Posts Tagged With: France

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  [www.travelmyth.com ] 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.

Px

Categories: General posts, Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Say Hello to the Maison Mûrier Blog

Hi Everyone

Sorry this there hasn’t been many blog posts this year, we have been busy renovating our house and also building a new website and blog.

Going forward all our blog posts about our life and adventures in France will now be published via our Maison Mûrier website blog, if you would like to sign up for email updates or just visit the new blog click on the link below.

https://www.maisonmurier.com/blog-1

Our  new website is also up and running and can be found at

www.maisonmurier.com

Thank you all for reading about our adventures on this blog, we have really enjoyed sharing them with you,  we look forward to welcoming you to our new blog site.

Best Regards

Phill and Kev

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Perfect Poppies

I know I’m bigging up Mother Nature a lot this week, and she does give us a lot to do in the garden but she also lends a welcome hand. Take this horrible pile of rubble we have at the back of the house, [we have been using it as a dumping ground until we get around to landscaping it] What does she do to help she sends loads of poppy seeds in the wind to help cover it up and make it look pretty, well for a time anyway.

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And a few giant poppies are thrown in for good measure.

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Thanks MN, now if we could just have a word about all the acacia tree blossoms you are dropping in my pool……

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

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……

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baaaa

Yesterday when sunbathing on our deck I thought I heard sheep baahing; the sound seemed to be coming from our neighbour Colette’s garden. Further investigation proved correct – she has invested in some sheep to help keep her grass down. She has a white ewe and ram and a 2 black ewes and ram.

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They are very small sheep I’m not sure what breed but ill find out and report back.

They are very friendly and came straight to meet me to say hello.

My first thoughts were what will Barnaby Pickles think of them and will he bark all the time? We took him down to introduce him and after a few initial barks he seems fine and very interested in his new neighbours.

When sheep sit down does that indicate rain, like the old wives tales about cows?

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Potager Produce…..

We have come to the end of a heatwave which has given us a few months of amazing sunshine, scorched the land and given us a bronzed look.

Everything we have planted in the potager has bloomed, grown and is now ready for picking, mainly thanks to the fab watering system that Kev installed.

The only part of the grass that has needed cutting is the plush green grass circular patch that the sprinkler has reached.

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Over the weekend Kev and I started to harvest our crops, with the help of Barnaby Pickles of course.

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Our peppers have been ripening in the sunshine and turning lovely shades of yellow and red.

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Kev cleaning off the red onions.

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We picked 185 red onions and left them to dry in the sun for a few hours.

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Kev came up with a great way of drying them, courtesy of single bed slats

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Kilos of overripe tomatoes were picked.

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And turned into pasata source.

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French beans were bagged and have been frozen ready for winter dinners.

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Now weeding and fertilising to be done before planting winter veggies.

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Dog walking and Wild flowers…

I walk Barnaby Pickles as early as I can these days as the sun is so hot past 9am.

The sunflowers on the field just below our garden are just beginning to go over and will slowly droop and decay until they are brown husks. Kev hates them when they get to that stage. But for now they continue to give us a sea of yellow even if tinged with sunburnt orange bits.

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It amazes me how many wild flowers still manage to survive and thrive in the heat of summer. I saw these beautiful wild sweet peas today peering through the grass all proud and colourful.

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Have a lovely day everyone.

 

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A vineyard tour at Clos Rocailleux

We are in the midst of a heatwave here in France as are a lots of countries in Europe, today was the hottest day of the year so far, the thermometer in the garden hit 42 Degs and its due to get hotter later this week.

Even the pets stayed inside all day, Miel was out this morning but she soon came running inside as the day heated up.

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After a day of working on the computer and a quick swim in the pool we headed over to Clos Rocaileux which is owned and run by Jack and Margaret Reckitt who have been making wine here for the last five years. On Tuesdays at 6pm they take people on tours of their vineyard and winery.

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We meandered through each of the wine plots tasting the wine that is produced from each grape variety.

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Jack explaining the intricacies of caring for the vines.

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We did try the wine in the bottle he had in his hand.

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Glasses in hand

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Stunning views

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Yes that is a box of wine in Kevs hand, 3 of the early vintage red and 3 of the reserve red which will be laid down for a few years… well maybe not all of them.

I would highly recommend doing this wine tour or just a visit to the vineyard, you will receive a very warm welcome.

Visit the website here closrocailleux.com

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Arghh March is here, does that mean Spring is here?

After last week’s sunny days, this week has brought us rain, rain and oh yes, even more rain. Thanks mother nature. I know we need water and god knows I don’t want to deprive the grape vines – I want a bumper harvest so we have fabulous wine next year, but come on! Rain day after day? Please! Just a few days of sunshine would be nice. Heck I’d even be happy with one day. I feel sun deprived and I’ve only just come back from a very sunny glorious holiday in Cape Town. That’s probably why I’m needing the sun: I got used to it and got into summer mode and now want more. Hmm, at least the nights are getting lighter – it’s really noticeable, every day a minute or two more and I love it.

I know spring is on its way as our local supermarket E Leclerc has adorned its entrance with garden furniture and pallet upon pallet of bedding plants and yes there are bargains to be had. In fact this very week I purchased 10 climbing roses for the smugly price of €2.10 each and with the exchange rate the way it is, it’s a steal. Mind you, now I have to plant them all which I did this weekend. We have lots of wire fencing around the garden to keep the dog in so I have planted them all along that in anticipation that they will climb and creep to their hearts’ content and cover the horrible green fencing. I hope they don’t let me down. Check back around June time to find out.

So with the rain mainly keeping us inside we have been cracking on with our renovations which abruptly came to a halt due to our trip to Cape Town, which was fabulous. Oh! Did I mention that already? Sorry.

With the installation of our new staircase we have partitioned the old large bedroom to create a corridor, which will eventually become a library area. After much research Kev decided to create the partition wall the French way using their metal post system, which I have to say is very simple and lightweight, which is a bonus as using wooden uprights that weigh a ton is hard going on the arms.

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Yes I know there is still some wood in there – it’s to give stronger support to hang the radiator off. Kev thought the metal may buckle under the weight.

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The large hole is for the fab double doors that Kev bought from John our reclamation guru. He has an amazing warehouse full of goodies. I’m only allowed to go there under supervision and without a cheque book.

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View from inside the new bedroom, the door needs to be sanded and waxed but you get the idea.

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View from the new halfway which will be a library area, eventually, not plasterboard on here yet as all the electrics have to be done.

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And whilst we were hard at work, what were Barnaby and Miel up to? Well B was supervising, and snoozing. And Miel Miaow was tucked up in her bed, best place to be.

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And in anticipation of spring coming, it is coming isn’t it??? I have planted some Hyacinths and Narsisi to make the house look like spring has sprung. (Spot our marble Troc bargain in the background for our first ensuite bathroom sink)

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Brocante bargains

A freezing visit to our local weekly brocante market in Albi brought some great rewards, it was worth braving the cold as i founds lots of lovely bargains all for €1 each, yes its like my very own pound shop in France, well i say pound but the euro is worth so little at the moment soon i will have to say the 50p shop.

Anyway you never really know what you are going to find when you pop along on a Saturday morning and today as  it was so bitterly cold there were very few stalls, which was actually good because the more expensive stall holders were obviously all snuggled up in bed, so the stalls that were there were my favourite kind with their goods all laid out on the floor and big signs saying “€1 par Piece” i love that sort of signage, it get very excited as i get a huge swag bag for very little money, kevs even more fond of that sign as he knows i wont spend much.

So here are a few pics of my finds, now bare in mind that one persons junk is another treasure and yes i know everything looks a bit dirty and grotty but you wait until Phyllis Poppins get his hands on them.

You will have to pop back in a few days to see how they all scrub up.

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By the way the trowels are not for decoration they will be used to build our walls around the pool area.

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Apparently these used to be used to store water when their was no plumbing, People would wash their hands with the water that dripped out of the tiny spout at the bottom.

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When i got back from the brocante we had snow flurries all day, not much settled just a light dusting.

Happy week ahead everyone.

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

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