Sunday 22 December 2013


Roof all finished. Can't speak highly enough of the guys that did this. Brilliant, thoughtful job, thank you so much. (We're going to have to have pierres apparentes on these walls aren't we.)
Inside we have started on the insulation (yes R and A we have at last decided what to use :-) The first layer is like lining the roof with teddies' fur which is actually hemp and smells lovely. Then polystyrene to seal it in, then two more layers of hemp before the plasterboard! Should be able to heat it with a candle - or four candles (always makes me smile).
We've also decided what to do with the floor and beams which has been a point of debate between us for weeks. Him Outdoors loves pale wood floors while I hanker after a deep polished glow. I set too with a sander seeing what things actually looked like when sanded and we have decided on a mid brown wax/stain for the floor to camouflage all the rusty nails and clear on the beams. Phew just hours of sanding then :-). Hurry up 2014, I can't wait to move in.


Happy Christmas everybody. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. I made a tiny decoration in front of the fire amidst the dust and collection of tools, bags of cement that is our kitchen at the moment. Tomorrow we fly back to spend Christmas in England but yesterday we had this.
and this. The town had laid on a lovely evening of vin chaud, streets lit by candles, decorated shops open late and a carol concert. On a beautiful clear, frosty evening we walked around the medievalness with candle lanterns, perfect.
And here's our tree in all it's party lights.
Happy Christmas.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Saturday again!

Where do the days go? Every week we say the same - must be getting old :-)
Most of today has been spent working my way through the mountain of tree offcuts that are left after the tree was cut down and having a huge bonfire. Well, a small bonfire for a long time. I've got about halfway through and have smoked out all the town. Fortunately we have been in fog all day - no, not all my fault - so maybe they haven't noticed. 

The roof is coming on brilliantly. It's watertight which is a good job because it rained quite hard last night. And the special 'patrimoine' veluxes are in. They haven't started tiling the other side yet but it's ready to go on Monday.
Inside, I started brushing decades of dirt off the beams in order to have some idea what to do with them. Unlike most beams, they will be very close. They are not ancient and are not oak. You will only see the A frames not the rest of the beams because there will be masses of insulation. There is not a huge amount of light up here so need to be pale I think. Sort of thinking 50/50 cream chalk paint and water. Had left the cream back at the ranch so did some blue. Didn't like the paint as is but quite liked the wash. Will try the cream tomorrow. What do you think Annie Sloan expert??

And here's the promised picture of the decorated tree. The space it's left is a continual sunshiney delight so I hope it's happy here.

Thursday 12 December 2013

More roofers

We are having the most amazing weather this week. Frosty starts and then brilliant blue skies and sunshine. Yesterday afternoon I was admiring the roofers'  handiwork and noticed that the old boss of the company was up there too. 'Does your wife know you're up there?' When he came down he was telling me that he hadn't been up on a roof for more than a year but he obviously couldn't resist this one - I'm honoured, I think. He did the roof last time and is keeping a very close eye on things.

They are using this vehicle to get the tiles up there. It is an enormous bit of kit that completely blocks the road - more boys' toys!

Monday 9 December 2013

Too late .............................

We got to the house this morning to find it swarming with Frenchmen. They'd arrived to cut the tree - and it was over. Oh bloody hell, someone could have warned us.....................

The tree was down but lots of excitement left. They had removed the top and cut the rest of the trunk into metre lengths. Could you just cut the leylandii down too, possibly, pretty please? A grunt of 'apres' and off they all go, tying ropes and hauling the tree to a waiting lorry in the road. (I will try and upload the videos that failed the first time.) Meanwhile the view from the balcony and bedroom is now spectacular. And a perfect sunny, frosty day too. 

At ground level there is a whole new view of the garden. Had a lovely time gazing and trying to work out where to place the fruit trees that have been waiting in the shed. After deciding that my first plan for placing the washing line was ridiculous in the winter because it gets no sun, that would be a good place for the trees.............

And here's where the top of the tree ended up. It looks a bit startled, perhaps it will look prouder with decorations!

When Santa got stuck up the chimney

If you will decide to put in the second wood burner yourself .....................................

Thursday 5 December 2013

House and walking

Monthly walk today. Let's just pop by the house and see what they're doing. Fog so thick it was raining. Arrive to find the road completely blocked by a delivery of the stones for the uprights of the lucarnes (dormers).
Everyone hard at work ripping bits off the roof, drilling holes in stones, mixing crepi, adding more scaffolding.
Off for the walk. Not really my idea of a good time. Thick fog, very cold, no view, these horses were interested in us though.


The woman leading us on the walk showed us the garden of a friend of hers which was lovely. Even on such a day the bones of it were really good. This pond appears to be full of lotus flowers which were a surprise, surely they are too tender for this part of the world - googling required.
And then we called back at the house on the way back and the fronts of the lucarnes are finished! We were just in time to see another even huger vehicle carefully placing the second top stone on. We said see you tomorrow to the mason on our way out and he said that he would be finished tonight, just got to lay some blocks for the sides of the dormers.

While we were in the attic gawping at the stones, the roofer mentioned a couple of things that he had done because they needed doing/it was better that way/while he was up there he just........... Still loving this guy.

Monday 2 December 2013

Ne vous inquiétez pas

Look, look they're here already.
Putting up the scaffolding - if you can call it that. Works very well and is used everywhere but a certain lack of safety rails! The English builders won't touch it. 

Midway through the morning there was conflab about where we wanted the Veluxes. Much sucking of teeth because we have three chimneys, all of which seem to be in the way, and a lack of distance between walls and rails........ OK I'll order them then. Me - you are sure that they are ok with Batiments de France, we were told no Velux by the architect. Him - ne vous inquiétez pas, it will be fine.
This will be the view from our shower room - minus the tree. (Although these guys think it is hilarious that the maire thinks he can get this tree out of here.)

 By lunchtime half the roof is stripped! (And the guy had reappeared to say that a couple of the beams were a bit rotten and it would be a mistake to put new stuff on rotten so he would replace them while he was there - I am loving this guy.)