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August 2007
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October 2007

September 2007

Can I use a well in France?

Well_009 Some where down the line between us and Monflanquin, SAUR (Société d'Aménagement Urbain et Rural = Company for Urban and Rural Development) we have been working on the water pipes which means that for the last two days we have been without a water supply.

This isn't in itself a great problem because they turned us off at 9.30 after breakfast and restored the supply just before lunch. The only thing is that they didn't notify us of any works in advance.

I had mixed up a barrow load of mortar this morning to finalise the piers but had not added the water and when I turned on the tap nothing came out.

Luckily for us we have a well. You have a right to use as much water as you like from a well you own and this included unlimited use on vegetables too.

Continue reading "Can I use a well in France?" »


Kitchen_wall ou may think that this is going slowly but the last thing I want to do is have the whole thing falling down on me. I did a barrow load of muck yesterday morning and another in the evening and the same today. This gives the early mix time to go off enough to remain stable.

All being well I will finish off the left hand pier tomorrow but then I have the quandary of removing the acrow props to get the new lintel underneath without it all falling down.

The charge of the light brigade

Kitchen_wall_006 You will have to excuse the quality of this second photo. I didn't adjust the camera settings for the low light levels and just used the point and shoot facility. The result is a rather blurred and dark photo. I will remedy this tomorrow though I promise.

The first photo was after yesterdays work. I only managed an hour or so because the weather was so nice and we decided to go and have a look at a house that is for sale with a friend. In fact a perfect late summers day so there was no real urgency in the morning.

Kitchen_wall_007 Because we didn't have anyone coming in this week our guests decided to extend their holiday by one day but it felt rather empty today and it is never the same when the Pigeonnaire is not lived in.

It would be nice to let it out through the winter so that the lights come on at night. It does look so homely at night with a warm orange glow, peering out of the windows.

Continue reading "The charge of the light brigade" »

Mathieu Filliette - English speaking builder near Monflanquin

Are you planning to renovate a property near Monflanqin or within a twenty mile radius? If you are and need an English speaking builder then I would recommend you all our friend Mat.

He is French but speaks perfect English which is a great help when trying to understand or liaise with other trades or architects.

Mathieu Filliette

Maconnerie et Rénovations

Boudy de Beauregard

Tél/fax 0553 49 30 95

Port/mob 0684 64 17 46


If you would like a reference the I would be more than happy to give one so either call Mat direct or email me for a chat.

It's all included in the price

We have met some lovely people this year what was our first season and also made some great friends which was of our goals.

The feedback and compliments have made the experience all the more special and we really look forward to next year and hopefully have a bit more rest rather than work and hopefully get involved in some different things.

We would like to take the kid's away for a holiday - that may sound a strange thing to say but we have not had a proper family holiday away from here since we arrived and I think it does not matter what you do and where you live there are always times when a change of scenery and atmosphere will do some good.

What you see is what you get.

Chatting to guests we have discovered that many gite owners are hiding extras away to surprise their guests with. For example here at Perigord Vacance you will not pay extra for linen, bathroom towels or pool towels.

The kitchen is always stocked with coffee and tea for your arrival and we normally put in a few bits for your arrival especially if it is a later arrival and you do not get chance to shop on the way down.

There is free use of a washing machine, iron and board as well with dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid supplied too.

We believe, unless you make a special request that what you see is what you get with no extras.
We would like our guests to come here and enjoy the experience to the full without the worry of being caught out.

We have not set the tariff for 2008 as yet but will do shortly. One thing is for sure it will be the price of the stay and nothing added.

This door was built after a long lunch

Kitchen_wall_002 The next step on the barn to kitchen conversion is sealing up the large barn door to make us weatherproof. Hopefully, this should be done in a month (including making the doors and windows).

It is a really great feature of the barn because it lets all of the late evening sun in and especially on a hot day we find it remains cool but especially light and during the months of June, July and August the sun streams in a lights the back stone wall with a warm orange glow.

Unfortunately, we encountered a bit of a problem. both sides of the door frame are not perpendicular which meant that any door frame would not site inside that well and look nice.

The solution which we eventually settled on was to knock out one side of the door (as seen in the picture with the acro props holding up the oak lintels) and bring the door frame in slightly on the other side.

The corner stones are really big and I wonder how the builders got them into place originally? One very strong man could lift the first few up to waist height and two strong men to shoulder height but then putting them gently into place without disturbing the one underneath would have been hard.
Do you remember the days before the telescopic? I really struggled to start with and then purchased the block and tackle which made the job so much easier and even simple. Because I could lift and lower by a millimetre at a time I had so much control.

Continue reading "This door was built after a long lunch" »

How to create crystal clear water in your swimming pool

Misc_009 Do you remember a while back I explained how a small marble of muck had collected behind the pressure reducing disc behind the universal wall fitting that reduced the pressure by about 70%?

This week we had another problem with different symptoms but the solution took us back to the same source behind the UWF.

I had noticed that the booster pump for the Polaris 280 was making a really loud noise and I suspected the pump was running dry.

Lots of fiddling around and a backwash to make sure that the flow through the sand filter had not been reduced but all seemed fine.

Because the symptoms were different I did not think about removing the pressure re stricter disk immediately but when I did a small trickle of leaf litter blew out (no hard marble this time).

Putting back together the robot once again did a celebratory somersault and away it went - back to normal.

So, if you have the polaris 280 and get a rather limp or lethargic robot you should check this UWF first.

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September is the best month of the year in France

Grass_snake_012 The month of September is living up to expectations and looks to be set to surpass the previous three.
The temperature today is set to touch 29 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky. It has been the same all week and last week too with this coming week also set fair.

The Sunflowers have now been harvested so the fields around loom a little bare and Mr Bertrand has even managed a second cut of hay on his fields.

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A Grass Snake takes a dip

Grass_snake_008_2 The Lime tree is starting to shed its leaves and seed pods as the autumn draws that little bit nearer.

Mind you during the day it is difficult to tell that it is the end of the summer and not late spring because the temperature is ranging between 24 and 26 with 26-28 due through the weekend and early part of next week.

Mother nature is certainly making up for dishing us a bum hand during July & August. I really hope this continues until late October. It really helps having a short winter.

Look at the colours in these rose hips. I took this picture yesterday morning on a fruit collecting mission.
The Rosa rugosa is next to a fig tree in the hedge row ( I have no idea why this fig tree should be in the middle of nowhere, perhaps the seed was dropped by a bird years ago?)

Grass_snake_015 The figs are absolutely wonderful. Extremely sweet and very succulent. It seems such a shame that we will not be able to pick them all and that so many will be wasted.

If all goes well next week then we shall try and make some fig chutney.

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