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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

NO GOING BACK (article first published : 2005-10-19)

No Going Back: A Year in France is the title of a BBC Prime documentary to be seen on DStv from October 24 at 20h00.

Most people can only dream of escaping the rat race and starting a new life overseas but married couple Patrick and Colette are gambling everything to turn their dream into a reality. Leaving their high-flying city jobs and a home in suburbia behind, the pair exchanges their mortgages, savings and security for a 17th-century château in France.

Patrick and Colette hope to convert the crumbling castle into a luxury hotel, complete with an organic kitchen garden with home-grown food to serve to their guests. Filmed over the course of one year, No Going Back follows their adventures across six episodes as they struggle, against the odds, to get Châteaux Ribagnac up and running in time for the tourist season.

When they and their children arrive at their new home on a cold, dark December evening, they discover just how much work it will take to restore Ribagnac to its former glory. A crumbling interior, and plumbing system which ‘dates back to the Napoleonic era’, are just a couple of the problems they need to tackle, if they want to be ready to receive guests in just five months. The pair starts work immediately but when the region is struck by some of the worst floods in decades, Patrick and Colette start to question their decision.




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