Posts Tagged With: French Life

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.

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Sunny Sunday

After a week of grey clouds and cold winds, Mother Nature has given us a lovely sunny Sunday, what a lovely way to end the week.

You can feel the heat of the sun on your skin, it’s a tonic. And it looks like the temperatures due to rise over the next week a giddy 17degrees by next weekend.

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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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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?

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Saint Antonin Noble Val – photo safari 

My current guests and I visited Saint Antonin Noble Val on Sunday. I have only been out of season, but had been warned by French friends that it gets very busy there in the summer especially on market day, which it was.

Boy oh boy were my friends correct, thousands of cars were parked on every inch of road, verge and spare space leading into the town.

Unperturbed we headed for the town and managed to find a crafty little spot to park near the river, not a few minutes walk to the market. I would later be reprimanded by a furious French lady who on spotting us returning to our car lent out of her window and started to tell us in florid French that we couldn’t park there, I gave her my cheesiest smile and explained I don’t speak any French, a little white lie I know, but hey when needs must.

Anyway it was worth it as the atmosphere was fabulous and the market really great, we even managed to get a great seat in a restaurant jut off the main square and were serenaded by a saxophonist and a guitarist.

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Here are some snaps on my photo safari.

 

 

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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.

 

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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…

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Butterflies, Bugs & Blooms. 

One of the things I one about living in the countryside is seeing so many of the above, living in London I was lucky to see a few butterflies a day maybe a bumble bee or two, wasps loads, but no honey bees. Here you go into your garden or for a walk and they are all there in abundance.

Here are just a few of the amazing creatures and beautiful flowers i saw a my walk on Sunday.

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