We are Andy Brodie and Hilary Menos. Andy builds the websites, Hilary writes the words. Each of us brings specific skills to Magic Bean; Andy has had years of experience building websites with Drupal and WordPress, and Hilary has worked as a journalist, food reviewer and arts critic.
At the moment we build sites in English but in time we expect to make them bilingual French-English, and for this we will co-opt the services of our son, Iggy, currently at our local school and rapidly becoming fluent in French.
We also bring a wealth of experience from our past lives. Andy has been a boat builder, actor, theatre director, yacht skipper and, as a musician, toured the world for ten years with legendary show band ‘The Rhythm Doctors’. Hilary studied PPE at Wadham College, Oxford, and has had two collections of poetry published, one of which won the prestigious Forward Prize for Best First Collection. In 2006 we set up a 100 acre organic farm in Devon and started breeding pedigree Red Devon heifers and Wiltshire Horn sheep – by 2010 we had a herd of 20 breeding cows plus followers and a flock of 150 sheep as well as the necessary complement of rare breed pigs, chickens, ducks and geese, a kelpie sheep dog, and three cats. In 2016 we decided it was time for a new adventure, so we moved to ‘La France profonde’ and are now renovating a historic arrangement of stone in the Tarn.
When we arrived in the Tarn we noticed that people here are much less web-inclined than in the UK. While some businesses have websites, most business is done by telephone or face to face, email is used far less than in the UK, and the websites that do exist are often non-responsive and not very lovely.
So we made Magic Bean.