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!

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. 

Monday, 5 September 2011


Little England update.

We now know that our first appearance will be in episode 8, on 31st October. Then in episodes 11 and 12 on 21st and 28th November.

A bit longer to wait - thankfully!

The blog you've been waiting for!

I've been in two minds about publishing this one - but here goes.....

The date for the tv programme we were involved in has been released! It is called 'Little England' and starts at 8pm on Saturday 12th September on ITV. There are twelve episodes and I have no idea which episodes we will be in - or even if we have made the final cut.

I will be watching from behind the sofa - please be kind to us!

I apologise in advance for anything stupid I said or did in front of the camera - they MADE us keep saying how excited we were about everything!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Whatever happened to August?!

Another month has whizzed by, sorry to those of you who have been badgering me for an update.
So ....what has happened over the past month...? Well, we've had visits from friends...
Phil and Liz
The little Jacksons
Enjoying pony rides in Savignac.
Visits from family....

Susie and .....
Rob....enjoying the pool and the sunshine.....
Hugh was here for half of August....
..master of all he surveys (he thinks!)
He was very busy......
Trimming the palm trees...

and sticking loose tiles back in the pool.
Some jobs are trickier than others - securing umbrellas for instance!
We have also enjoyed the night markets in Duras, Monsegur and other local villages.
Hugh and Rob....
and Nicole, enjoying Duras night market.
Other visitors have included plenty of paying guests - thank you to everyone who spent a little time with us over the summer. I'm pleased to say that all our guests have been delightful, and we look forward to meeting many of them again.
Other guests, uninvited, but mostly welcome have included...

a heath bee fly - friendlier than it looks, I believe
Hoopoes, that I thought were long gone, but are just not calling any more.
 A partidge, one of a large group that roam through the garden, orchards and vines.
One of the toads enjoying his daytime retreat. They spend their evenings roaming the terrace eating all sorts of bugs.

The roses have been flowering all summer.
The grapes have been ripening.
These are merlot grapes, in the vineyard at the bottom of our garden.
Some pictures of the vendange at Domaine Gourdon. OK, so mostly pictures of everyone having a lovely  lunch provided by Lesley, for everyone who had helped pick, firstly the Sauvignon and then the merlot grapes. 

Just to prove that some work was done!

Coffee time!
This area of France is in the middle of the vendange now, the harvesting of the grapes that make the wonderful wine of the Duras appellation - come and try some!
So, a very busy month and a fantastic first season for the Vue de Duras chambres d'hotes and gite. 
We couldn't have done it - certainly in the style we managed - without Nicole, who has now returned to the UK ready to start her new job next week. So thank you Nicki, for all your hard work, your inspiration, for keeping me going, for feeding me when I didn't want to cook (often!) and just for the unexpected pleasure of your company for the best part of a year. Thank you!
Thank you.
Finally, good luck to both my lovely daughters, who are starting new jobs this week, Nicole, for an interior design company in Worcestershire and Ellen, for the National Trust in Gloucestershire. Enjoy!