Monthly Archives: August 2013

Making our land Barnaby Pickle proof….

K: Tonight, after Phill thrust the iPad in front of me, and ordered me to update all our lovely friends and friends-to-be on our week’s progress, I was going to use the opportunity to tell some interesting stories.
I WAS going to start with our arrival at Toulouse airport to be met with a dead car, and my first, and successful, telephone encounter with a French breakdown service. It turns out that it works exactly the same as a British breakdown service. And I learned a new word: depanneur. Someone who fixes your “en panne” car.
I WAS then going to move on to arriving at our house, relieved at the lack of further flood damage and cobwebs. We were also quite sad/happy to see the little kitten had moved on, but that his/her mother continued to visit.
I was probably then going to chat about starting our fencing project. We’re half-way through the week and we’re half-way done. It has been exhausting work, and our hands have been cut to shreds. Of course, we started with the fence on the front road, which everyone and his dog will see, and made a right hash of it. By the time we started the first fence at the back, we were getting into a rhythm (and a first, ladies and gentlemen… I asked phill how to spell a word!) We ordered online a big ground drill, and it arrived at the perfect moment, although we only managed 4 holes before it stopped working (help, Ian!)
I’m sure I was going to mention our frustration with France Telecom getting our telephone and Internet up and running. Poor Laurette has spend untold hours in the Orange shop waiting for equipment which has ultimately been sent back to Orange HQ. We’ve been promised Monday. Watch this space.
I may have even touched upon our very first visitors. Our dear friends Paul and Luke had asked if they could leave their camping tent at our house so they could travel down to France in the future and go camping again. When I say “tent”, read enough seating and equipment to feed/seat 8 people! Anyway, we had a lovely evening and day with them, proudly showing off the shell of our home, experiencing the fabulous Friday Gaillac market, and having a dip in a local lake.
But, no. I have decided to tell you none of these things. What I want to focus on (perhaps again) is our good fortune at ending up in a village like this. We met Colette today, a neighbour picking mirabelles (yellow plums), and she welcomed us warmly. I spent an hour with Claude helping me pick and order the perfect firewood. The grandson of the previous owner of our house came by to advise us about the best thing to do with the electrics. His aunt stopped by to say “un petit bonjour”. And I’ve realised how lucky we are while sitting listening to a gorgeous singing bass player in our local cafe, Cafe Joubert, in an atmosphere I can honestly say I’ve only experienced in Greenwich Village in New York. We wandered in, were given a seat by the owner Bernard, and were served the wine he’d promised to recommend the last time we were here (a 100% Shiraz called “Poupre” – Purple. The perfect name for a Shiraz). Very shortly afterwards, a couple came in and asked for a table, but Bernard said it wasn’t possible tonight. I felt awful. I’d just assumed they would be able accommodate us. I went to apologise, and he said not to worry – we’re neighbours, there will always be a table. And 60 seconds to walk back home.
Whoever is looking after us, thank you.
A few pics of Kev toiling the land drilling holes with our new oh dead machine….



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Dinner at Au Cafe Joubert

After a hard day toiling on the land, which Kev will tell you about in a blog post tomorrow we decided to pop along to our local Cafe which is called Joubert, Saturdays are music nights with a set menu which tonight was Chicken tagine and the most stunning tart au Citron, followed by the music which tonight is being provided by a very tanned and sexy double bass player who sings in English, mostly Elvish Presley songs peppered with a bit of Eartha Kit. He was amazing and made his big instrument sound like a full band.
My only note as the decor is already great (recycled heaven) would be to invest in dimmer switches and some candles.


Categories: Living in France | 3 Comments

Moving the last of our plants

So you know that we are living in temporary accommodation before making out final move south to France in September. But our plants have been on holidays at various neighbours in Trenholme road, and now the time is right to move them in readiness for their long journey to France.
I managed to get all the small plants into the Hyundai but three of our shrubs were just too big so the only solution was Kevs new convertible.




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Snapshot of how the house used to be

This photo of our house was given to us by The Mayor who also used to own the house.

He’s not sure when it was taken but i think it must be over 30 years ago.

You will notice what looks like a road in the background, its in fact a tennis court which can be used by the villagers.

The two wood stores to the left of the photo attached to the other house have now gone as has the horrible concrete electricity mast, you can see it just to the left of the front door, it has now been connected using underground cables which is great.

Also you can see that the front door used to have a porch over it which has now gone but will be reinstated at some point using an old one found at an brocante market, it will so hard to have to go to all the markets to find one!!!!

Old Fayssac Photo

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Fayssac Snapshots 2


So i found another few snapshots i took on the first day we were in the new house, these are of the current plants we have in the garden, i say current as they will change over time once we decide what to do with the garden.

This beautiful flower was blooming very close to the front door on the gravel driveway, i say was as no matter how we tried to avoid it, it did get trampled, but I’m sure it will reappear.

photo 1

And for our Scottish contingency a gaggle of thistles which attract the honey bees.

photo 2

Not sure what this flower is but its on quite a large shrub in the south facing part of the garden, its very pretty and the colours are beautiful.

photo 3

More to follow in August.


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