jeudi 11 janvier 2018

Susie's garden keeps on giving - cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and rocket from the polytunnel.
I've been busy logging firewood for 2020!

Susie's Contemporary dance residential is now full and this week a record 7 dancers at her weekly dance class.

lundi 8 janvier 2018

Another poorly hen

Despite being free range, well fed, watered and housed and regularly de-wormed, we have another poorly hen. "Moon Zappa" started her moult and as is often the case became quite lethargic and had low appetite. The moult is still going on but she has become more and more low and developed diarrhoea. We separated her from the other hens and have brought her into the porch, feeding her as best we can with a syringe. Some chicken food, some scrambled egg to boost her protein intake (needed for her new set of feathers) and a little propolis to try and combat any bacterial/viral infection she may have picked up.

It's been a week but there's little sign of improvement. No symptoms other than moulting, lethargy and diarrhoea. All we can do keep trying to feed and water her, and keep her warm and comfortable. Hoping she pulls through.

samedi 6 janvier 2018


After many years of nonstop building projects, I've finally found the time to give my workshop a damn good tidy and build some extra work benches.

Cranes migrating over the Pyrenees at the moment at quite some altitude, the cries of a thousand birds carries a long way!

More wonderful sunsets

dimanche 31 décembre 2017

After the blizzard, only 15cm at most here, but over a metre in 36 hours at 2000m.
 Then the south wind blew and it's all gone at Quelebu already.

mercredi 27 décembre 2017

What a difference a day makes (24 little hours).

On Christmas day and boxing day the sun broke through and the temperatures climbed to a lovely 28 degrees in the sun, then over a cold front and gale force winds, rain, hail then snow!

dimanche 17 décembre 2017

The snowy weather has continued for the past few weeks and its been unseasonably cloudy which translates into "cold" so far this winter. The sheep don't seem to mind - they have a cosy shelter and plenty of hay. The chickens don't like it much and in the last couple of weeks we've lost two birds. Bandicoot was taken by a hunters dog and Thistle had been ill for the last few months but despite are best care she died last night. A possible cause is marek's disease (a viral illness caused by the herpes virus which lives in the soil). It's highly contagious amongst birds but only develops into an illness in some (it might have been the cause of Shelley's blind eye). Fortunately it doesn't pass into the hen's eggs and nor can it be transferred to humans. When spring approaches we'll let one of  the broody hens sit on clutch of eggs to re-build the numbers.

Some sun forecast for next week then a dump of snow for the few days before xmas.

dimanche 3 décembre 2017

samedi 2 décembre 2017

Still dumping down with snow

vendredi 1 décembre 2017

mardi 28 novembre 2017


The symbiotic garden is all mulched up and just in time - snow is forecast for the next 4 days!

vendredi 24 novembre 2017

Tuc de la Seube

Another trip into the snow before more arrives in the mountains this weekend and later in the week at Quélébu. Susie, Sandrine and I headed up from the Col de la Core towards the Etang d'Eychelle, on firm snow then with snow shoes as far as the T-junction with the path arriving from the Cabane d'Eliot. Then we headed steeply up towards the Tuc de la Seube. A headwall of snow on the North ridge required crampons to breach, we kept on for the summit and the descent to the Cabane d'Eliot. A long descent with much post-holing in soft snow saw us back at the car in 6 hours. A surprisingly tiring trip with about 800m of ascent.

At Quélébu we've a had a few days of digging and rotovating to create the raised beds for the symbiotic garden, which we hope to plant next spring.

dimanche 19 novembre 2017

Winter walk up towards the Port d'Aula

Since the minibus accident about 10 years ago when someone tried to take a minibus up to the Col de Pause in snowy conditions and reversed it off the road killing several people - controls on access in winter have become a bit tighter. Last year a friend of ours got a parking fine for going to the Col de Pause when the road was officially closed, even though there was no snow at all! We (Susie Sheri and I) decided to play it safe and parked at the barrier which added an extra couple of km and 300m of ascent - After the last hairpin the road becomes snowy but it was passable with a 4x4 (someone was parked there in fact). 

At the cabane d'Areau we lunched (having started late) and put on our crampons. At the Refuge Forest (ONF) we looked out over the frozen lake before returning on snowshoes. Snow conditions were variable crust, powder, hard frozen snow and wind blown snow all in the space of a few metres. Beautiful weather and lovely views as always.

The high pressure is bringing beautiful clear skies, warm daytime temps (18 this week) and cold night temperatures (-2). The sunsets are glorious!

mardi 14 novembre 2017


A quick stop around Guzet with a decent in our snowshoes. Much more snow than I thought and in fact a couple of inches of light fluff on top of a firm base.....I wish I'd taken my skis!