Our new home in France

While looking for a house to rent, somewhere to base ourselves while we hunt for the right property, we found the perfect house in the perfect spot -and with the help of the lovely people at Cle Rouge Immobilier in Duras it is ours! This blog is primarily for our friends and family to follow the ups and downs of the adventures. However if we don't know you, I hope you'll enjoy the story too, and that one day you may consider booking into our lovely home as a paying guest - you'll be made very welcome!

Friday, 9 December 2011

We've been on the tv - it's all over!

Such a long time since the last blog - I always seem to start a blog like a confession - forgive me, it has been six weeks since my last blog!
I have been busy - of course - some guests, some decorating, some gardening, much cleaning/tidying/stacking and moving of logs/lighting and cleaning fires etc etc. I've spent a week back in the UK, visiting family and friends and getting my M&S fix!
But mostly it's been a time of waiting and watching the tv to see how we would be portrayed on ITV's 'Little England'.
Well, its over, we've been on the telly, and it wasn't too bad! So, here are some pictures of our film 'crew', back in the early summer. We'd like to say thank you to them for making us look good, for being kind and gentle, for the lovely photography of this very beautiful area of France that we have made our home.
So, Kate and Suzi, Simon and Ashley, and everyone involved in the editing,...Thank you from all of us.

Filming Morgan - the 'chicken whisperer'!
Right....what next?!
Off to the Marie with my dictionary. Note Tom in the background, pretending he's not there!

The chicks are in a box in the car, and we are at Domaine Gourdon!
Ssh!...quick they haven't seen us......!
'Dutch Courage'
Take a break!
Nearly done.
After the rain..
Photographing the photographer!
You want me to do what...?!
What did she say?!
Ash in the gite......

and outside.
All finished and ready for guests - and not raining yet!

So. What next at Vue de Duras?
The January edition of Living France (out later this month) has an article about us, just in time for Christmas reading.
Our bookings for the gite are going very well, just one week left in the whole of July and August next summer, how fantastic is that? So if you are thinking of booking a week, do it soon! Go to www.vuededuras.com for availability. 
Christmas is coming, and Hugh will be here for a couple of weeks - I may even let him have a bit of a holiday!
March will see Hugh finally giving up the day job and taking up his new job as full time pool maintenance man/marketing and accounts manager.....
and I may even do a bit of teaching!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Eggs, logs and VIPs

Another month passes and things continue to change. The hens have started to lay! Just when I was beginning to think we were going to get no eggs - three all on the same day.

The first eggs
and since then, they've been laying thick and fast 
 Our winter heating has arrived....
Half the load - 5 cubic metres, to be unloaded
..unrolled, and then stacked and covered to keep it dry - a days work for yours truly!
We had VIP guests......Buckingham Palace one day....
Lynne and Les, collecting Les's OBE
.......Vue de Duras the next.......!
Lunch at Vue de Duras
We finally explored a couple of our local golf courses ...lovely weather and beautiful courses and the golf wasn't too bad either!

Chateau des Vigiers golf course, the 9th hole on Le Lac course
Another egg.......
How exciting is it to find a fresh laid egg?
We have had some beautiful weather lately, cold and misty mornings and warm afternoons, as well as a little rain (but not much!)

Our appearance on tv has been put back a week, due to the extra Coronation Street a couple of weeks ago. We may have a little 'taster' appearance tomorrow, and then in episode 8 which is now on 7th November, episodes 11 and 12  on 28th November and 5th December.

Friday, 14 October 2011

A whole year at Vue de Duras

Well, here we are, a whole year later!
A year ago today, we arrived in Duras, to take a look at the house that was about to become ours.
What a year since then. Look back over the blog for details!
This week has just about seen the last of the builders with the re-roofing of the back of the house. We're hoping that the coming winter will be a bit warmer in that part of the house, now that it has new insulation and is water-tight.
We have re-used all the old tiles on the lower roof, so it looks just the same, but we know it's better. Clearing the ground beneath the overhang, where all the new tiles had been stored for months, I found the remains of the roof before the last one, but it looks so much better now.

We have had a good first year for our B & B business, with guests still arriving - mostly house hunters at the moment, but the year has also seen holiday-makers -English, French, Dutch, Australian, and guests at weddings at the chateau in Duras - mostly French. We've enjoyed meeting them all, they've been a lovely bunch of people, thank you to all of them. We've also enjoyed visits from friends - none of whom over-stayed their welcome and we look forward to seeing them all again!

Our newest venture is 'tea and cake on Sunday afternoons'. 
Earl Grey cup cakes, ginger cake and coffee fudge cake
Tea with a view
Tea with a view - and some shelter!
Join us if you're near-by. Ring first just to make sure (details on our web-site).
 3-5pm Sundays.
A few photos to sum up the last month.
A Sunday morning hot air balloon.
Autumn sunrise.
Newly planted vine next to the gite terrace - grapes for eating.
Newly planted birch trees, by the pond.
Weeping willow
Passion flower to grow over the fence
Geoff and Judith, enjoying a lovely September day with us.
I'd like to think that these are the collared doves hatched in our palm tree!
Autumn sun set.
Early morning alarm call!
A beautiful car belonging to some of our lovely guests.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Treading the grapes etc.

Coming soon to a TV near you!

Or already there if you have caught the trailer for said TV programme!

A lovely day spent at Domaine Gourdon again today, this time picking Cabernet Sauvignon for the rosé. Weather was cool and dry - just perfect. Lunch as good as ever, fantastic curry, thank you Lesley and Andrea.
An extra treat was to tread the last few boxes of grapes - mislaid while the rest went into the machine.
John the Brummie and me!
The ultimate pedicure?!
During the week, the grapes at the bottom of the garden were harvested by machine - not nearly so romantic! (But still lovely wine - La Perriconne)
And lastly two new additions to the Vue de Duras Poullailer. Two hens (sisters of the existing chickens) who will be replacing three of the four cockerels. We will draw a discrete veil over their fate.
They are in the adjoining pen at the moment, separated from the others by some chicken wire until bedtime when they will be rejoining their siblings - hopefully without too many problems.