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March 2005
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April 2005

Good & Bad

Its been a good and bad day in some respects.

Henners has had the tube draining his stomach removed and tomorrow he might be able to take sips of water. He feels much better in himself and I think is coping with the pain too. His bllod test reveals that he is progressing too which is a relief but it has been confirmed he has a further abcess deep in the abdomen. It is approx. 6cm x 5cm x 3cm in size and we are told that it is smaller than the last one. The Doctors are not happy to operate on this one and prefer to use antibiotics and today they changed them to work harder.

Henners has a CAT scan on Tuesday to determine if there is any other underlying cause for this.

We hope!!!

Continue reading "Good & Bad" »

Henry has moved

It seems apparent that Henners has another abcess or at least the original one might have returned.

He was moved today from Villeneuve


to the intensive care unit of the Childrens hostpital in Bordeaux where he will have closer monitoring.

Having been there all day we have returned for fresh clothes and sleep before driving back the 110miles tomorrow.

They do not want to do any more surgical interventions and hope that the antibiotics will work. It will take at least another 7 days before we are out of the woods.

Henry's progress

Overall Henry is getting better. However, last night we were told he may have another abcess below his scar and this morning he will have to have an ultrasound scan to determine this.

The area around the staples is angry and inflamed and his blood test reveals that the white cells are high. When he arrived his bacteria reading was 273 and to be normal he needs to be below 5. At present he is 124 so still needs recovery.

Thank you everyone for all your messages of support at this time.

Over the worst!

When we moved here to France I started this Blog and it was my aim to report on all of the positives and negatives.

Really, I was thinking the negatives might be along the lines of the planning permission being refused or being stopped for a traffic violation.

The last thing on my mind would be something as traumatic as has happened to Henry. It has certainly strengthened the belief that life needs to be lived for today and although long term plans are essential tomorrow is as important.

We now know that the doctors removed an abcess the size of an orange from Henners hence the large scar. The apendix were also removed from the other side as a precaution too.


Henry is in good spirits now. Yesterday he was able to sit up and come out of the drug induced slumber although extremely sleepy. He has constant pain killer but hopefully this will begin to be reduced soon.

I even managed do get 4 hours work in yesterday morning before visiting. I have to carry on. A house to live in is all the more important now.


Continue reading " Over the worst!" »


It has been a turbulent week since my last entry in our log. No work has been done on the house.


On Friday Henry underwent emergency surgery to remove an abscess from his intestine. What we originally thought was food poisoning quickly became clear after doctor intervention that it was more serious and three four hours or so after the initial check by the doctor in Monpazier Henry was operated on in Villeneuve hospital.

Initially, he did not respond. The abscess had to be removed but the poison from it remained a danger and it was not until yesterday that the bacteria was fully identified.

Doctors were ready to transfer Henry to Bordeaux to the larger and more specialised unit there. However, discussions with a surgeon has put them on the right track now and it seems we may be over the worst of it.

Fingers crossed that he will be eased off of the sedation.

What are we doing!

The weather is wet!

The ground outside Jean Blanc is a mud bath!

We are due out of Le Mas in less than 2 weeks!

The caravan is too small!

We must be mad mad mad!!!

I think for the first time today it dawned on us what lies ahead and the immense task in co ordinating the renovation so that we can all be living in the small house by the end of the summer.

Luckily the corner stones and the facing stome arrived on yesterday so we started the stone building. It quickly dawned on us that we would not get these 300llb stones up to waist height let alone shoulder height. 20th_april_jean_blanc2_0662

Time to improvise.


We fixed a cantilever using one of the old oak ridge beams and attached our newly aquired block and tackle.

Wow!!! what an easy task it turned out to be. Not only can we lift the stones but using my long chain we can actually pull them across the ground with infinate ease.

So onward and upward!!


Bread Oven

I have had to put a supporting pier up to take a large oak beam. The pier comes on the joint of the old wall and the new extension so I decided to make a decorative feature as well. The idea is to make it look like a disused oven using old clay tiles.

I constructed the arch this afternoon and it doesn't look too bad. I will remove the supports next week when it goes off to see what it is like.



Keeping up with blog!

Its been hard keeping the blogging fingers active this week. The weather has been very iffy and when the showers come down they really come down.

We've been driving hundreds of miles also looking for corner stones and lintels for our extension which are becoming increasingly scarce.

We have bought enough now at 55 euros per linear metre and we parted with a couple of grand in euros. They arrive Tuesday.

The stonework can start in earnest now but the delay has not helped progress.

Continue reading "Keeping up with blog!" »

The first flight

My Dad, together with my step Mum made his first ever flight at the age of 66 this week to come out and see our progress. Adamant that he would never fly he was suprised to find out that he actually enjoyed it and that he wondered what all the fuss was about.