jeudi 26 février 2015

For Susie's birthday we made a family trip to the glorious Bath Spa and luxuriated in the hot spa waters. A sushi lunch followed.

Susie followed this up by passing her driving test - yippee!

Architecture work is busy with the private house in Hastings now under construction and smaller construction projects also on the go. I also found some time for trying my hand at electronics and managed to fix my old Nokia lumia 620 for Susie by replacing some damaged components with a new solder iron.

A short walk from the house (quarter of a mile) is the Dart Valley Steam Railway. I went for a bit of an explore in that direction yesterday and a little further along the road I spotted a nylon stuffsack which was lying deep in the undergrowth by a stream some distance from the road. I clambered down to investigate and it turned out to be a down sleeping bag. Very wet and smelly but intact. Several hours of washing and soaking it in downwash in our bath, plus a trip to the laundrette for drying and the down seems to have regained it's loft. It'll come in handy for visitors joining us in the mountains.

dimanche 15 février 2015

Back to blighty

After a couple of days cleaning and redecorating at La Falaise (Pont de la Taule) it was once again time to head for the UK.

Despite the warm sunny weather still a good covering of snow at Quélébu.

Back in Totnes no snow, but there are snowdrops.

mardi 10 février 2015


A great days skiing at Guzet today with Ian and Barry. The sun shone, nowhere was too busy (even though it's half term in the SW), and the snow was divine. Perfect for trying out my new set-up.

My Dynafit Neo's are amazing. The first boots that actually fit me and hold my heel. Skiing without my toes gripping to stop my feet lifting out of the boot is a revelation.

My new skis (K2 Wayback 88's) are also lovely. They're not designed for skiing the pistes at a resort (though they did just fine) but today was a good opportunity to get a feel for them and they didn't disappoint. I think they'll do me just fine for touring.

lundi 9 février 2015

Timelapse from the bedroom window this morning

dimanche 8 février 2015

Cold and Snowy

Back to France and lots of snow (not surprisingly), but rather more than I thought there would be. Still about 50cm at the house and even snow in Toulouse still. After the usual essential shopping, I arrived at the house at about 4.30pm. The fire and rayburn have been burning most of the time since I got back, but after 10 days of sub-zero temperatures, it's taking a while to warm the house through. The sun shined for a few hours today (the first time in a week - which is most unusual) but it is set to shine every day for the next week so that should help warm things up!

This morning I was keen to try out the new ski-touring set up and as there was plenty of snow on Joubac (the 1000m hill behind the village) I decided to make a quick tour. It was very cold this morning but I made a quick ascent from La Bordasse, the summit coming as something of a surprise - I thought I had much further to go!

Alas the deep snow had a nasty 2" crust on it which made for a horrible descent. I opted to mostly traverse and sideslip after a couple of tail catching turns which nearly tipped me over. On the descent through the woods things were a little better with softer powder, but the woods are very dense and it was hard to find an uninterrupted path.

The boots are great and although it was difficult to assess the skis on today's short trip in difficult conditions, I'll get out on the pistes on Tuesday to really try them.

I popped over to see John and Sandrine in the afternoon, then went to the Mairie for a belated "Galette de Roi". Most the permanent residents were there and it was good to catch up. It was also John's 90th birthday (John from Courex and brother of Gustau). Apparently, Margot who used to live at Coumelary is 90 this month too.

Tomorrow I need to fill the woodstore and keep the fires going, before heading over to Pont to start the redecoration works.

dimanche 1 février 2015

Lots of snow

Over 160cm (5ft 6") of snow in the last couple of days and still falling.