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!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Just a quick one!

Just thought I would do a quick blog to show how the plum trees are positively leaping into full bloom.
You can see the trees in the background, this was taken on Sunday

Tuesday (yesterday)
Today (Wednesday)
It's amazing to see the difference every day!
The wisteria which was in tight bud at the weekend, is showing colour today..

The pond is filling up, I'm hoping to see frogs in here one day soon.
Jeremy, the electrician was back today, putting the wiring into the gite. No builders today as Rus's brand new baby daughter arrived this morning. Congratulations!

All change again!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The garden takes shape

Jim the digger has done his work, and the garden is taking on some shape now. First the tank was buried..
now you see it..
now you don't (well hardly!)
The pond....
The pond is filling up, no sign of life in it yet, but I'm sure it won't be long.
              The earth has been banked up around the gite terrace...
a 'petanque' pitch has been created....
and the turf removed from what will be my vegetable garden (and placed around the pond, thank you Mike).
 Nicole's contribution to moving the turf..
Just one, hopefully manageable plot for now.
 The weekends jobs....
                                                                           I sprayed my trees....
Nicole and Mike rolled the tree trunk down to the pond to make a seat...
Hugh sawed up yet more bits of oak that previously held up the gite roof, helped by Dave...
 Dave and Les came to stay at the weekend to help celebrate Hugh's birthday. It was lovely to see them and we hope they will come for longer next time. They have promised to drive, which means I can give them a shopping list before they come (I'm already working on it!) and they get lots of room to take home lots of lovely local wine and gastronomic delights! I don't seem to have any photo's of Les - I'll get them from Hugh and post them later - so don't think you've escaped, Les!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

All change again...

The doors have gone on the gite today - a secure, water-tight building at last.*
Jim and his digger arrived this morning to dig the hole to bury the new septic tank - never to be seen again - but very important!
Almost gone....
      I hope everything is in the right place!
All that earth has got to go somewhere...
The earth will be banked up against the terrace of the gite to reduce the drop, to make the bank of a pond and level out some other parts of the garden for a petanque pitch and a place to pitch a tent or two - Liz and Phil - that's especially for you and Eleanor, Isabelle and George!!
The beginning of the pond - water in it already!
The trees we planted in the autumn are showing signs of spring now...
Nicole has been busy making croissants- they were delicious! The next batch are proving right now, and look just as lovely.
Another shopping trip to Ikea and we came home with a little treat - solar powered mini-lanterns. I don't know how they fell into the basket! They were a bargain, honest Hugh, and look how lovely they look - AND no running costs!
In case you were worried that we're working too hard.....
Hugh in the bushes!
Me with a cup of tea in the sunshine.
All for now, but things are changing quickly now (including our bank balance!) with all the finishing touches, so more photos soon.

When I said "at last" I mean that I am very impatient to see it finished! It is by no means a comment on how long (or not) the builders are taking! It is amazing how much has been done in such a short time. And I'm very happy with it all. There you are Chris - grovel over - we are happy to see it all take shape, thank you for your hard work and patience with me!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Spring may be here

I don't like to be too optimistic about it - you never know what's around the corner! But the signs are there. On Saturday afternoon Hugh, Nicole and I went for a walk that was mentioned in Birding Dordogne by David Simpson. It was around the L'Escourou Reservoir near Eymet. We didn't see much in the way of birds (our fault I suspect, as we were so busy enjoying the sunshine!), but I did spot these little signs....
Dog violet
I was thrilled to see these growing near the banks of the reservoir, it reminded me of the springs of my childhood.
The following may or may not be a sign of spring - but it certainly means the sun was shining!
Nicole at work!
Also achieved this weekend....
Thank you Hugh for my new compost bin.
Also now finished, is the study/library/lobby/entrance hall/vestibule.....room still to have a name settled on it!
Nicole and I managed to turn this around in just a few days, in time to welcome our next guests....so I suppose she deserved her rest in the hammock!
Talking of signs of spring......I am still looking for the perfect photo of the returning cranes. Every time we hear their distinctive call, I rush out to try again. However close they are, they always seem miles away in the photo! This is the best of today's attempts......
...still not clear enough!
Spring IS around the corner!