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from my wonderful friend Hills

Now to make it happen…

Thank you to Swirly Girl -Christine  Mason Miller for  suggesting I set up a Kickstarter project. I’ve been receiving Kickstarter newsletters for months – there are so many inspiring projects to get involved in – soon we’ll be one of them!   And please take a look at Swirly‘s site – it is delightful to the eye, with some gorgeous artwork right from the heart.

When we were travelling together as a family, there were two distinct groups of people;  fellow travellers… fantastic families like the Chavances; the Turnham-Chalmers; the Clarksons; Toby and Leesa, (Toby‘s Men in Coats act is very funny!)

…and then there were the people who lived in the places we visited –  Ilaria, Mauro and Guido and Tonino who looked after us so well in Milan; Gian Lucca who took such care of us in Rome; Oben who made us so welcome and gave us such a fantastic tour of Istanbul;   Franco and Nicoletta, who took us all around Venice, and became very special friends (we sang at their Venetian wedding!)


and Nicoletta, a powerful actress, played the villain, Valery,  in If you ever get to heaven!

And she and Franco have just had a baby… and he’s called Santiago! We can’t wait to meet him!

Sam Kane and Nicoletta Sedrani - Joe directing

It made such a huge difference experiencing those cities with “locals”, and being shown around someone’s home patch is one of the aspects of our US trip that I’m most excited about.  Within hours of the blog going public thanks to Mel in the UK and her extended network of American friends, and Hills in California who shared my blog amongst her friends, we already have a network of  “welcomes” on the East and West coast.

Also an old friend of Joe’s, Simon Clark, based in Seattle  has offered us all kinds of support – equipment to screen in unusual places – contacts all down the West coast with possible Canadian links… thrilling stuff.

Charlie Spickler, in New York,  filmmaker and friend for many years, has given me a wealth of info to pursue in terms of who to approach state by state… he’s also offered to make a documentary  of the trip – which is a real honour and a huge bonus to us!

In Charlie’s opinion we may have trouble wooing independent cinemas to screen an unknown film – just too much of a risk.

If this does proves to be the case,  I think we should pursue less conventional venues… and I think we might just be finding our USP!  Screening in surprising places! If we can travel with screen, projector and sound, we can hold movie parties anywhere we can make dark!

Unless events dictate otherwise, we would be looking to spend July and August on the road, hopefully in a single vehicle, RV or otherwise.  I’d love the children to be there for the 4th July.


we seem to be enjoying the most magical of Indian summers – the air, the sky, the autumn colours take my breath away, and I find it hard not to smile all the time!

Love this Indian summer!

Also Joe has given me his Canon G9 camera, so that I can take photos for the blog – I’m loving it. I’m surrounded by good photographers – Joe, Luke, Harry and Beth all have  a real photographic eye … for me, what I see is just always so much more exciting than what I photograph, and so I’ve backed away and left it to the others.

Well all that is about to change!

It's the little things that make me smile...

Thank you for reading… until next time…

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  1. Tara says:

    Dear Sis,

    A totally uplifting blog! Great news for all the support you have received worldwide!! Keep up the good work.

    T xxx

  2. Blog’s looking great, and good news about all those contacts… sounds like you are away… Kelly got back to me too, will forward it on.
    Did you take that picture of the purple flowers? its beautiful!
    Look forward to seeing more.

  3. mannyatkins says:

    Thanks guys – yes I did take that pic – cool huh?! Lots of love xxx

  4. hillarah says:

    well underway, i see. and photographing, to boot! fab flower shot! can’t wait to see you all next summer. big love to all, hills

  5. Verity says:

    Sounds very exciting indeed! Would be amazing to hit the states next year, all guns blazing! I have family in North Carolina and Texas, and friends in New York state if that’d be of any help?XXX

    1. mannyatkins says:

      Verity, that would be fantastic, will you alert them to the blog, and if they want to get involved, we would love to bring a screening to their towns!
      And surely you’ll be needing to schedule in a visit to them at the same time?! x

  6. Mel Cooper says:

    Following your adventures and hoping to share your adventure in the USA. We are in Annapolis, Maryland, and at your disposal….whatever we can do to help, let us know – Mel and Gary

    1. mannyatkins says:

      Mel, thank you so much – Joe would just love to see Gary again after so long!
      Annapolis here we come!!!
      Do you have any independent cinemas or good ideas for other local venues to screen in? My next stage is to start to pinpoint some venues and dates…
      Can’t wait to see you next summer!

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