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Thursday, April 02, 2009


As of this afternoon, with less than a month until our scheduled departure from France, the major contract that we were counting on to pay for the move (the sale of our French property) has just fallen through.

The news leaves us devastated on multiple levels. We have closed down our business in France, so we can no longer legally work here. Our visas are soon due to expire, and cannot be renewed without secured employment, yet we cannot restart our business in the time we have before the visas expire. All our travel reservations are already made, and of course are nonrefundable. We can leave as scheduled, or remain at most another couple of months and then pay for the travel all over again. This leaves us with nothing to pay the movers with, nothing to live on after our arrival in the US, and a gigantic lead weight of debt to crush any future we might try to build in the states.

We are probably going to fly back on schedule anyway, but this leaves our financial futures and any future for the pipemaking in serious doubt. At the least, we will almost certainly have to abandon the Ligne Bretagne stock due to inability to pay for shipping - a huge loss of both our money and a good little pipe brand. Though I must say, at this point the idea of simply leaving pipemaking for good, for a "normal" job with a paycheck, has a considerable degree of appeal. If I sound a bit disjointed, it's because I am - We are reeling, once again, from another "French disaster". The past seven years often seem like little but one long stream of knotted stomach, cold sweats, paralyzing worry, and fear of what new and worse surprise may be waiting around the next corner.

So... It is likely that we will still return to the US on schedule, but most likely penniless and unable even to pay for the shipment of most of our workshop stock. Obviously any sort of future plans regarding restarting pipemaking or attending US shows is now totally up in the air. I really can't begin to predict where we will be just a month from now.

Oh, and our buyer's reason for breaking his contract at the last minute, after we'd closed down the business and terminated all our French business and legal connections, thereby leaving us without recourse and financially devastated? He is "depressed".

He should be in this household tonight.


  1. Frank Porretta4/02/2009 3:41 PM

    Hang in there Trever. These kinds of things are where we find out who we really are. Stay strong and positive and a way will present itself.


  2. I really don't know what to say, this is unimaginable. You deserve better.

    My heart goes out to both of you.

    Mark L.

  3. Oh Trever, I am so sorry. How could this man do this to you? Isnt' there earnest money in France? Do you not have legal recourse?

  4. Trever,

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I hope you are able to hold the man to his contract. I'll be thinking about you two.

  5. What the hell? That is insane. I can't imagine what you two are going through right now.

  6. Horrible. Just horrible. I'm so sorry for you and Em. You will get through this, but neither of you deserve this headache.

  7. Did you have a 'compromis'? Was this a deal for the business or the property?

  8. Good grief. People can be such jerks. You know how to find me if I can help with anything.

  9. The contract is definitely dead. The only current option is to put the house back on the market and hope we can sell it for enough to pay off the loan. All while trying to do this from overseas, of course.
    Regarding the contract, here's what I just posted on Facebook -
    Yes, we have a signed agreement, so he will have to pay a tiny amount for breaking it - IF we can collect. But it might take months till we even see the money, and even then it will only be a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the movers alone, not even counting living costs before and after the move, or new workshop costs.

  10. Trever, I felt physically ill when Mark pointed out your post to me and I know you're devastated by this latest blow You both will be in my thoughts, and yes, my prayers, in the coming days. Don't give up!


  11. Love you both and will be praying for you (yes, really) I'm so sorry to hear the news.
    Peace, Kat

  12. Jörg Wittkamp4/03/2009 6:38 AM

    That's just unbelievable. I'm speechless.
    Please don't giveup. You and Emily will go through that...definitely.
    I cross my fingers for you.

    All the best

  13. What a frakking jerk!!!

    Man, that just sucks on so many levels. Trev, if there is anything I can do, please email me.

  14. Wow, that is a blow! Hang in there and know you have friends passing on good thoughts and prayers!

  15. Oh no! People get cold feet at the last minute. Sad. I will be praying that this changes for you quickly. Dont give up hope. Yours is a talent that would be a crime to lose to the pipe world.

  16. Most devistating, the shock from this persons inane excuse is beyond belief. Please hang in there Trever, something has to turn around for you both.