ur story began in 1994 when we met as students. Sze spent two years at the European Dance Development Centre and Joost studied Natural Resources Management in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
After finishing our studies Sze went back to Hong Kong while Joost worked in Botswana and the Philippines where he worked with indigenous peoples on the sustainable use of their natural resources (Sze joined him after married). Afterwards we lived in a remote part of Ghana where Joost worked on resolving resources conflicts in and around national parks.
Ten years later we moved to Hong Kong so Sze could pursue her interests in art and dance. Sze founded Breeze Across Us, a dance troupe experimenting with the relationship between dance and the sensory. Sze received the Hong Kong Dance award in 2004, and Special Award for HK Dance Film Maker in 2008.
Another 10 years on, and we were evaluating our lives again. We sought a way to create a space to share our experiences. After travelling through North-East Asia the idea of a retreat or min-sú started to take shape, but one with a twist...
We found an old house in a small French town that could provide space, it just needed a little work... Our renovation year.
Our renovation year
After our search for the house in 2013 we zoomed-in on two possibilities in the town of Terrasson. In early 2014 we spent a month making arrangements, and were able to return for the final signing and hand-over after 3 months.
As the house was old and in very bad condition we had to restore it, and in the process upgrade and put in place facilities that meet the standards for a modern min-sú.
Please find below our month by month '(b)log-book' with pictures that illustrate the extent and amount of work we undertook.
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- July 2015: We are ready!
- June 2015: Dotting the i's and crossing the t's
- May 2015: Our renovation year is coming to a close
- April 2015: Two upper floors down (and the down floor's up)
- March 2015: Entering the 'home stretch'
- February 2015: Light at the end of the tunnel
- January 2015: Grinding on...
- December 2014: Two steps forward one step back...
- November 2014: The studio, fire place and guest rooms take shape
- October 2014: Treating floors and starting work on studio
- September 2014: New floors, wiring and drainage
- August 2014: New windows and doors
- July 2014: Structural works
- June 2014: Cleaning, breaking and stripping
- February 2014: The house as we found it