dimanche 22 mai 2016

Assainissiment, joints, placoplatre, arbres, l'eau et l'éléctricité

It's been all go with the (unscheduled) arrival of Jean-Marc Sentenac to install the fosse septique and services. In two days almost everything is in place with just the cables to be pulled and the excavations to be refilled. In addition we've installed the water main, moved pile of huge chestnut tree trunks and felled and removed the large dead chestnut.








Inside the gite I've finished 95% of the plasterboarding, completed all the pointing and just a some first fix plumbing to do before Susie and I can start the chaux-chanvre on Monday week.




lundi 16 mai 2016

Blue tits nesting in the wall of the barn....the parents are both frantically feeding the new chicks. They arrive and depart so fast the shutter just can't open fast enough, it took 65 photos and 45 minutes to get a couple of reasonable ones.




dimanche 15 mai 2016

Cette entretien provisoire a fait par Orange (France Telecom) en mai 2010. 6 années plus tard il est encore la. Peut etre c'est pourquoi je perds ma connexion internet 4 ou 5 fois par jour?




samedi 14 mai 2016


Back to a France, raining today but the weather set to improve. As usual this time of year the everywhere is very green and even though I've only been away a couple of weeks the grass has grown 12 inches. The crop of dandelions keeps the bullfinches happy.


In the barn I found a black redstart's nest with 5 eggs (one removed in the photo). I'm not sure when it made it or how it got in but the eggs are cold and there's no sign of the parents.


The fields and newly laid hedges are full of life and the kiwi's are at last getting going with some new shoots from the base of the plants.


Lots of pointing to be done this trip which is already underway and hopefully the plasterboarding too.

lundi 2 mai 2016

Sprung and East Prawle


Susie's last SPRUNG dance show at KEVICC last week. Two nights of beautiful contemporary dance and many lovely tributes to Susie (who set up the dance department 16 years ago). Some of her ex-students, now professional dancers, came back to perform at the Thursday night show.


Susie's Improvisation

Saskia and Maya dance their piece "Kylian Style"


Scenes from Susie's choreography - "Window Dresser" - for the Rambert competition


Lewis and Anders - Alumnii now professional dancers perform for Susie's last "Sprung" dance show

On the bank holiday afternoon a walk with the Dare's at East Prawle visiting the remains of the wreck of "The Demetrios" which hit the rocks there in 1992. 




lundi 25 avril 2016


Back in the UK for a couple of weeks. 99% the electrical first fix got completed for I left. Most the distribution is at first floor level and will be boxed-in (except for junction boxes which have to be accessible). Next trip will be to carry out the plaster boarding and pointing ahead of the chaux-chanvre (lime and hemp). 



The seasons are a bit behind France in the UK this year, trees are only just coming into leaf and the bluebells are out.


lundi 18 avril 2016

Last few days have been spent doing the first fix electrics and fitting an old salvaged door to make everything secure. It's a abit of a drag but another day should see it all finished, then its on with pointing ahead of chaux-chanvre on the next trip.


 Too many sockets!

Distribution board progressing

vendredi 15 avril 2016


A return to hot sunny weather with the South wind blowing. The trees are getter greener and the snows are rapidly reducing.


Barn/gite works continue to occupy my every waking hour - I put an old piece of 6" flue pipe through the wall at the stove location - the flue is actually 5" so effectively this is a sleeve. That took most of the day as the hole is four feet (120cm) long and as it goes through the wall at 45 degrees it was quite a job to remove stones without the whole wall coming down - plus of course it has to line up with where the hole is in the roof! Once in, the wall was carefully rebuilt around the flue.


The last window in the old gable was also installed. The old one was was more frame than glass and didn't let in much light. It was also fitted within the oak frame (so had so had gaps around it), the new one is slightly larger and fits into a newly cut rebate. I also cut a proper sub-cill out of the oak wall plate.  All in all this means it is much better weatherproofed and draft sealed. First fix electrics have also started.


As most the electrics are distributed via the first floor, I had to empty it of the 90 bundles of thatch that were stored there. I managed to make 4 mini bales, which are just about moveable by hand.



In the garden everything is bursting into leaf including our kiwi which at last looks like it's getting going. the newly laid hedge is budding and it's oak before ash this year so it looks like a dry summer. 


I knocked off early (5.00) and went for walk - Biech / Col de Boulogne / Cane / Biech. Was hoping to find some morels - no chance.


mercredi 13 avril 2016

Latest progress


Eventually found a way through the 65cm thick granite walls for the various incoming services and took the opportunity to start the rough pointing of the interior ready for the chaux-chanvre (lime and hemp) plaster.


The main ground floor room - fireplace will be where the reed bundles are stood, kitchen against the low stud wall.


Looking the other way towards the kitchen.


The little mezzanine at the top of the stairs.

lundi 11 avril 2016

It's been a few years since I've seen a Hoopoe at Quélébu, but after our sighting at Col de Viele Mort last week, yesterday I saw one here too. I almost trod on it but then it flew away into the high branches and resolutely refused to come closer for a photo.


I was looking at the caravan and assorted rubbish left by last year's "margineaux" visitors and thinking of asking the Mairie when they could clear it up, but today before I'd had a chance to ask, the Maire and M. Durand were there starting to remove it. 


The return of the South wind and high pressure has brought back the sun and warmer temperatures, together with the butterflies.


I'm sure the morel mushrooms are coming. I made a long walk yesterday, but there was no sign yet.


A visit from Minsou and her daughter, arriving with a puncture - fortunately I was on hand to change the wheel. Paul also came to inspect the works which are pressing on - insulation and flooring underway.