Accidental off-gridders enjoying life in France

Fred and Marijke Andriessen at home and, below, olives they collect to turn into oil

Losing their jobs in France turned out to have a happy ending for Dutch couple Fred and Marijke Andriessen, who have since lived off-grid for nearly two decades.

Mr Andriessen said: “We moved to France in 1986 to manage a holiday park and worked there for 10 years. But the park closed in 1996, at which point the house we had been living in became due for demolition.

“We didn’t want to move back to Holland so we started house-hunting and found this beautiful house on a hill with wonderful views of the Pic St-Loup, near Montpellier.

 “It was perfect for us as we didn’t have much money and we could only afford it because it was unfinished.”

Undaunted by the work the property needed, they moved in and rolled up their sleeves. “Back then, we just had candles and petrol lamps. Then we got a propane gas fridge.”

From the moment they bought the house, in Vacquières, they knew they could never afford to connect it to the ...

To read the remaining 85% of this article, you need to either

Subscribe now to The Connexion and benefit from access to our archived articles since 2006

Print + Digital 3 month subscription

Pay every three months. Our most flexible subscription.

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

€14.25 to France - €18 to EU/UK - €19.50 to rest of the world per quarter including postage

Print + Digital 1 year subscription

1 year of great reading in print and online

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

€55 to France - €70 to EU/UK - €76 to rest of the world per year including postage

Digital 1 year subscription (Our best value offer)

1 year of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital 3 month subscription

3 months of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

More articles from Property
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you