Posts Tagged With: Living in France

Isn’t Mother Nature incredible!

My Artichokes are ready to eat, pity I’m not a great fan, but i do love the actual plants, they are a great architectural plant feature and the flower heads are so beautiful, mother nature really is amazing, oh can you see another admirer?IMG_3723.jpg

Also been busy in the potager, planting tomatoes, peppers & lettuces, now need some sunshine to help them along.

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Wow, how the garden has grown, in only a week!!!

I have only been away working in the UK for one week, and i just cant believe how quickly things in the garden change, i think mother nature has had a red bull or two.

Like the Uk the weather has been bizarre with sun, rain and high winds, i guess the plants like this combination, although i don’t.

The tree were only just in blossom bud when i left and now they have burst forth and are looking and smelling beautiful.

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The chives are showing off.

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The geraniums are giving the chives a run for their money.

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Poppies are popping up everywhere, even in piles of old rubble. The colour is so vivid.

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And our roses beet the rest to first place, and they smell so sweet and heady, i love the smell of fresh roses after it has rained.

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The sun made a welcome appearence and so did our pool technician, he was most welcome as we thought he wouldn’t be able to come until June.

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Our pool liner had a rip in it at the end of last season, our pool company repaired it but said we had to have a new liner fitted, but this could only be done in the warmer months, so we have been waiting all winter for a warm sunny spring day to get it changed. The pool technician came last Monday but only managed to get the job half done as the rain came. The next appointment was June, but as mentioned he popped by on Thursday and finished the job.

mmm… now i just have to fill it!!!

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Why the Henry hoovers i hear you ask? Well they suck the air out from the pool liner whilst its filling with water, i know weird but it works, and Henry dosnt mind helping out.

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Have a lovely weekend everyone.

 

 

 

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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.

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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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Almond Harvesting

I can’t beleive I’m already hearing the crunch of almond shells under my feet as I tend the potager. Was it really 8 months ago that I posted photos of the beautiful almond blossoms? That crunch tells me its time to start harvesting; I’m a lazy harvester and like to leave all the hard work to mother nature, who usually uses a nice big storm to shake the trees and send the almond shells hurtling towards the ground. Said storm happened last week and the recent sun and wind has dried the land and the shells nicely, so perfect time to gather them.

We have four almond trees on our land: a large one hovering over the potager hence the noise underfoot as I tend it. Two on the other side of the front garden and a small one overlooking the pool area, so plenty to harvest.

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The almonds have fallen and have dried off in the sun, helped by the warm winds.

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I have a little system for harvesting the almonds, firstly i gather them, then take all the husks off, then you have to check them over to see if any bugs have started to bore holes in the shells, then shake them to see if the fruit has died and separated from the shell, lastly pop them into a net bag.

The last few steps are done sitting in my lovely old garden chair….

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The rewards of my hard work a nice big bag full of almonds, this is just the first harvest off one tree.

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mmm how many more trees to harvest, seemed a good idea at the time…….

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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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