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!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Another step forward...

It's been a while - I don't quite know what happens to time out here! More changes to report - I'm looking forward to a time when the only changes are the seasons. So, where to start.....
The gite - still not ready, but looking great, the builders are doing a great job, and the shower rooms have had the walls tiled and are ready for the floor tiles..
The bedrooms are plastered, painted and the floors will be tiled in a few days time...
The outside furniture has all been treated and looks fantastic - just begging for meals to be eaten outside (already happens on a daily basis!)
The pool has been cleaned, is warming up nicely and is almost ready for a dip (just a bit more adjusting on the chlorine.)
The chickens have a home, ready for the weekend. The permanent one will be ready soon - just a little adjustment of the legs to take account of the slope (we built it like that on purpose, I swear!) the roof added, a bit more work on the walls and voila! as we like to say!
I'm hoping the fence will keep them in until they're ready to be really free-range - they're a bit on the small side at the moment...
but growing quickly, like everything else around here!
Tiny buds on the vines. They look great, but apparently they are suffering from a shortage of rain following the driest April in years. We did have an amazing thunder storm the other night, but not enough rain to satisfy the farmers and vignerons. 
The vide greniers have started again (flea market/car boot sales) with one virtually every weekend all summer in one or other of the local villages. These plants were from the one in Duras a couple of weeks ago. 

 Last weekend there was one at St Sernin, where we found some great bargains, which I am off to photograph now, and will add to the blog later, as we are about to go out to dinner - a treat for all the hard work we have done this week - so far!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Chicks going cheep!

We have visiting rights for our lovely little chicks! We took a break from building their coop to visit. They have been enjoying the warm weather outside, but it was a little chilly for them yesterday, so just a short time outside to practice their scratching.
The chicks are Light Sussex, we think five or six are hens so that's a result! This is what they will look like when they are all grown up....
So, the coop...from this ....
to this......
Still a way to go!
 .............but we're getting there.
Our pond is filling up slowly, but has gone very green in the hot weather we've been having as we have no shade. I think it will be OK, as there is still a frog living in it. We are going to plant some trees around it, but that will take time. In the meantime, we have planted some reeds and marginal plants, in the hope that they will do the trick.
Who is working hardest?!
The gite is moving on too. Bits are ready to be painted now, so back to the paintbrush!
A lovely, smooth plaster-boarded wall and a beautiful old stone wall ready to be re-pointed.

The view through the open doors, changing every day and sometimes by the hour. 

The gite is looking great - light and airy inside, with a cool and shady terrace, fantastic views and a wonderful sense of peace and tranquility (when the builders are not here!). So .... go to our website, (click on the picture of the house above right) get in touch and book a week to recharge your batteries! The builders will be finished soon - honest!

Monday, 4 April 2011

More changes...

Changes over the last couple of weeks.....
                                   the plum trees peaked the weekend after the last post, and beautiful they were too...
The trees are now in leaf, with only the odd bit of blossom in places.
     Our pond is filling up, and not just with water.....
                                              we already have at least one resident!!

Nicole and I went to visit our next residents today....they started hatching at the weekend, a few more still to go.
Over the last week, we have seen swallows and heard a cuckoo, as well as an enormous frog chorus every night. The weather is changeable, cool and wet one day, and gloriously hot and sunny the next. The grass is growing at an amazing rate and the gite is coming on too. The bedrooms are plaster-boarded and the plasterer was here today starting the 'finishing'. More pictures to follow.
One more picture to finish, a view of the chateau through the wisteria growing on the balcony.