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December 2005
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February 2006

January 2006

Getting Worse

Today the weather hits us like a ton of bricks. Yesterday we had half an inch of snow but this morning and incessantly through the day and into the evening we have had between 6 and 8 inches of the white stuff. Because of the widespread rurality of the landscape there are no gritters or ploughs so it makes getting about difficult and especially dangerous.


Henry and I struggled to Jean Blanc to feed the rabbit and cat in the Mercedes (just!) but while we carried out our chores the snow flurries became a blizzard. We set off back but only made about a quarter of a mile and we were forced to give up as we encountered the first incline and we slid down to the bottom. Getting back to Jean Blanc was hard and we had to abandon the car in our field as we could not get up the drive. We reverted to the ford van which I must admit found the conditions a breeze.

Note: I am writing this post from the warmth and comfort of the rented gite so this might become tomorrows post (if you know what I mean).

It is spectacular though!! How many times before we moved to France were we told it never snows in these parts and we have had snow for the last two winters and this time its as deep as anything I ever saw in England.

Weighing up the benefits of Lutece 2000 C

The plastering is getting close to the finish point (or at least phase 1 of the main house) and I am looking forward to a change of scenary and to do something different.

Back in the landscape days I didn't really do any plastering except for render on the occassional fish pond so it comes with a bit of a responsibility when it comes to the finished surface in your own house. After all our intention is to sell holidays so there may be a bit of passing traffic to run a thumb over it.

Continue reading "Weighing up the benefits of Lutece 2000 C" »

The roof saga

Not wanting to tempt fate I decided not to mention the roof on the Gite.

M Janiuox our new roofer has been good to his word thus far and after we agreed his price and signed the estimate he delivered some materials ready for the start in Feb. A deposit has been paid and I will start immediately on the gite once he has started to cover over.

Fingers crossed it will all go to plan.

Henners Birthday

Last year it was a yomp around the army training area with his friends. This year it was a little more subdued for Henners birthday celebrations.


3 of his friends from Montaut school spent Friday and Saturday camping at Jean Blanc in the caravans. You cant beat a good fry up so thats what we did.


Coming along

Progress remains good on the house. The kitchen floor screed is now down and ready for the small wall to accomodate the double belfast style sink. Then we can lay the floor tiles which arrived on Saturday. We have plumped for a reclaimed fired earth quarry tile in two sizes. A 30 cm sqare one and a 22cm square one. I will lay them in a pattern that will compliment each other I hope.

The plastering is done in the kitchen too and I have completed the ceiling in the snug and today I started on the walls. I must say it makes evrything feel so fresh once the decorations and paint of pre 1960'ish is covered over.





Latest Progress

It has been a few days since I have put an update on our blog. Not through laziness but lack of time. We have had a stunning time since Christmas and probably about 3-4 weeks from moving in the main house (although it is difficult to believe it looking at the mess).

I have now completed half of the kitchen plastering and I hope the other half is done tomorrow.The windows are being put in as I type by Thierry (my Kity machine still awaits the Kity service department after 5 months of a bearing going so I could not do it myself in the end).


The bath and hand wash basin are plumbed in. The shower cubicle will be finished today (not plastering or tiling).


The first phase of plumbing heating is nearly complete too and yesterday I excavated a hole into the rock below ground for the 3000 litre oil tank.


The ceilings of the kitchen (part plastered) and the snug are done and ready for plastering and next week I hope that we can put the screed down in the kitchen and plaster the snug.

Sailing Along

What a great rate of knots we are sailing at this week.

I have enlisted the help of Mat and his Uncle Cameron. Together the three of us have crepied the bathroom walls (this is a sharp sand and lime mortar mix which is slapped into all of the joints and cracks to secure the loose stones and seal  the mud joints. It also provides a great key for the plaster and ensures that you do not use so much of the more expensive materials)


The ceiling has also been plastered and half of the walls. The final part and the little snagging bits will be done tomorrow.

And after spending so much time removing the old lime plaster and sand blasting all of the house we have also rendered the kitchen walls today.


I still cant quite get my head round the fact we only started the main house on th 11th November last year.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all who read our Blog.

We have had a warm, quiet and enjoyable Christmas here.

But today the enormity of the task that still lay ahead bit home hard this morning and for a few minutes seemed overwhelming. But, as there is no one to fall back on it was a case or just getting down to it.

Two walls of the bathroom were rendered ready for the plaster and tomorrow we will plaster the ceiling. This will give us the opportunity to get the final fix for the bathroom and put the shower tray in place.