Posts Tagged With: Barnaby Pickles

Summer gifts as the season begins to shift

Summer here in Fayssac has been really wonderful this year, plenty of hot and sun drenched days  and the odd crazy storm to cool things down,  entertaining us with illuminating light shows. We have had lots of fabulous guests that have made our summer abundant with fun, laughter and great memories that will last with us for a very long time.

It has been so hot down here with little rain, the trees have already begun to loose their leaves making us realise that autumns calling.

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The ground is so dry that cracks in the earth are the norm creating an amazing motorway of patterns.

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The sunflowers that recently blazed their yellow glow over the country side are all now bowing their heads. They will be left until they are almost black, the farmers waiting for the seeds to be dripping with oil before they harvest them.

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But as we begin to notice the subtle changes, mother nature gives us some lovely gifts to help us on our way.

The wild damsons are laying heavy and luscious on the branches, they are inviting me to taste their warm and sweet flesh, whilst eating them the purple juice runs down my hands, there to be savoured later as i walk Barnaby Pickles in the evening glow of the sun.

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The blackberry bushes are also brimming with big bold berries, ill be picking these over the weekend for a jam making session.

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Summers not over yet! but the autumn hints are there, so we have to fill up on the sunshine and warmth ready for the cold winter nights.

Are you all noticing the changes or is it just me?

Have a lovely weekend everyone and heres to more warm sunny days before Autumn rolls in.

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Lofty Days

Last week we started to insulate the loft above Marion and Ian’s House. There is a large hole at the end of the room which is actually access from one of the barns, this is handy but the wind blows a gale through it so we will put a door covering it which will be a fire escape.

First job, lay the sound proofing material

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Then we cover the floor with MDF boards to give us a clean flat surface.

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Exterior walls are insulated and the door is installed so no more gales…

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As ever Barnaby is on hand to help out, well give cuddles…

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Next job Sanding the beams and digging holes in the walls for the electric cables….

Mmm sounds like dirty work…

 

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Time for a catch up….

Hi again, sorry for the lack of posts,  i can’t believe our last was back in October, and where did all those weeks go?

The last six weeks have flown by as has the last few years, is the earth turning faster? or maybe its just that I’m getting older and time seems to be going faster?

So what have we been up to, well its been a busy six weeks here at Maison Mûrier, i was going to say that we have just been working on the interior of the house again as its much too cold to be outside, but the weather has been bizzarley warm during the days, well after midday anyway, so its been a mix of inside and outside work.

We have had misty mornings

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Some have been frosty

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But after lunch its been generally very warm, even warn enough for T shirts,

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Blue skies and lickums whilst out walking with barnabas Pickles today

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We have had some stunning sunsets, this one was taken yesterday on our way home from visiting a few vineyards as you do on a Saturday afternoon….

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So whilst the weather has been good we have been in the garden tidying up for winter and also moving things around a bit.  To give some winter interest, i have moved the old cart from the side of the house to under the tree outside the kitchen window, when i moved it i noticed most of the wood on the top was rotten so had to do some renovation work on it.

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Ive planted the pots up with some winter flowers and spring tulip bulbs.

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The wall planters have had a mixture of heathers, heres and pansies put in them.

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Back inside we have moved into our own living room so that Marion and Ian can start to decorate their living room and kitchen,which we have been using for the last two years.

We have done a temporary make over to make it all cosy for winter.

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Barnaby Pickles seems to like it.

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We have papered the alcove walls using old 1950s newspapers that were found in a storage trunk that Marion and Ian bought.

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Up in the loft we are converting to bedrooms, we have been busy finishing off lots of little jobs before we get the electrician in to do the first fix. kev has been busy pottering about with plumbing for all the ensuite bathrooms, and i have been busy chiselling out all the old pointing from one of the stone walls in the guest bathroom. We want to keep some original features to add character, this wall will eventually be repointed, you can see the difference between the right and left side of the wall, the left side will be tiled over, it sounded simple but took most of a day to do and that was using an industrial hammer drill.

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And what have barnaby Pickles and Miel Miaow been doing whilst all this has been going on?

Mostly relaxing and snoozing…..

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Bye for now catch up soon.

 

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Railings Review……

Its been a busy summer here at Maison Mûrier, we have had lots of fabulous guests staying and amazing weather for us all to enjoy.

Trying to do work in the hot weather is almost impossible, unless you like getting up at 6am to avoid the sun, we aren’t early birds, so have only done that a few times.

We have had the odd cloudy day and have taken advantage of the clouds to crack on with the decking around the pool and the railings surrounding it.

The last few days have been much cooler so we have really cracked on with the railings and here’s what we have done so far.

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We have managed to put the railings up around the whole area of the deck that is finished.

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We thought it was going to be really difficult to fix the railings in place but Kev came up with a relatively simple solution of using long metal rods attached from the back to the existing rods, before they are attached to each other, they are hammered into the ground, roughly 1.5 meters deep.

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The design of the panels is lovely and the colour fits really well with all the foliage.

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Each of the railing panels had to be welded together and thats where Ian fabulous skills have come in handy, off cuts of metal are used to fuse each panel together. The results are really sturdy panels.

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I found these old metal urns at the brocante market today, they were covered in black soot as they were used for washing clothes, they would have been sat on a huge fire, the clothes being boiled inside them.

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With a bit of hard labour sanding them to get rid of the soot they have come up a treat, i varnished them to bring out the colour and markings.

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And now they have a new life as plant pots.

And what have Barnaby & Miel been up too whilst we have been working?

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Barnaby has been spending his time watching us work.

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Whilst Miel Miaow has mostly been sleeping……

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Summer Season kicks off…

Our holiday season visits have started in ernest, Marion and Ian have been with us for the last 10 days and  Ian’s daughter in law and grand-daughter started proceedings off with a quick visit the last week, and now the Hill, McCauley clans have popped over for a visit and in true welshy clan tradition are having a fab time, even though the weather has been hit and miss.

Here’s a pick n mix of what’s been happening over the last 10 days.
Ian has been busy creating terraces on our steep garden bank, he’s taking the Minack theatre as his inspiration.thumb_IMG_4848_1024

It’s work in progress and will look amazing when finished, so pop back for updates.

And all the things he is using are recycled.thumb_IMG_4849_1024
kevs been busy in the kitchen, how many cooks does it take to make Humous?  IMG_0101

Are these nibbles really all for me?IMG_0100

Lots of playing games, Kev trying to explain how to play buzz to the Welsh clan…. Hmmm did they listen????   thumb_IMG_4874_1024 thumb_IMG_4876_1024

A visit to Cordes Sur Cielthumb_IMG_4884_1024 thumb_IMG_4881_1024

A walk through the vineyards thumb_IMG_4866_1024

The grapes are growing quickly.thumb_IMG_4865_1024

Cafe Joubert for aperosthumb_IMG_4890_1024

Our lavender has grown out of control this summer and resembles Worsel Gumidges hair, but the bees and butterflies are loving it which makes it all ok.thumb_IMG_4856_1024 thumb_IMG_4859_1024 thumb_IMG_4861_1024

Amazing sunrise on Tuesday.thumb_IMG_4879_1024

Lots of reading and snoozing by the pool…thumb_IMG_4894_1024

Cross my Paws i haven’t seen the ball…..thumb_IMG_4891_1024

And finally pigeons have decided to take up residence in our acacia tree on our top deck, it’s rather sweet as they are building a nest, but they keep discarding all the unwanted twigs onto the decking for me to clean up, I mean where’s their manners?thumb_IMG_4867_1024 thumb_IMG_4868_1024

More to come, Bonne Weekend everyone…

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bouncing Barnaby

Categories: Barnaby & Miel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Blue Sky & Blossoms – well sometimes!

What a varied week this has been weather wise, it started with grey skies and cold wind, but by mid week we had lovely blue skies and on Thursday it reached 28 degrees in the sun and 25 in the shade, which is pretty amazing for this time of year, i got sunburnt arms whilst i was sanding beams in the garden.

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The blossoms are bursting out on our almond trees, the smell is exquisite, as is the smell from all the violets that have popped up on our front garden, mother nature is full of surprises, she didn’t let us see or smell them last year, i think she likes keeping secrets to surprise us with.

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These lovely magenta flowers have popped up in a few places, i think they are anemones? But i may be wrong.

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We have had a really busy week on the conversion of our loft space into bedrooms and bathrooms, we have been installing the  patrician walls using a mix of old and new materials. The new being metal stud walling with is just like building meccano, its amazing stuff to use and very lightweight, but when assembled incredibly strong. You won’t see any of this once the plasterboard is on, but you will see the lovely old ash beams we have been using as the main supports.

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We are also using old reclaimed doors that Kev found at a fab new reclamation yard in Albi.

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We ran out of beams so had to pop over to Johns reclamation yard in Virac which is only 15 minutes away from us.

This pile of dirty old ash beams will look great in our house, well they will after a lot of hard work sanding them.

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This is how we got them home.

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As i mentioned Thursday was such a beautiful day we headed over to Chateau Du Cayla which is just a 20 minute drive away on the outskirts of Andillac.  You can do a 5k walk all around the perimeter of the grounds, Barnaby Pickles loves it there as there are so many interesting areas for him to explore and a lovely stream for swimming in. The Chateau is now a museum which you can visit, we haven’t done that yet so ill report back when we have.

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Its a very striking building.

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The grey skies were back today, so i missed the eclipse, it has been warm but windy.

The garden has been calling for ages, i need to get my potager back into shape as you can see from the photo below its looking rather scruffy.

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Two beds edged, weeded and dug in, just four more to go!

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The artichokes seem to like their new home, i moved them in the autumn from another part of the garden as they didn’t seem to like it there.

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Clear skies to end the day so hopefully that bodes well for the weekend.

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Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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Warm days, cool nights and bumper crops

Over the last few weeks we have had truly wonderful weather, amazing sun rises, some misty, and a mix of warm, even hot days with cool nights.

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I love this time of year, the feeling that winter is fast approaching but with a hint of summer sunshine to keep us going strong. We have had a few windy nights which in fact has been rather good as mother nature has helped to make all the almonds and walnuts drop from the trees, so thanks MN.

Today i spent some time harvesting the almonds and what a bumper crop we have had this year.

The last of our summer guests departed last week, lunches and dinners were enjoyed outside.

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It was even warm enough to sit outside a few nights and enjoy the stars and garden.

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Our new Kitchen table was delivered last week, its made from floorboards that are over 15o years old, just the kitchen to do now then!!!!

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As were the railings we found at a reclamation yard, 30 meters of them, they are going to go around the edge of the decking, mmm mind you we are not quite sure how yet!!!

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And Barnaby Pickles and Miel Miaow continue to survey their land, so all is happy with the world.

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Hello Sunshine!

The sun has returned with a vengeance today, 30 degrees in the shade and I’m loving it, as i type this I’m sat at my office desk in the garden with the view of the last rays of the day on the distance sunflowers and vines, how lucky am i?

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Busy day today shopping this morning as all the stores were closed yesterday, it was Bastille day so a national holiday and many celebrations and fireworks.

Some computer work, then three loads of washing! where does it all come from? Walked the pickle or rather he walked me and then filling in trenches and back filling the pool.

Here are some snaps of the day, i had to take them, even thug i have loads already, i am just in awe at how beautiful it is here.

Wednesday tomorrow so midway through the week, happy midweek everyone.

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Miel Miaow at the top of the tree!

Our Miel Miaow likes nothing more than scaling the heights… of trees, she isn’t scared of heights in fact she enjoys finding a nice branch and surveying the land from it, oh yes and if a little bird happens to pop by she will oblige and stalk it, walking the tightrope of thing branches with panache.

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She also has a new favourite spot on tera firm as well, on a nice big stone well padded with moss so nice and comfy, from here she can survey her land and watch for mice.

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She even invites Barnaby Pickles over for a look too, if she’s in the mood for doggy company.

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Categories: Barnaby & Miel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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