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February 2005
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April 2005

March 2005

David Attenborough

Thats what I felt like today.

The House Martins have been nesting in Jean Blanc for many years. Bearing in mind it has not been lived in for 40 years they have had the run of the place (only sharing with the mice).


They returned 2 weeks ago and have been busy re-building nests.


I patiently waited in one of the rooms to take this extraordinary photo of two Martins mating.


Fleur de lys

The meadows are bursting into life.

In your lawn Dandelions are a menace but in the fields around Jean Blanc they are wonderful. The sun brought them into life and it reminded me of lots of people passing the time of day in a French Market. You can almost see them chatting to each other.



Even Stinging Nettles are attractive in the right setting.


Grape Hyacinth mixed with the Daisies,

Walls of Jerhico

We didn't get to Jean Blanc till 10.30 because we went to look at a caravan this morning. I only managed to get 2 courses of blocks down when the heavens opened making it difficult and too risky to continue. I didn't want the mortar all washed out.

I was all set to come away but as Henners was off from school he wanted us to carry on (you know Dad's and Son's bonding thing).

So we decided to knock the middle wall down and recycle the stone. The rubble will be used to fill the space below the concrete when we are ready for the floor.




The walls have stood for a 100 years plus but today we revealed that they were constructed from little more than mud/straw/manure with stone collected from the land itself.


Its like a signature from days gone bye.


A signature from today!

A good day

The sable Batir (sharp sand arrived as promised first thing this morning.

In the mean time I used the pressure washer to clean the cow manure from the yard. The weekend rain softened it so it came off very easily. Before that it was like baked cement.


The mixer and the cement unfortunately was an hour an a half later.
However, once things were in place it was onward and I was relatively satisfied with the days work.


Donna knocked up the muck (mortar) and loaded out the blocks while I laid them.



The first swim

With the help of Guy we opened the swimming pool and started cleaning and filtering it. The ph was tested and corrected and suprisingly it only took 24 hours for it to become clear.


The kids took the first dip (about another 6 weeks for us adults I think).

The water is still freezing but now its open it should absorb the sun a bit better.

Moving furniture from England to France


It seems an age since David, Clive, James and I moved our posessions to France in the two hired lorries. It was a great adventure and certainly to be reccomended if you ever find yourself doing the same thing.

This time though the process is much simpler. Having to travel to the house daily it means we can take a van load at a time. This way the workload is much reduced and it allows for greater organisation.