In the spring, I’ll be doing the usual preparation work before écovallée opens, and I have to finish the road to the car park some time before then. But I have plenty of other projects to be getting on with.

The first big project is a new idea: teaching people how to create or improve their own website, using WordPress. I’ll be running one-day introductory courses, and one-day content courses, in one of the region’s best restaurants – Les Petits Plats. (I’ll be re-doing their website, too.) I’ve written about the courses here and I’ll keep you up to date on this blog, from time to time.

Apart from that, I’ll be working hard on music. My objective is to get my solo piano set in my head, so I can throw my chord charts away. Then I’ll try and do the same with the band. Both sets added together run to about six hours, so it won’t be easy. As part of this process, I’m going to be recording a load of piano tutorials on my new YouTube channel. I couldn’t have learnt the 200-odd songs I’ve learnt in the last few years without YouTube. This is my attempt to put something back.

If you’re thinking that the blog is wandering off track, both of these activities still fall under the banner of self sufficiency. At the end of his book, John Seymour recommends using all your skills to bring in the money our world doesn’t let you live without. It’s not just about pushing wheelbarrows and wearing dirty clothes.

As an added bonus, during the winter months, I can do both of these inside.

One of the things I’ve been doing this year – partly for fun and partly for money – is playing in a band.

The band’s called SouthWest and we play store openings, bars, weddings, parties, corporate events – that kind of thing. I’ve made a website at www.south-west.fr and put together facebook, twitter, G+ and youtube pages (all in their early stages). But I haven’t really talked about the band yet, as we’ve been short of photos, video, recordings etc. And those things will only dribble in over the course of the year.

Yesterday, Glenn (the singer) told me he’d put some video footage from a recent wedding in my dropbox folder. So I dug it out and put this together on iMovie 10. It runs to nearly four minutes and, if you’re looking for a wedding band in the Dordogne in the next few months or years, or a band for a Christmas party, you should give it a watch. (It’s a compilation, so you won’t have time to be bored.)

From time to time, I’ll be talking about music on this blog, and am thinking about doing a series of keyboard tutorials over the winter to demonstrate the parts I play to these songs, for other people who need to learn them fast.

On four.