Author Lauren Howells
If you want to escape the humdrum of your daily life, the chance to look after Quéménès, a small island off the coast of northern France, could be just the ticket.
Current occupants have decided to quit island life
The current occupants of the island have decided to leave, having lived there for 10 years, reportedly due to falling out with the owner of the island, Conservatoire du Littoral (France’s Coastal Protection Agency), over rent.
The French government are searching for new people to take over their role as residents of the island. But it’s not all fun and games. The BBC said that the main condition of the current residents’ lease is that they would “have to earn their livelihood”.
Mile-long stretch of beach home to a variety of wildlife
According to the BBC, the mile-long stretch of beach is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea-birds, seals and rabbits, as well as a flock of black Ushant sheep. After the last owners of Quéménès left the island 25 years ago, France’s Coastal Protection Agency decided to buy it and advertise for a couple live on the island, to look after it and run the farm.
The current residents, David and Soizic Cuisnier, who moved there in 2007, have reportedly grown potatoes to sell, as well as running a guesthouse for half of the year. They also apparently harvest edible seaweed and of course look after the island’s sheep.
“Possible to have a normal, modern life”
During their time on the island, the couple have also had two children, who are now aged seven and five years old.
David Cuisnier told the BBC:
“We have shown that it is possible to have a normal, modern life while consuming only what nature has given. We have all the electronic gadgets we need, including an electric buggy to get around the island.”
The couple never felt alone
The couple told the BBC that they have never felt alone on the island, despite the fact they are Quéménès’ only inhabitants.
“The fact is we live in modern times. From the farm, we can see the mainland and the other inhabited islands. We have the internet, we have constant visitors. Never once have we felt alone!”
The Cuisiners revealed to the BBC that if they had listened to people’s advice a decade ago, they never would have taken the leap.
“Coming here was an act of glorious folly. But it turned into the most wonderful adventure. We developed the farm into a successful business. We raised a family. It has been unforgettable,” David informed the BBC.
The BBC has reported that there are 20 “serious” candidates to replace them and that the new people should arrive early next year. However, the deadline for applications has just closed.