Tracing the history of our French house

max mallet  I will never forget the first time I saw Jean Blanc. The house was empty and all of the barns and outbuildings were used as agricultural storage and cows still occupied the yard and fields.

Mr Bertrand had told us that the house had not been lived in for about forty years and his father had purchased the farm including the land but they never used it as accommodation - It was much cheaper to re-register all of the property as agricultural.

Continue reading "Tracing the history of our French house" »

The Landscape Juice Garden Network

I think I am developing square eyes! If it isn't busy enough I decided to make it even busier and start a garden network attached to my Landscape Juice garden site.

The aim is to build a professional and amateur gardening community who can return time and time again and glean valuable snippets of information and put it to good use.

The idea is, once a critical mass has evolved, the membership will fuel the content from within leaving me with a more administrative role.

Continue reading "The Landscape Juice Garden Network" »

Another thunderstorm, a brilliant autumn and another milestone reached.

Water_damage_007 Back in May we had the most amazing downpour which infiltrated the barn I am renovating, pouring water through the plasterboard that had only just been skimmed with plaster.

It has taken since then to about three weeks ago to get a quote from the roofer for some work so that we could put in a claim to the insurance.

But, this week we had an almighty downpour, like a tornado, and again we had water came through which I recorded for the insurance.

Fingers crossed, this week, we will here what compensation we will receive so that we can repair the damage and insure it does not happen again.

In the meantime, with some pointers from my mate Mark, I have complete the electrics in the barn. Up until now we have used the services of a very good electrician who wired the gite and the main house. I was a bit frustrated that I have never done any electrics so with Mark's help and a very good book called l'installation électrique I have worked out how it is all done and installed it all myself.

Continue reading "Another thunderstorm, a brilliant autumn and another milestone reached." »

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.

Continue reading "September is the best month of the year in France" »

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.

Continue reading "A Grass Snake takes a dip" »

An update for Kevin

Cookie_001 I must be getting lazy! Updates are getting a bit sporadic for which I apologise so today I am remedying the situation.

First of all, why the title? - I won't go into detail too much because of client confidentiality but save to say that we have just had a delightful two weeks with a family from South Wales.

What I discovered is that since booking their holiday with us that Kevin,  has kept up with what is going on here at Jean Blanc by reading the blog on an almost daily basis.

It was quite funny when sitting over a glass of wine when Donna or I would mention a detail that we had done or an event that had happened and Kevin finished the story off.

So Guys, we hope that you had a good and safe journey back yesterday and that we see you again in the future.

Continue reading "An update for Kevin" »

Johnny Onions, Perigord Vacance style

Onions_002Do you remember the allotment ,----2----,----3----,----4----, we had in the field before the building work took over our lives?

This year has not seen the same activity as we concentrated on getting the barn renovated, the extra jobs on the gite and of course the days jobs that have helped pay our way.

Hopefully, next year we will again up production to feed ourselves and also because we enjoy it.

This year we have only planted and harvested Potatoes, Garlic (some bought this year and some planted from last years harvest), Onions and tomatoes - and of course we have the asparagus as well.

Continue reading "Johnny Onions, Perigord Vacance style" »

Perigord Vacance site rebuild

I am planning to rebuild our site from now until Christmas to give it the look and feel of a holiday information website rather than predominantly a blog.

I know from our daily stats that we have many friends that like to keep up with progress so the blog will remain active and I will continue to post all of the building and disasters as they happen (lol!)

So if you land on the site one day and you see a new home page, do not be put off, it means I have put the blog behind the scenes a bit and the link will be in the sidebar.

I want to start building more information about the region together with attractions and places of interest to visit and I will need to play around a bit until I get it right so please bear with me.

Typepad, who host this site, have added more functions to the pro version of thier blogs so I do hope, if I can get my head round some coding that I can hopefully make thinks look a bit more professional.

Sunflowers around the Perigord

Sunflowers_017 Summer seems to have finally arrived!

Late yesterday afternoon, the sky cleared and the sun shone without a single cloud in the sky. This morning we have awoken to the same. Lets hope we are in for a longer spell this time especially as the sunflowers are now in full bloom.

We are completely surrounded this year apart from the small grass field next to our track and it really does look a picture. It is the kind of thing we used to dream about when we came to France on holiday.
Even many of our neighbours seem to be growing Sunflower and when you drive out of our track there are the bright faces flanking on either side with a smile.

I have been doing a little research on the history and origins of sunflowers and uncovered a few facts that are very interesting. I have posted it on Landscape Juice as it seemed more apt.