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May 2007

What has happened to global warming?

Weather Everywhere you turn these days there is a debate on the effects of global warming and worrying statistics on the lack of rainfall. The experts are leading us to believe that a terrifying chain of events, starting years back with the ozone caused by CFC'c hole and now dangerous levels of carbon dioxide which is heating up the globe.

Australia has just suffered one of the driest summers on record and the UK has just encountered one of if not the most prolonged and warmest on record.

But I need some serious convincing that this is not just a blip on a cycle lasting several years or maybe part of a process that is taking several hundred or thousands of years to complete.

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Big Cat sighting in France?

Cows_022 I am not suggesting one bit I have seen a black Panther but I have certainly seen a rather large black cat this afternoon and I managed to get a photo before it spotted me and took off into the hedgerow.

I was approx 100m away using the zoom. When I first spotted it it was coming towards me as I rounded a bend. By the time I had pulled into a side track hoping to hide the car and get out with the camera it had passed level and by the time I had got into a position to take the photograph it was heading away from me.

I am slightly on a higher level so I am looking down on it. I wanted to take a video but I was unsure I could flick through the menu and get the film rolling in time so I opted for a photo.

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By Jove I've got it - I think!

To understand the leaking problem I had to go right into the eye of the storm, so to speak.

Flood_001It has continued to rain very heavily today - hence the extended writing in between the play-off final between Bristol and Shrewsbury and Hannah Montana depending on who won the battle of the remote control - so I thought the best way to try and understand why we are getting water in was to witness it right in the middle of a downpour.

I am pretty sure I have hit on the reason and it is best if you have a look at the video for a detailed explanation.

Mr Janouix reckoned I needed guttering off of the main house but, even though he is the pro, I disagreed. He was right though but not for the reason he suggested. We have the roof off of the large bard which drops a huge amount of water aling a single run of channel tiles and it is my view that this is the reason why it cannot cope.

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Google Advertising and Perigord Vacance

Tileswater001 I had a long chat with my Blogging guru Craig McGinty and discussed the style and direction of Perigord Vacance and what its purpose was to us.

We both agreed that I set it up initially, with Craig's valuable help, to promote our holidays lets and also to help, highlight and inspire other intrepid restorers and Francophiles who search for a similar challenge.

I added Google advertising to try and create a small income stream to assist in the upkeep of the site. However, the site started to lose it's identity and sidebars became misplaced as they were shoved aside to make way for advertising banners.

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My, have times changed!

Skype_phone I embrace technology on a daily basis and it is really weird how it sits side by side with the 'new life' in France. Actually, it isn't so new any more as we rush up to meet the 3rd anniversary this October.

I am enjoying my job and the freedom it gives me to carry out my tasks and maintain a presence with the building work. With no travel at all I can leave  work and be building within minutes and vice versa.

I have just invested in DORO internet phone and I have to say I am becoming a huge fan of Skype and what it can do. Before it seemed a bit of a chore to put on a headset and really feels so different to holding a real phone in your hand (although hands free is very useful also).

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Sculpting with Lutece 2000

Plastering_025 I have triumphed the virtues of Lutece 2000 quite a few times in my blog and I have to do so again.

I read recently on a French forum that plastering is best left to experts and it takes a lifetime to re-create what a French artisan can achieve.

Poppycock! is my response. I came here as a novice in plastering and I feel now more than competent and extremely happy with the results I can achieve.

I would rather spend a day plastering and go over it again to get it right than pay 30.00 euros an hour for someone else to do it and believe me, whatever your level of expertise the satisfaction is immeasurable.

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Last evening was a real Boar!

I am still pumping with the excitement because of what I witnessed yesterday evening!

I had a fairly long day in terms of marketing and construction so I decided to finish off with some therapy jobs.
By therapy I mean the kind that blokes like to do and one of those is sit on the tractor and cut grass.

It was nice yesterday with temperatures in the 80's so the evening cool is a welcome time, although still in the early twenties and twenty seven in the bedroom when we went to bed!! errrm! stop that!

Well I was in veggie mode as I trundled along on my little Kubota with the rotary whizzing behind striking dead all those that dare stand up!

I consider myself pretty vigilant though and I noticed, up on what I call the prairie a dark silhouettes of what I thought to be a black Labrador. Mr Motor or Francis ans he insists we call him has a black dog so I assumed it had  wandered.

Then, all of a sudden, just as I realised the snout was too long for a dog, another eleven, yes eleven of these black shapes came trotting out onto the newly planted sunflowers.

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Is it really near the end of May?

Pool_006 May seems to be passing so fast and whilst it is not as full on as last year the work does seem relentless.
I suppose, part of that is because we are busy which always makes time pass quickly.

Where an earth though did the last year go? We are fast approaching the end of our third year here in France and it seems like yesterday in so many ways.

I am finding it tricky to blog as much as I would like to and it is a habit I ant to slip back into. Because I spend four hours a day working now it means I have to fit in the writing and renovations around it.

Landscape Juice, my other blog is going from strength to strength and I am just about to have it featured as 'website of the month' in a gardening magazine which has an 18,000 readership. Amazing really because I only started it six months ago but I am being contacted regularly by individuals and organisations who would like a review or coverage of a product or their business.

Since the launch of the Complete Gardens Streaming software I have been asked to review two further garden software products. The intention now is to increase the awareness and start selling some advertising space which can contribute, hopefully to our income.

I tend to rise about 6.45am and walk with Henry down the track to meet the College bus. It is funny because it tends to be the time when Henner's is at his most talkative although some mornings he does not want to talk at all!

He had a friend stay over on Saturday and the caravan is perfect for that. They set the Playstation up and when Johanne's father came to collect him the boys revealed that they had both gone to sleep at 7am that morning!

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