Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So much for updating every couple of days!

Well, here I am again playing catchup...
Since 20th of March....
Felix finished the first fix electrics and he and Ben insulated the roof of the porcherie and boarded it all out. Ben has cleaned up and oiled all the beams and taped and jointed all the boards and painted the ceilings and walls upstairs. It looks great.

The roof of the house is now the main thing they're working on. They stripped off the last end just before we had some big thunder storms, but the summer has been such a hot one, that it didn't do too much damage. As it was so hot, everything dried out very quickly. Ben is doing most of the slating and it's looking great. They put in the last dormer (or Lucarne) above the stairs and the Velux for the bathroom. Ben has also done a great job on all the zinc flashings and they look better than any I've seen anywhere! I must take some pictures of that...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gardening and Electrics

Nothing very visible has been happening in the porcherie.. Felix has been soldiering on with the wiring, and doing a great job of getting the cables though the stone walls so that there'll be no visible wires or trunking all over the finished walls.

Ben has gone back to England to visit friends family and the dentist for a month.

The kids had two weeks of holidays then Lenni wasn't well on Monday and a strike on Thursday and Carnival this afternoon which meant she only had one and a half days of school this week!

I've been working on the garden, building a stucture for some climbers to fill up the hedge by the drive. I also cut down quite a lot of accacias so that we can see the magnificent beech that we have down the bottom of the garden. I'm really pleased with how it's going but there just aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Today I made a new swing which is big enough for me or two kids! Lola had chewed the ropes through on the old one so this one is oak and chains which should be a bit tougher I think!

The weather for the last few days has been amazingly like summer, I reckon mid twenties (but someone has wondered off with the thermometer so I'm only guessing...) Cooler this evening though, with a freezing wind, which was a bit of a shock to the system.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Catch Up

The days go by so fast I don't know how poeple manage to do blogs every day...
Since I last wrote Ben has been steadily building up the top of the wall to meet the roof all around the porcherie, and Felix has been building stud walls of the bathroom and bedrooms.

We were sent an advert for a quantity of oak boards and various other stuff by a friend, which we followed up and found about 90 lovely, straight, well seasoned oak boards, which we snapped up for a song and also three beds for the gite. So now we are going to use those (boards!) to floor out the bedrooms as opposed to parquet which we had decided on. I think it's going to look really lovely. So Felix has had the lovely task of getting them all planed up and ready, it's a big job...

I have been busy in the garden still sweeping the chestnut mess up, weeding beds, transpanting hundreds of violets and cutting the hedge on the drive (with secateurs!) and trying to fill in the gaps in the hedge with saplings I find on my walks! Still need to get to the veggie patch... I've also got the kids on half term now so have to spend some time with them too!

I'll try and get some pictures tomorrow...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Taking Shape

Sorry it's been a while... My main camera has given up the ghost and interior shots on the phone aren't great, but for the moment that all I've got...
It feels like things are moving along quite quickly at the moment, we have banisters at the top of both the stairs and now have stud walls to close in the ends of both bedrooms and even a wall beside the toilet which makes it feel very private! It really feels very different in the porcherie now and that is quite exciting!

We've done two trips to Bricodepot in Perigeux and seem to have a fair bit of materials to be getting on with.

It has been very cold this last week or so. I have been working on the garden, trimming the hedge up the drive and weeding my asparagus patch... I hope to get the the main veg plot tomorrow and I still haven't finished sweeping up the chestnut mess under the third big tree.. The grass could really do with mowing but it just never dries out enough to do it.
Stud Walls

I put in a photo of Chartreuse le Glandier where Lenni, Lola and I went for a lovely walk today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Staircase Number two finished

It was an exciting day for us yesterday - the second staircase is now finished and I think it looks great!

Since I last wrote we've been having a fair bit of good weather while England's been having more snow than anyone can rememeber. We went and checked out the skiing in Le Mont Dore only 1 hour and forty minutes away. I was quite pleasantly surprised it was really good, and very beautiful. I would try to go during the week next time - it was rather crowded. It was also very mild - I think about 8 degrees and so still it was quite wierd. We saw the source of the Dordogne which was so high up the moutain.

I've been trying to sort out more paperwork (it never ends in France) and have been and signed up for one of the agencies for work, helping people out in their homes or gardens, so we'll see if anything comes from that...

I'll try and upload three albums, one of the stairs, one of the beautiful walks we've been doing this week and the other of Le Mont Dore...
Le Mont Dore January 31st 2009
feb 09
walks from Inteillet

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More stairs building and unpointing walls

I'm still struggling with the whole technicalities of mixing photos with the blog, and it takes a certain mood to brave it. Since I last wrote Felix and Ben have steadily been plodding on with the stairs. I "unpointed" the end wall of bedroom number one during the wild winds that swept through the south west of France. I think we got off quite lightly, luckily, but it still seemed very violent. We had over 4 inches of rain this week.
I spent the last couple of days sweeping up the "bogs" and leaves from under the sweet chestnut trees, a huge job which should have been done ages ago. Lola (the labradoodle) has managed to find a lot of ticks so that's been keeping me busy too (you find one, then she moves and you have to rummage about for ages to find it again... oooh they're so gross...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've taken some photos to show where we're at today...Click on the picture to see the rest...
From Creating a Gite for self catered holidays in the Limousin, France

Monday, January 19, 2009


This is the house and Porcherie (pigsty) as it was when we arrived, and summer 08..

Hi, let me introduce myself... I'm Mary, married to Felix and mother of Laurence (8) and Lenni (6). We upped sticks and left Gloucester two and a half years ago, having found a derelict house with various outbuildings, 1100 square metres of land and hopes of creating a dream home (with a lovely gite to rent out and a workshop from which to create a small business making furniture or doing general carpentry....) in the Correze.

So two years down the line, where are we up to...?

Well, we're still living in a mobile home inside the big barn.

We have a fully functioning workshop in one end of what was a cattle shed and a huge generator with which to run the machines.

We have a porcherie with sound roof and walls and even windows, doors and a concrete floor and one of the two beautiful oak staircases it will have.

A great friend, Ben, who came to live with us almost two years ago, is helping us with the work (and to drink the copious amounts of beer I just can't stop buying...) He and Felix have rebuilt the front and side of the breadoven and chicken house entirely from materials that were lying around the property (apart from a few bits of wood on the roof and the sand and cement and lime).

They have removed and repared three sides of the roof and built four new dormer windows (lucarnes), one side left to do and then the slating and tiling can commence... The roof is on hold at the moment - it's too cold/wet/slippery just now....

We even have a flushing toilet now (waited more than two years for that!)

I'll try and put some photos up to give you a bit of an idea of the project....

The porcherie as it was.

So, there you have it - I will try and keep you up to date with where we're at, I'm a total novice at blogging so I hope you'll bear with me as I learn how it works...