Previous month:
February 2007
Next month:
April 2007

March 2007

The French Revolution

Firstly, I am sorry that the updates are so sporadic.

This is due to the continuation of the Tiscali problem which started nearly two weeks ago.

I am perplexed that Tiscali have taken so long to restore our connection and in the meantime I have found it increasingly frustrating, using the very slow in comparison, dialup.

Continue reading "The French Revolution" »

An eclectic update

An eclectic update I am trying a new method of updating my Typepad blog using an email and I have just done a test post which will confuse you I am sure.

This method, providing the formatting and picture placement is correct will save lots of time to update because it means I just have to send an email from any computer.

Anyway, back to France. The roof and the jointing and the crepie of the chimney is now done, thank goodness. There is a very small leak still but I am sure that it is a little crack in a tile and just a matter of finding it. This will certainly need doing before the insulation is done and the plasterboard is pinned up.

I had a good clear out, it is surprising what debris and waste is accumulated during the work and it gets to the stage where you feel cluttered so a spring clean was in order. The tobacco wires came down as well which took a while. They are everywhere. It must have been a huge activity and desperate source of income years back. Hopefully, next week I will advance the plasterboard and insert Henry's window. The aim is to get his bedroom completed so that he can have his space. It will mean he has to leave the house to go to bed but we will put an internal lock on the door for security and then he can grow up in privacy. Talking of growing up. It makes you realise how quickly life passes by. We will complete three years since we left the UK in September and the difference in the children is tangible. Fleur was just six years old when we arrived which means that not including pre school playgroup that she has now been at French schools for nearly 75% of her school life. Henners was ten and a half and continues to thrive on the challenge that is thrown at him. Having now gained a wide circle of friends he seems well at ease with the system and the move to Monflanquin College was without incident. In fact he is statistically 4th (he missed 3rd by a whisker) in his class of 25 and mind bogglingly he is 3rd in the class for French. Mind you, French grammar is just as hard for the French at college so being French does not necessarily mean you are going to be better. From Donna and my perspective the whole adventure has been a real passionate challenge from some very low lows to some extremely high high's. Henry's illness the lowest followed by Donna's broken pelvis. These two events made the irritation of delays, bureaucracy and language inadequacies irrelevant. The highs. There are many to mention but the biggest is making the break in the first place. I didn't personally want to look back in 20 years and say to myself, I wish I had......... Of course, building the pigeonnaire has been the single most rewarding task and also the speed in which we did it too. It took an awful lot out physically and mentally but I tend to need this kind of energy to get things done. At present the bedrooms are the priority before taking a real break from building (apart from superficial tasks) and concentrate on a few projects that I have developed and evolved since we have been here. I hope to tell more shortly and highlight how the internet can help you start and run a business and assist others in projects wherever they are in the world. You do not have to be a techie, I am just an interested observer in computers and the net but it has opened opportunities for me. As I say I hope to add more to this  shortly and hopefully, if it all goes to plan, inspire others by adding a dimension to their new life. One other thing. Mark and I are going to start a mini enterprise so that we can sell our woodworking wares at weekend markets. Apart from some money we both feel it will give us a great social opportunity to meet lots of people and an outlet and incentive to produce, refine and develop the woodworking and hopefully mean we can upgrade and purchase new equipment with the income. Donna has now made many friends and has found a little niche. Working, via the internet during the morning for an oil agency based in the UK she will either do housework, help me, ride or do patchwork  which she is learning with two very good friends. The aim is to make a quilt for Fleur. The joke is it wont be ready until Fleur is 18 but it is taking shape and very impressive it is too. Jan, one of the girls who is sowing with Donna is the wife of Mark so it dovetails well. It is spooky how similar all of our interests are, Mark and I with the woodwork and Donna and Jan with the riding and sowing. All of the individual segments in the squares in the picture are cut out and sewn together and then the squares will be sewn together to form a quilt. The weather is turning warm again after what was a very sharp shock. Last week we hit 26 degrees and wall to wall sunshine all week. We had guests from Ireland who flew in to Bordeaux and the weather was stunning but sadly left with them and, just like the UK, we have had a very strong north wind coming from the Artic just to remind us that Mother Nature is still in charge. The broadband saga continues and Tiscali have told us it will be another week at least. Heaven knows what the problem is but in this day and age I am shocked it will take two weeks to resolve! The application though has gone into Teleconnect. I am sure it will not mean we will be trouble free but at least I will understand fully what the English speaking help line is saying to me.

Continue reading "An eclectic update" »

Broadband in France

Since we have been in France we have used Tiscali for our broadband access.

There was not a real reason for going with Tiscali that I remember other than it had an option for unlimited dial up for 25 euros a month.

Once we moved from Monpazier to Monflanquin we were able, after a brief spell, to upgrade to broadband and up until last Thursday, apart from my own mishaps by cutting through the cable twice, we have had a fairly trouble free time.

Continue reading "Broadband in France" »

Short Break available

Pigeonnaire We have a slot available for a short break in August.

The dates 7th August-11th August are available for a short break or alternatively, if you would like more than a week but not as much as 2 weeks then the following week is also currently available. 7th August - 18th August inclusive.

The letting times are 4pm or after to take possession and no later than 10am for vacating (although you are free to stay on and use the pool etc. until midday)

For further details please email us or call on  00 33 (0)553 01 26 14.

For more detailed information about the Gite itself click here.

Planting out the Poplars

Poplar Do you remember when I took about twenty Poplar cuttings and planted them in March 2005?
Well they thrived and now they are a range of heights from 5-12 feet and I decicided last Sunday that if I could not lift them before the leaves opened and the weather became too warm then they would probably be too difficult and large for me to lift in the future.

Continue reading "Planting out the Poplars" »

Why do we do it?

Windows_064 Why oh why do we do it?

We have guests arriving late tomorrow afternoon so in good old Voice fashion we decided that we should remove the temporary window in the Pigeonnaire and fit the new permanent one before they arrive.

I have come to the conclusion that I cannot motivate myself unless there is the added pressure of a deadline.

I have cut the wood from the sliced tree this week, planed and thicknessed and prepared using the spindle moulde and systematically the window was made and I am extrememly pleased with the result.

Continue reading "Why do we do it?" »

The rain in Spain

Windows_007I was lead to believe that the Crane's fly to North East Europe from Spain to reach their summer feeding and nesting grounds and witnessing their flight high in the sky is a sure sign of impending spring.

I am not so sure if this is really the case this year. I think it is so darn wet in Southern Europe that they have flown out in desperation!

Continue reading "The rain in Spain" »

It all hinged.....

Bergerac_027 on the hinges really!

I actually got out of the place for the first time (not including football training and a walk into Monflanquin last Sunday) for a day. It has been so grey and cold that it has been easy to lock myself in the workshop or have a late start and I am sure, just like everyone else, I really need some continuous sunshine now.

I needed some supplies to finish the windows including hinges, a biscuit jointer and some glue so we headed into Bergerac to Econorm the woodworking shop in the town centre.

[For those who are interested, the woodworking shop is moving out of Bergerac to Creysse which is on the route to Lalinde. I am not sure of the exact location at the moment but I will pop it on a google map when I know].

Continue reading "It all hinged....." »