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December 2005

Counting down

We are on countdown to Cristmas with some shopping this afternoon and th last day of work tomorrow for a week. Lots of food, maybe some wine. Catch up on some sleep and of course more food.

in the meantime I have to write my list!


It has been cold here of late with temperature as low as minus 9 during the night but today we had a very clear and warm day in the sun. Temperatures are set to plummet again tonight and I hear from M Meteo that we could get some snow later in the week.

It has its upsides though. The sunset was fantastic!



Last week was rather manic and extremely full on, so Sunday we decided to have a day off. We had an invite for lunch with our friends Guy and Michelle in St Marcory where we stayed last winter.

One of the joys of France is the very fine food and Sunday was no exception. Sangria (yes I know that's Spanish) for an aperitif with olives and cheese biscuits followed by Chestnut and Pumpkin soup with bread.

Then a little ritual (which name escapes me) where you pour a red table wine into the soup bowl and drink the contents after swilling it around. (the soup was so good I had to have seconds)

Fleur demonstrates with the wine in the soup bowl. ( a dry run of course)


Then Salmon, Chicory and grated Carrot followed by Beef stew with boiled Potatoes and Carrots with thick gravy washed down with a nice Bordeaux red.

Cheese followed this and afters was a a fantastic Walnut biscuit (like and oatmeal base you would have with cheesecake) and Creme Anglais. This was served with a glass of cider from Normandie.

You might think that this would be followed by a 2 hour snooze but we braved the cold but clear afternoon to watch a horse spectacular in Sarlat.


Tips on plastering with Lutece 2000


Christmas is coming and the race is on to have the upstairs completely rendered and plastered using Lutece 2000.

The foundation coat of 5:1 sharp sand and cement (with lime) will secures the loose stone and provide a bonding or key coat for the Lutece to adhere to. Using the render also ensures that we do not use too much plaster. Sand and cement is cheap compared to the Lutece.

Continue reading "Tips on plastering with Lutece 2000" »

Fitting Airflex Insulation in tight spaces


One major consideration in our house is the level of insulation to the main roof. One superior product that is being installed in french houses is Airflex Insulation - an aluminium backed foam' geotextile insulation. However, it is not cheap and I am yet to be convinced, 100%, about is qualities and its price justification

. Leclerc have had an offer recently on a similar product, that is a lot cheaper, but because we have not used it I cannot compare.

Airflex is not cheap. 100 square metres cost 1,000 euros

Continue reading "Fitting Airflex Insulation in tight spaces" »

Frost Bite

I am sitting in the room we have nicknamed the snug typing on my Compaq. The trouble is, with no front door and more draughts than a chequers board I cannot feel my fingers.

It is safe to say that we have had a frustrating time. But today it was like Piccadilly Circus here.

The Plumber M Marcelo who started last week returned today with an absolutely enormous boiler for the heating and fitted it in the cave. Thierry, his first mate who is working on our job is a delight and nothing is too much trouble. They have made promises that have been kept from start to finish thus far and we are pleased.


The electrician also started phase 2, i.e. the main house as well today and tomorrow Mat and I will start to insulate the roof and fix the plasterboard.

Yesterday, the bathroom suite was collected and this was placed in the bathroom. A big shock came when the bath would not fit through the doorway! Luckily the oak beam upright is wavy and by lifting the bath near to the ceiling and it squeezed through with 1 millimetre each side.



All in all we are very pleased now and we await the windows which will then seal out most of the drafts. Its coming on.