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April 2006

Got plastered

I have been plastering this week. Pretty full on after getting back in the groove after the recent go slow. In three days we have managed to finish the bathroom (apart from tiling the new shower), the landing and the main bedroom.






Its amazing that an old scaffold plank bought from Coomers of Oakhanger in about 1994 can do in making a window sill.

Clos d’Yvigne

In 1990 Patricia Atkinson moved to South West France to take on a small vineyard. She spoke little French and knew nothing of wine making.

Today the wines of Clos d'Yvigne’s vineyard are internationally acclaimed for their high quality. The vineyard is three times its original size. And the story of the struggle and the success has reached a wide audience through Patricia Atkinson's bestselling books, The Ripening Sun and La Belle Saison.

The vineyard estate includes two beautiful country houses that are available to rent as luxury holiday accommodation. Les Amis de Clos d’Yvigne is a club that provides its members with the vineyard's wine and holiday houses at special prices.

Time for an update

Its been a few days since the last update. Mainly due to having Kristy, Oli and William visit through Easter.

Whilst we worked, it was a little on go slow which was nice although Mat kept things flowing.

Easter monday, which is the only holiday here in France of the Easter period we walked. Oli, Henners , Fleur and Will to Monflanquin where we had lunch.





The kids took a ride back with Donna and Kristy in the car whilst Oli and I and Hector walked back.

On the way we passed around an old chateau which lies empty. Sad to see but was a fantastic ride back in time.


The red shutters which remain closed seem to be crying and the red tears stain the walls.

The old stables fell silent a long time ago, the hroses long gone.


If you close your eyes it is nearly possible to take in the atmosphere of the days of opulence of days gone by!








We walked past so many houses which are empty and in need of a creative charm. Mainly a factor of the inhertitance laws.



Deja Vu

It had to happen, or at least as far as I was concerned!

The second Fosse Septic which is a 4000 litre tank situated behind the main house needed to have a filtration/drainage bed attached. It has been on a priority list for a while so we decided it was a perfect job, not too physical that we could do to end the week before the easter break (Good Friday not a holiday here).


So, digger fuelled up and trenching bucket secured, Mat and I dug out 90 metres of trench, removing the spoil to level along the drive. Next, we infilled the first layer of 20mm gravel to support  the pipe  and then laid and connected the black plastic perforated pipe.


Everything went very well, the weather was excellent. The warmest of the year so far I think, the soil was an easy dig and the water content exactly right so that it wasn't boggy nor too dry.

The last bit of trench was across the track which we planned to concrete the last 200mm of depth  so that the pipe could not be damaged by vehicles passing over it. The digging was still easy once I was through the crusty layer of stone that formed the surface and under that was soft.

Then disaster! Very aware of the telephone cable, its depth and its route (but not its exact location) I carefully scraped into the soil being particular not to repeat the debacle of the time we aere connected originally.

Your guessing the outcome arn't you?

Yep, snap! straight through it. I could not hide my frustration and let out a double expleative to which I heard Fleur, who was paddling in a blow up boat in the meadow, rebuke me for my outburst.


Time for tea I think!

I felt such a wally encore!. Luckily the electrician was here so I scrounged a water proof junction box and elecrical block connector and fixed the break. The box was then filled with a waterproofing silicon and then closed to waterproof the connection.


It rounded off badly what was a promising and productive day. Anyway, we completed the pipework and today we will concrete over the pipe and fill in the trenches.

Gite near Monflanquin

Planning a visit to the region?

5 minutes drive from Monflanquin yet set into the peaceful beauty of the countryside is found the Pigeonnaire.

A simple house tastefully converted with the addition of the Pigeonnaire, thus creating a spacious and exemplary house for a group of 4 people. (there is the facility for a pull out double bed downstairs should it be required.

There is a purpose built swimming pool in an attractive design to compliment the architecture of the house which looks out over the unspoilt countryside.

The Gite is set centrally within the grounds of the owners property who are on hand for any help, tips or advice throughout your stay. The grounds are very private and indeed are surrounded as far as the eye can see with fields hills and woodland and can only be accessed by the 300m long Chemin (track) serving the house.

When you arrive you will be greeted by the owners, Phil and Donna Voice who will introduce you to your accommodation. After this it is up to you! A dip in the pool to refresh the weary travelled body, a cup of tea or something stronger awaits with pleasure from your hosts.

Inside you will find a welcome pack  consisting of a French loaf, cheese, butter a bottle of red and white wine a few of the essentials freely provided.

Bookings can be made by contacting [email protected]

What price to pay?

It is fair to say that when we all go on our holidays we try to combine quality, comfort with value for money. At Perigord Vacance we aim to provide all of these and that little bit more.

Your time with us must be one of the best experiences you can have.

Be it pure peace and relaxation, quality time with your family that you may not be able to spare during a busy year, or maybe to tour the countryside, small towns and bastides to sample life today while breathing a life gone by, then this is the perfect base.

Just as a taster, imagine this view as you sit and drink an aperitif before a nice supper after a restful day by the pool.


Please click here to be taken to the French Connections page with relevant pricing and availability.

Please check the availability of the accommodation before contacting us to make a provisional booking - either by e-mail at [email protected] , or by telephone on (00 33) (0)553 01 26 14

  1. Your reservation will be held for 10 working days, allowing time for you to send us a non-returnable 25% deposit and a signed Booking Form.
  2. Following receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation invoice and statement which is the formal acceptance of the booking.
  3. The balance must be paid not less than six weeks before the start date of your holiday.
  4. Reservations made within ten weeks of the start of the rental period require full payment at the time of booking.
  5. Payments should be made in sterling by cheque payable to "PJ & D Voice". (Payment may be made in Euros if preferred by contacting us in advance)
Important: Please read our terms and conditions before booking.
Terms & conditions
  1. The property known as The Pigeonnaire situated at Jean Blanc is offered for holiday rental subject to confirmation by Philip & Donna Voice.
  2. To reserve the Property, you can either contact us by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone on 0033 (0)553 01 26 14 and your reservation will be held for 10 working days, allowing time for you to complete and sign the booking form and return it together with payment of the initial non-refundable deposit (25% of the total rent due). Following receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation invoice and statement. This is the formal acceptance of the booking.
  3. The balance of the rent together with the security deposit (see clause 5) is payable not less than six weeks before the start of the rental period. If payment is not received by the due date, we reserve the right to give notice in writing that the reservation is cancelled. You will remain liable to pay the balance of the rent unless we are able to re-let the Property. In this event clause 6 of these booking conditions will apply. Reservations made within ten weeks of the start of the rental period require full payment at the time of booking.
  4. Any chargeable expenses arising during the rental period (e.g. fuel in the Winter months) should be settled locally with us before departure.
  5. A security deposit of £150 for every week or part week of the rental period is required in case of, for example, damage to the property or its contents. However, the sum reserved by this clause shall not limit your liability to us. We will account to you for the security deposit and refund the balance due within two weeks after the end of the rental period.
  6. Subject to clauses 2 and 3 above, in the event of a cancellation, refunds of amounts paid will be made if we are able to re let the Property and any expenses or losses incurred in so doing will be deducted from the refundable amount. You are strongly recommended to arrange a comprehensive travel insurance policy (including cancellation cover) and to have full cover for the party's personal belongings, public liability etc., since these are not covered by our insurance.
  7. The rental period shall commence at 4.00pm on the first day and finish at 10.00am on the last day. If you anticipate arriving later than 6pm, please telephone to let us know.
  8. The maximum number to reside in the Property must not exceed the maximum advertised capacity of the cottage being rented.
  9. Guests are responsible for leaving their cottage clean and tidy. In the event that more than normal time is required to bring the cottage back up to standard a deduction will be made from the damage deposit.
  10. In the event of breakdown of equipment or appliances in the property, garden or swimming pool please let us know and arrangements for repair and/or replacement will be made as soon as possible.
  11. We shall not be liable for:
    Any temporary defect or stoppage in the supply of public services to the Property, not in respect of any equipment, plant, machinery or appliances in the property, garden or swimming pool.
    For any loss, damage or injury which is the result of adverse weather conditions, riot, war, strike or other matters beyond our control.
    For any losses or inconvenience caused to or suffered by you if the property shall be destroyed or substantially damaged before the start of the rental period and in any such event, we shall within seven days of notification to you refund all sums previously paid in respect of the rental period.
  12. Under no circumstances shall our liability to you exceed the amount paid to us for the rental of the cottage.

    This contract shall be governed by English law in every particular including formation and interpretation and shall be deemed to have been made in England. Any proceedings arising out of or in connection with this contract may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction in England.


We have hooked up with VideoEgg to try and provide a bit more depth to our blog. I was once asked if I could post an all round view of our property here and now we have the facility we can.
Hopefully it will give a three dimensional view of what we are doing and also allow a higher degree of powerful marketing to assist in the holiday sales.
Today, the cloud doesn't do the scenary justice, when conditions and time allow I will hop onto the roof and give a wider view of this stunning place.


The elusive cat, Meli is getting more adventurous. This afternoon she ventured down from the hot tin roof and laid on top of the rabbit cage in the warm sun.


Not sure if she was weighing up the size of the quarry or was just interested?


Walls come tumbling........


To accomodate the new spiral staircase we needed to remove a 500mm solid stone wall.

So Mat, who loves a challenge set to with power breaker and sledge hammer and removed the obstacle.

Today a new block wall was erected as well as a new plasterboard wall for the bathroom.

Trust us to change the plan so drastically so late in the day but all will become clear when you visit us.