Posts Tagged With: Toulouse

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.


We have managed to put the railings up around the whole area of the deck that is finished.


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.


The design of the panels is lovely and the colour fits really well with all the foliage.


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.


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.


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.


And now they have a new life as plant pots.

And what have Barnaby & Miel been up too whilst we have been working?


Barnaby has been spending his time watching us work.


Whilst Miel Miaow has mostly been sleeping……

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

Frosty New Years Eve

We have awoken to a frosted New years Eve, the moisture in the air has literally frozen onto everything,



Its incredibly beautiful but the photos do not do it justice.



Happy New years Eve everyone, have a fabulous day.

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

The wind that rocks the barley

last week was a complete mix of weather sun, rain, cloud, and wind sometimes gusty bust mostly gentle breezes that has rocked the barley which is heady and heavy with seed.

Its amazing how quickly crops grow especially with all the rain and sunshine we have had this spring. i am loving the colours of the fields at the moment, the barley crops are a myriad greens at the moment, dark shades at the base of the crops  with a dusting of of the freshest lime green.

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Miel Miaow has been exploring her terrain, laying in wait to pounce on any passer by, she thinks this is great fun and no sooner than pouncing out on you has scarpered to find her next hiding place.


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After a long days pouncing she like nothing better than snuggling up on her favourite seat near the wood burner.



The flora and fauna that i see whilst walking the pickle keep amazing me, yesterday i saw this butterfly, well think its a butterfly, I’ve never seen one quite like it, part of its wings are translucent and other parts or bright yellow, so beautiful, if anyone knows what it is do tell.


The last week we have been making the most of the dry spells doing work in the garden, i have sanded and oiled our garden table and chairs, we bought this set 12 years ago and leave it out in the rain and snow all winter without covers, a quick sanding and some teak oil and it looks as good  as new.




We have chosen the colour for our shutters, well i say we choose it but we have just used the same colour as our new window frames, we bought the paint from Castorama an amazing huge DIY store in Toulouse, its part of the Kingfisher brand that own B&Q in the Uk. I painted one of the shutters that is in a good condition to see what it was like and i love it apart from the fact that even though we bought satinwood and it says satinwood on the can , its gloss, so all that paint will have to go back, oh well thats another trip to Castorama, thats fine by me its amazing i could make a day out of it in that store, pity they don’t sell hot dogs like Ikea.



We have started to prepare the area around where our pool is gong to be, we cut back a huge Hebe bush and have cut the trunks into an Egg shape so hopefully if its not too distressed by being so harshly cut back it will grow and form a nice shape.IMG_0660


Our amazing neighbour and former mayor Claude very kindly offered to dig some test holes where our pool is hopefully going to be, i say hopefully as we needed to check if the ground was solid enough to take the weight of the water.


four or five holes later we worked out where the bedrock was and market out the pool using one of those bright spray cans.





And bless him whilst Claude was around he offered to dig out all the stumps of the trees we have cut down [don’t worry we are going to plant new trees to replace them] lots of the trees have been planted randomly and needed to go to make way for our garden master plan.



So all in all a busy week, mmm what will next week bring?

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

Journeying South

Two years ago Kev and I had a dream: to buy a house in France and build a life and business there. So here we are two years on and tomorrow we start our journey south to begin that dream. The journey is going to be long, hot and no doubt spattered with frustration, anxiety and excitement.
Today, Monday 22nd July, we are packing our lives into a very big van (trust us to choose one of the hottest days of the year) but I seem to remember when we moved into our tiny flat in Nice many years ago we chose another of the hottest days of the year – this time in France – and that worked out ok, so I’m hoping this is a good omen for the future. Plus with all this heat we are hoping to lose some weight along the way. What a fab diet! Hey we could start a new dieting trend and call it “The moving diet” with a strap line of “box up your flab and drop a dress size” I’m sure it would take off…. no…. oh well just an idea. Kev’s mum and her partner Ian have hired the van and are packing their belongings in it and then heading down to us later today. We have enlisted the kind help of another of our good friends to watch guard over our things whilst we ferry them from our storage units which are on the second floor. Hmmm keep thinking of the weight loss I keep telling myself.
Kev has gone to a Swedish mega store to buy a few parts for the new French kitchen [and partake of a hot dog no doubt] some things are cheaper here and some are cheaper in France so we are taking advantage of the price difference to save a few pounds.
As we are officially homeless I’m sat in our good and very kind friends’ office [as they have let us stay and use their home as our own for a few days] typing the last blog post before we sign for our new home.
Our journey begins at 4am, heading to dover to get the 7.30am ferry to Calais and then letting our sat nav lead us the way south and hopefully if we have planned the route correctly avoiding all the mad traffic in Paris and other cities. The sat nav has told us that the journey door to door is approximately 13 hours, so that will get us into Fayssac at around 10pm French time. We then have most of Wednesday to ourselves to rest and acclimatise before meeting our agent to read the meters etc at our new house, then its off to the notaire’s office for the signing ceremony and then it’s champers time back at the house.
Thursday the work begins to get the house habitable.
But thats another story……

Our new home awaits us…..


Categories: Last Few UK Months | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Wheres our new home?

Hi Everyone

Quite a few people have been asking “where exactly is your new house in France?”

Click the link below to be taken to a google map showing where our village “Fayssac” is.


Categories: Our French House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Games begin!!

K: The prologue to our new book (so much bigger than a chapter, this) began this afternoon with our agent, Laurette’s sparkling words “I am thrilled to be able to tell you….”

After an excruciating week, the selling brothers and sisters finally accepted our second offer, which coincidentally was our maximum offer. We are soon to be the extraordinarily proud, excited and terrified owners of a former wine maker’s farm in Fayssac, in the south west of France.


I want to start off by giving a massive apology to several people around me (most of all my poor suffering mother) for being a major grumpy pain in the back side. I think I reached a new low this week, and it’s not somewhere I want to go again. The lack of direction and control was too much for me and I let a darkness win. I hope you’ll all be happy to know that it dispersed, and mum managed to snap me back in line with a well-deserved telling off email this morning.

It also looks like we’ve managed to sort out our temporary London accommodation problem. To the dog-hating agent at Conrad Fox, dog-owners can rent when they have a network of supportive friends (who know they’ll benefit from a week or two by a pool in the sunshine eventually!) Emily & Ed (of the distinguished building and decorating company are moving to north London in July & will rent their south London pad out – initially to us. And luckily, they love Barnaby!

We need a little bit of help now… What do we call our new home & enterprise? We are putting it out to all our lovely friends and readers – please send us some suggestions. Something French preferably, fitting, and elegant. Thinking caps on please! A week in one of our gites (when they’re done in 5 years!) for the winner.

Categories: House hunting | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Waiting Game

K: This week has been pretty stressful. We’ve been back and forth with offers and counter offers for our favourite house in Fayssac. We managed to get the sellers to show their hand and let us know what their minimum price would be, but the gulf between their minimum and our maximum was pretty huge at €14,000. The agents have also kindly reduced their fee in an attempt to try to get the house sold. Our final offer was our maximum, and I’ve not heard anything for a few days. I’m not holding out much hope – the sellers are a group of brothers and sisters and they all have to agree. The mayor in the house next door is one of the brothers, and he seems not to relish his role as a middle-man – he replied with a lovely message to my note introducing myself at the beginning of the week.

Add to that the slow progress of having to find temporary accommodation in London. On Wednesday I could have cried when one agent point blank told me that I’d never find a place, with a dog. She actually said “dog owners don’t rent!”

So, in 6 weeks, we’ll be homeless with nowhere to look forward to. What a fun game!

P: He’s so dramatic and I’m the thespian in the relationship hmm. I grant you it has been a frustrating week, they say that good things come to those who are prepared to wait. So lets wait and see what happens, I’m a great believer in fate I’ve lived my life by that and I’m not going to change now. So if we are meant to have this house it will be and if not then I’m sure there is another one just as fabulous out there, trouble is trying to find it.

So to keep our spirits up I’m posting a happy little ditty by one of the greats.


Categories: House hunting | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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