General posts

Back in the blog business…

Well hello, It’s been a while, well almost three years to be exact.

Now where to begin, mmm well i don’t have time to fill you in on the last three years, but why not  check out our instagram and facebook pages to catch up.

When we launched our B&B website, almost three years ago it came with its own blog which is why i stopped publishing on this original blog site. But due to new EU rules and regulations, that if I’m honest i don’t understand and am not inclined to research we cant use a blog on our website. So here we are back on our original wordpress site and i must say its nice to be back.

Quick question, with the rise of instagram and other social media sites, dose anyone read blogs anymore? I guess you do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, but what do you think? Let me know by letting me know via the poll below.

Its a very unusual January here in the Tarn, mild days and mostly sunny, although as i write this post we have just had a torrential downpour which has sent Kev running for cover in one of the barns, he’s digging trenches in the garden.

Our garden is thinking it’s the start of spring, the usual early spring flowers are beginning to appear, daff’s, hyacinths and other such like bulbs are all sprouting. And my roses are growing at an alarming rate, as is the mint, i even have flowers on my strawberry plants. Mother Nature what are you doing to us? all will be lost if we have a bad frost.


We have been taking advantage of the good weather by digging trenches and laying foundations for walls that will run along our hedge, this is part of a much bigger project of creating a new driveway and securing the garden to keep Barnaby from chasing our guests cars, more on that as it progresses.

January has also been very busy with B&B guests, all of whom are visiting Gaillac for the third and last year of the Chinese lantern festival; alas it has been snatched from them by a much bigger city.


Now when i heard that Gaillac would be hosting the Chinese lantern festival three years ago i have to admit i was very sceptical and even had a wry smile, how could a tiny town put on anything that grand? And i must admit i didn’t bother visiting it, but some of my friends did and said it was very good . In fact the local tourist board had a great time boasting that 240K people visited over the space of December and January 2017. So last year Kev and I together with family and friends paid it a visit, it was spectacular, so i had to eat my words and congratulate the town. Not only was it extremely well executed but it was also very well organised, which in Southern France is a miracle, as most people are so laid back when it comes to event organisation. This year they are predicting over 500k visitors, so it will go out on a big high. but what will they do next year i wonder.

We had a lovely email the other day from a travel website called Travel Myth  [ ] Apparently we are listed in the top 30 accommodations in Albi and the surrounding areas. Its always nice to be recognised, thanks Travel Myth.

And what have Barnaby Pickles and Miel Miaow been up to over the last three years, well apart from eating, sleeping, having walkies and lots of cuddles?

Barnaby has mostly been relaxing as you can see from the photo below.

And Miel Miaow still won’t use the cat flaps, instead demanding to be let in through the windows.

Arghh its good to be back in blog land.

Until next time have a great weekend everyone.


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Happy New Year from us all at Maison Mûrier

Happy New Year

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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Les Chapeaux


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“I Think Every Home Should Have A Marmalade Day”

Unfortunately, we’re not southerly enough to be able to grow good oranges (NB  there’s a prize for the first reader to tell me where the quote’s from), so we’ve had to make do with making cherry jam instead . We’re also not lucky enough to have a massive 40 year old cherry tree in our garden, but we are lucky enough to live next door to Colette who does have a 40 year old cherry tree.


While not her natural habitat, we spotted her on our walk today up a tree.


We thanked her for our massive basket of cherries, informed her that we’d be making our first batch of cherry jam this very afternoon, and promised her a jar.


We referred to the massive recipe book in the sky, found an easy one, and got down to business.







Delicious! Roll on the figs and plums. That’s Christmas presents sorted!

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The kitchen windows in, well not quite!



We spent all day Thursday  fitting the new window, all went well putting in the frame.




But when we came to hang the doors, they wouldn’t close, we tried so many things, adjusting the brackets, moving the frame up then down, but nothing worked, then we measured the actual door frame opening and it turns out that the top is 7mm wider than the bottom, we we weren’t going mad.




So there it is looking lovely but not working, so now we wait for the window company to come out  on Monday to see it and hopefully work out how to make it all ok, keep your fingers crossed.




Its changed the whole feel of the kitchen, its so much brighter and the view of the garden is fabulous.



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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Everyone


Its Halloween, where did that year go?

Tradition in Fayssac is that all the kids come around at 5pm, kev and I waited, nothing  so we  decided to take the dog for a walk leaving Kev’s mum in charge of proceedings, candles lit, sweets out and dog with us. As we were at the bottom of the field we could here the screams of the kids raiding the sweeties, so off we strode with a happy doggy and it sounded like the kiddies strode off happy on a sugar hi.


On our return from walkies with an exhausted pickle, the bowl was empty, so some quick visual readjusting was needed of the Halloween display.

Now as my dear friend Rachel will know i am so predictable and as she is not with us this year but in Saudi wearing a Darth Vader costume and not just for All hallows Eve, we always try to watch the ultimate halloween film “Hocus Pocus” staring the Divine miss M.

So just for Rachel {wee miss you honey]  heres a clip.

And to keep the spooky feeling of this post, we have had some lovely evening walks with the Pickle, mainly because I’m still on summertime and keep forgetting it gets dark so early now.

The evening skies have been beautifull.



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K: After all the excitement of the past few weeks, everything feels like it’s just stopped. I know the agents are all doing their bit behind the scenes, and I’m hoping that we’re still on track for the beginning of July to receive the keys. We’ve pencilled in the last 10 days of July to make a start with the move – which is probably not the best time in the world… summer holidays and just before the whole of France shuts down for a month.

I’ve also been working on some practical stuff – bank accounts, cars and car insurance to be precise. When we move temporarily to Wales, then Bromley (so Phill can finish off his contracts in London), we’re going to need a second car for him to get about. So, it makes sense to buy a car which we can use when we move to France. Our investigations have highlighted that it is not easy or cheap to get a UK car registered in France, so our original idea  of taking our existing 4×4 over is not going to work.

We’re also going to try to spend at least one week a month in France between getting the keys and moving permanently (pencilled in for the second half of November), so it would also be quite handy to have a car in France that we can keep at the airport (one of my perks is heavily discounted airport parking at Toulouse airport) so we don’t have the cost of car hire for those week-long visits.

After initial internet searches suggested that it would be quite easy to get a left hand drive car, reality has started to hit.  As I mentioned, the process to re-register a car in France is very complicated. And I can only drive it in France on UK (or any other country) plates for 6 months. So, we thought we’d look for a French-registered car, and make sure it was taken out of the UK within 6 months (as the same rules apply here). BUT… we cannot get UK insurance for our French registered car, so cannot drive it here! The only solution is to get insurance in France, for the French car, currently based in UK, requiring a French bank account.

My learning curve for this bit was extremely steep – of course nothing is simple. After weeks of searching, the (practically) perfect car appeared last Thursday on eBay, which resulted in frantic calls to a French bank I’d been considering for a while, and scans of all the relevant documents whizzing across the channel by email. Fortunately, the nice people at Credit Agricole have realised about a sixth of the UK population actually lives in France and have set up an English speaking department and website! So, that made the frantic a little less so.

Factor into my stress levels this week my losing my work id, which prevented me from going to Johannesburg, and which necessitated a morning driving around Heathrow airport in an attempt to obtain a new one in the most ridiculously convoluted system, only for the id to turn up tucked inside a tissue box in my car a day later. I ended up flying off to Madras instead (which is where I write this), with the treat of a nice little return sector as a passenger (fingers crossed in Club!)

The packing begins in earnest on Tuesday, after our farewell drinks in the garden on Monday.

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