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.
Yesterday I easily made the decision to stop using Google ads on the site from now on and re-focus efforts on promoting, not just the holidays but day to day life here in France.
Time is at a premium so I cannot promise a post every day but I am aware of the following I have created and judging by the emails I receive from around the world the pleasure some of you get from reading our warts and all lifestyle in turn gives me a sense of fun and an outlet for my spouting.
I have received over 43,000 unique visitors (not really unique because of the way cookies are stripped out regularly by surfers) plus 4,000 visitors before I added site meter and I am getting between 4-700 hits a week at the moment.
If I could only put a scratch and sniff sort of post on the site, I am certain that I could turn some of them into visitors here at our Gite.
On a more sober note, I have had a disaster with the newly completed ceiling to the barn.
Yesterday evening we had the most amazing and devastating thunderstorm that dropped so much water in such a short space of time it needed to be witnessed to believe.
It happened again at 5am this morning and it drew attention to the frailties of the roof design and made me realise that I should have removed all of the tiles and put in the rigid cement board called Canalite to ensure water cannot infiltrate the ceiling.
I had an emergency meeting with Mr Janouix because even the professionals get it wrong and the silly little dormer was one of the big problems and the valley could not cope with the volume of water. He has agreed, as it is now not needed because of the changes to the internal layout, to remove it free of charge and restore the roof to it's former configuration.
I am also exploring the possibility and the cost of adding the canalite now to make sure the ceiling is not ruined in the future.
I have produced a little graphic to show how the existing tiles are laid out and why it cannot cope.