samedi 31 janvier 2015


Snowing hard in the Pyrénées this weekend with snow falling all next week according to Meteo France. I'm still in Devon until next weekend and itching to ski!

I've finally decided to get a ski helmet and chose the Giro Montane. Lightweight (about 350g), with vents to keep your goggles clear of fogging, openable vents to keep your head cool on the up and neat system for strapping it to your rucksack using the rear goggle retaining strap and a natty little carabiner (supplied and stowed on the strap). Fits very securely and comfortably. I got a black one - only because it was way cheaper than any other colour.

This week I've glazing in an irregularly shaped courtyard at the rear of a shop. Lots of rendering and lead work at the edges, not helped by appalling weather on Thursday - always the way with roofing.

samedi 17 janvier 2015

Susie's new camera

Susie has been increasingly getting interested in photography so for the last couple of months I've been watching lumix LX7's on ebay and I finally managed to get one a good price last week.  It's a great little camera and Susie's just starting to get to know it. Some of her photos taken today are below. 

yours truly

sparkles through a dead leaf


atmospheric soft focus


reflection in a water tank

macro crocus

samedi 10 janvier 2015

Took a couple of days and 8 trailer loads to clear Pont of all stuff (mostly junk) left behind. I sanded and re-oiled the kitchen worktop, most of the rest of the work I'll leave for the next trip here.

On Friday evening a trip to see Justin, Emily and the twins (only Justin was working very late and I didn't get to see him). I did some magic for the girls - sawing the lady in half and the ripping up a piece of paper then magically restoring it trick. Then they gave me several puppet shows with the glove puppets I bought them for Christmas.  

We built a spaceship with a viewing window for the "kitten and puppy go to the moon" show. As well as playing twister.

 A bit of squash for both puppets to look out of the spaceship window together

Today I was a bit late getting up but decided to get into the hills to try and stretch my back which was sore after the loading, twister and some minor tree felling for John. It's been warm and much of the snow that fell in late December has melted. The official Meteo France snow bulletin said there was patchy snow until about 2000m, so I decided to take snowshoes rather than skis. I headed up to Col de Pause (1527m) but had to walk from 1180m as the track was too snowy. There was plenty of snow from about 1400m certainly enough to ski - I continued all the way to Cour Vic (2119m) which seemed very hard going. Very hot in the sun and I stripped naked to the waist for the last 300m or so. Should have taken the skis! 

 View of Valier from the col below Cour Vic

Looking back to the hairpins climbing (eventually) to the Port d'Aula

mercredi 7 janvier 2015

Back to the South

The best thing about living in the South of France is that whatever the time of year, if the sun shines, the temperature will be in the twenties (at least) - even if there's snow on the ground.

Arrived late on Monday and fog delayed our landing in Toulouse, though thankfully we weren't diverted as has happened on occasion. The remnants of snow from Kerkabanac to Quélebu. On Tuesday the handover of my house at Pont de la Taule from the tenants. Looked for while like they'd "done a runner" leaving the place in a state, but eventually they turned up. They left the place clean, but damaged, with a quite a bit of rubbish to take to the tip. Will try to do that tomorrow and take stock of the repairs to be undertaken. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth when people you try to help, abuse your trust. I think I will be aiming to sell Pont this year rather than re-let.

Submitted the planning application for the barn today...fingers crossed.