Posts Tagged With: French house

Hello Spring

Hi Everyone

Sorry we haven’t been in contact for a while, it’s been a busy time here at Maison Mûrier. Winter is fading away and spring is taking hold of the land, blossoms are ready to burst and bulbs are popping up to say ‘hi, it’s been a while’. The first to show their colours are the daffodils but the tulips & hyacinths  are hard on their heals.

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So why have we been so busy we hear you ask?

Well we have continued with our house renovations, the loft area above Marion and Ian’s house has been transformed into an office and spare bedroom.

Take a look…

To the left you can see the new full height entrance we have created, we had to break through the 1/2 metre thick stone wall.

To the right you will see the shape of the old door which was cute but very low and dangerous, as we kept banging our heads every time we entered through it. We used some of the stone from the new door to fill up the space.

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One end of the room is our office/workroom

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We sandblasted the beams, what a messy job that was! But worth it.

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We kept all the original stone walls and re pointed them using traditional lime mortar, a long and messy job but quite satisfying as well.

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The other end of the room has been made into a spare bedroom; the ceiling is low, but it’s ok for sleeping. The bed frame was going to be thrown out by  friends of ours, so we nabbed it and painted it using chalk paint [amazing eco paint that needs no prep work done before painting your furniture: YES] and the headboard was made out of  old wood that came off our roof. We love a bit of recycling.

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We are now in the middle of installing an en suite bathroom into the old closet of the recently renovated Library bedroom – I’ll keep you posted on that.

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Now that spring is arriving the garden is demanding attention too, mainly clearing up after winter but I’ve also just started creating a hot garden [plants with lots of reds, oranges and yellows] on the back of the old stone wall of Marion and Ian’s kitchen garden. The earth is not so good, lots of clay so ill have to dig in loads of compost and manure, hard work ahead…

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And lastly we have developed a new website for the house, using a fab web creation company called Wix, really easy to use as it’s all visual.

Heres a link www.maisonmurier.com 

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The leaf in our new house name logo was hand drawn from one of our murier [mulberry] leaves by my talented cousin Tamar, thanks Tam, wish I could draw like that.

The website also has a blog which we will use going forward to post about whats happening here at Maison Mûrier

If you would like to be kept up to date with our news visit the new blog page and sign up for our newsletters. www.maisonmurier.com/blog-1

Whilst all of this has been going on

Barnaby Pickles has mostly been surveying his kingdom…

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While Miel Miaow has been mostly snoozing in the sun.

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Time for a cup of coffee in one of my favourite relaxing spots, under our acacia tree [yet to bud but still beautiful]

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Bon weekend à tous.

Happy weekend everyone.

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Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Well, Well, Well

After nearly four years of living in Fayssac, our unsightly well has finally been removed.

The well is nearly 100 feet deep, apparently the deepest in the village, and although it could be a good source of water for irrigating the garden, it looks awful and is blocking the footpath making it dangerous for children (and us on our return from the cafe!) to pass.

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In true french fashion the workmen just turned up out of the blue with no notice given, other than the Mayor saying it will be removed sometime before Christmas. And that was back in the summer.

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The huge digger made quick work of demolishing the actual well, we have kept all the stones which will be used to finish building the wall around our pool decking area. Great as this stone is in short supply around our garden.

 

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We will use this space to make a pedestrian gated entrance to our house, instead of having to open the main gates, and we will use the  existing beautiful wrought iron pedestrian gate which sits between our driveway gates.

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The hole down to the well has been capped over using reinforced concrete lintels.

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Its all ready for a final layer of gravel, hmm but it’s been like that now for two weeks so who knows when the workmen will be back to do that!!!

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A Spirit House

We have a little area of the garden by the well that we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with for ages. It’s actually an old stone sink that I presume came from inside our house and has been placed by the well to create a platform. I have placed plants on terracotta tiles to give them height, but I’ve never really been happy with it and have been trying to figure out what’s missing.

Then our dear friend Rachel came to visit this week and bought us a beautiful gift, a spirit house, which She tells us originates from the Lanna Kingdom in Thailand, people place these outside houses and put gifts in them to appease the spirits (apparently they are particularly fond of strawberry Fanta).

They are ideally situated on a wooden pillar or platform, argh says I, I know exactly where it will live.

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Raised up on clay tiles, it has pride of place in amongst the greenery.

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Its made of recycled teak so its weather and bug proof.

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The details on the rood and sides are beautiful.

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Thanks Rachel, it will have a happy home here in the garden.

The learn more about Spirit Houses click here

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

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.

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Misadventures of Marcel Marcel

Our lovely friends Emily and Ed who have just bought the house at the beginning of our village [its the one just above my head in the photo below] have recently acquired a new member of their family, Marcel is a Pyrenean Mountain Dog and although only five months old, is already the size of an Alsatian.

Anyway he’s is so adorable and just loves everyone and showers them with licks  and just wants to be loved by all,  he is also a definite mummies boy.

This particular breed of dog dose not require huge amounts of exercise so dosn’t warrant being walked especially whilst still a puppy.

So when Emily set off to meet me for a walk with her other dog Humphrey, Marcel was left  staring at them heading off down the sunflower lined path.

Ed has been desperately trying to secure their land with fencing and today reached a landmark by fitting the final gate to keep the dogs in, a major achievement considering its been 33 degrees for the last few weeks.

As i mentioned Marcel is a big puppy, he’s a big fur ball but beneath all the fur he’s actually quite a slender chap, so having stared at us going off into the distance and I’m sure thinking “i want to be with them” managed to squeeze under a very tiny gap in the gate. [ i have to mention at this point that the lady they bought Marcel from had warned then that this breed of doggy is prone to wandering off on on the odd constitutional]

Emily, Humphrey, Barnaby and i had all finished our walk and were home, in fact i was about to start cutting the grass when i saw Ems walking past my fence, she had got home to discover that Marcel had decided to join us on our walk and was missing with out permission.

So off we set to hunt for Marcel Marcel, i call him this name as i like the double barrel sound of it.

Emily headed off to scour the village and i headed for the fields to see if i could spot the big white fur ball, and as Ems rejoined me we indeed spotted a spec of white cotton wool in the distance and yes it was Marcel Marcel, who after hunting for us and not finding us had decided to make his way home, he’s a very clever puppy.

But the hill leading up to Emily & Eds house is very steep and he’s just a puppy, so as soon as he got to us he decided to lay down for a good rest [well this escape artist malarkey is very tiring]

So the only thing to do with a big white fur ball is to carry it home, which is what Ems and i did in turns, hence the photo below that Ems took.

Whilst carrying him i kept thinking of how many calories i was burning off and how many glasses of red wine that would equate to……

 

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Introducing the Garden Room Ensuite Bathroom

So last week we introduced you to one of our new bedrooms “The Garden Room” named as it over looks the garden, very unoriginal I know but after much deliberation and lots of name changes we felt it was best to keep thing simple. Tohis is the en suite bathroom attached to it.

The sink unit was bought for a bargain price at our local second hand warehouse, and Kev put a new sink and tap on it.

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We have been hunting for antique tiles for ages but couldn’t find any at a good price, then Kev came across a website that sells some really lovely tiles and has a range of imitation old tiles, they look very realistic as they are all slightly different and have different blemishes etc

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Kev did all the plumbing and tiling, I cleaned the beams up and Marion helped with the painting. Oh and I renovated all the old doors.

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Oh yes and I pointed the stone wall.

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Kev made the shelf from a piece of old wood found in one of the barns.

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So thats one bedroom and bathroom done only another 3 to go. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Have a lovely weekend everyone….

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hello May

April blew out with rain and storms and May has moved in with some sunshine.

Long may it continue…

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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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Almond Blossom and Blue Skies

Mother Nature is continuing to confuse us all, including the trees, flora and fauna.  Our already warm winter has heated up over the last couple of days with barmy February temperatures of 22degrees and at last a couple of days of blue skies and sunshine. All of this has excited the almond trees into bursting open with blossom, which is about three weeks too early.

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The blossoms are beautiful and have a heady sweet scent.

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Back to grey skies and rain for the next week, oh well i have to keep remembering that its only February.

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

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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