Posts Tagged With: Tarn

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

The beauty in winter

The last few days here in Fayssac have been bitterly cold, its the first time mother nature has wrapped her frosty arms around us and cloaked everything in wintery white.

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The mornings have been starting out with a sunny glow, but within minutes the fog has been rolling in creating misty swirls in the valley and continuing its journey until you can hardly see anything.

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Im not really a winter person, although i do love a log fire and large brandy to help keep the cold away, for me summer is my season, but if you look there, really is so much beauty to be seen in this Narnia season.

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The sleeping trees and decaying plants are given a dusting of frost making them shimmer.

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There are picture postcard scenes to be viewed everywhere.

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The ice particles bring spiders webs to life, showing all the incredible intricacies of their spun webs.

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I think i may be a little obsessed with them, but why not when they are this beautiful?

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Colour still manages to pierce through the frost giving us vivid sparks to brighten our walks.

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The dogs love this weather, they don’t seem to feel the cold, they revel in it bonding and springing about, except when they are patiently waiting for you to throw a toy.

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So my friends this year is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been, we have had some amazing times, and have so much to be thankful for. There have also been many shocks along the way and we have lost so many amazing people, musicians, authors, celebrities, stars and many loved ones.

But we must look forward and not glance back for that is the only way to go….

From all of us here at Maison Mûrier we wish you a very

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

The calm after the storm

Hi, it’s been a while i know, well i have had a busy month, turning 50, having lots of fabulous celebrations with family and friends, and having an incredible holiday in Barbados, thanks Kev, Les & Dx oh and Lady Balls for a true surprise, one that made me use really bad language out of fright, [as she made me jump] i must say in my defence.  You all made it so special and one never to be forgotton.

Then straight from holidays to London,  Scotland & Highgrove for work and finally back to my beloved Fayssac, it was all amazing arghh but its so nice to be back home. I know i keep saying it in posts but it always amazes me how things change so quickly, mother nature dosnt stop for anyone, she keeps rolling on, season by season, things bud, blossom and decay. So Autumn was, and now winter begins, shorter days and longer nights abound, colours keep changing and the smells of cinders and earth are strong in the air, and i must admit i love it. I’m not really a winter person as i crave the sunshine but i do always look forward to winter fires and long walks in the late afternoon cherishing the last rays of the day and today was no exception its been unseasonably warm and beautifully sunny, i had to stop and take yet another photo, i have so many of this view but it always makes me smile and gives me a warm feeling, this is a special place, its hard to explain why it needs to be experienced,  friends that have visited have said the same.

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But the week hasn’t all been like this beautiful day, far from it, as much as mother nature rewards us with days like this, she unleashes her worst sometimes, as she did on Wednesday night. Thunder, lightening, rain, hailstones and howling winds that shuddered the shutters, tossed garden furniture about and generally messed things up a bit, as you will see from the photos below.

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But Barnaby was on hand to help out.

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So many leaves

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Probably time to put all the garden furniture away.

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Anyone fancy cleaning the pool for me?

No… mmm didn’t think so.

Argh well it was good exercise cleaning it all up and i just kept thinking of all the calories i was burning off doing it and how many more glasses of the red stuff i could have later….

Lets hope we have more blue skies and not so many grey ones.

Happy weekend everyone.

Px

 

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Autumn at Au Cafe Joubert

We have been so lucky to have had some really lovely warm autumn evenings of late, [not including this weekend, as its grey and a little bit rainy, but not as bad as the weather reports predicted] so as autumn is here we must make the most of these lovely weekend evenings and head to our beloved Cafe Joubert for a glass or three of the white, pink or red stuff.

The garden at Cafe Joubert is well established and has some very interesting sculptures in it and a lovely water feature. Sophie and Bernard grow and use lots of produce in their potager, which in the summer months is bursting with gastronomic treasures but now is fading into autumns clutches.

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I love the early evening sunshine, still warm, hanging low in the sky, it paints everything with a fabulous orange glow.

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I found these completely dried out artichokes whilst wandering through the potager area of  their garden, I’m not fond of eating them as i personally don’t think they taste of anything. But they are beautiful sculptural examples of mother natures handy work. Even in this dried out state they still look fabulous and i think add beauty to the garden.

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But its when you take a closer look that you really see their beauty, the heads layered with fanned out symetrical leaves looking fabulous.

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Couldn’t resit taking this photo of a little grass hopper basking in the last glow of the sun, its amazing how it has changed its colour to blend perfectly in with the stem of the flower.

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Then there are the dead heads, wow so magical and beautiful, mother natures candy floss.

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Taken from a different angle it looks like a smooth fury coat, tinged with sunshine.

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Arghh i wondered where Bernard had gone, he was obviously posing for a sculpture of himself.

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Bon Weekend everyone….

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

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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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……

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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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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 to Come Indoors

A little over 18 months ago, on April 1st 2014, I posted a blog explaining how I had spent a couple of days installing our pool and terrace. The more astute among you will have noticed that it was an April Fool’s, and that the tiny photo was badly doctored:

April Pool's Joke

In the passing 18 months, we’ve been toiling hard to build the pool and the surrounding terrace, and today – our last day working out in the garden before we transfer back to working indoors – we finished the last couple of tasks to complete it. After 1.3km of decking planks and 7000 screws, here is the final result:

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I’m sure Phill, Marion & Ian would like to join me in thanking everyone who gave some of their time and effort, and helped us along the way. Claude, our neighbour, for hours digging channels and test holes with his mini digger; Lionel, our friend in the village, who turned up on endless days to help, and who taught us an invaluable French phrase: Jamais Plus – Never Again; John, who dug out the initial hole for the pool, and persuaded Phill to spend an extortionate amount on “200 year-old Parisian” (yeah, right) iron railings to go around the terrace (but which were so worth it); Michel our electrician, and general pool advisor; Luke, our friend from London, who spent a couple of hours on his hands and knees, screwing; Boris, Ian’s brother-in-law, whose relaxing stay in the south of France meant wheeling barrow loads of concrete around the garden; Dave, Phill’s brother-in-law, who can turn his hand to anything! And to everyone else who supplied us with cups of tea, and meals, and bottles of beer at the end of the day.

As I mentioned, our attention now turns inside. It will be a busy winter converting the loft into 3 bedrooms. Next spring will see us return to finish off some of the walls near the pool, and build a summer kitchen.

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