mardi 15 mars 2016


For some reason the post from Friday 11th March didn't publish so...After my last post I built a tool that enabled me to drive the last few 20cm helical cold roof fixings through the counterbattens which were located under the thatched verge overhang of the existing barn roof - there is no room to swing a hammer. The tool involved copper pipe, a length of studding and an old SDS drill bit. I threaded it through the thatch and used a breaker to drive in the fixings. Once that was done I could at last get felt and temporary battens on the roof to make it watertight. Some more snow showers and an overnight fall of 3 inches hampered progress edging up the steep roof on the battens...but it was like winter climbing only without crampons! 

The next day I collected a new little sofa for the living room, then sped off to Pamiers to collect windows.

An afternoon blizzard, mud and a temperamental stapler put me behind schedule and Thursday was looking like a very busy day with the last of the windows to install and a large hole to dig for the ErDF meter box, which would be installed 18th March. Next day was crisp with a good fall of fresh snow on the mountains. 

I was up early and had just installed the last window when a digger arrived. It was a contractor come to dig the trench and install the duct for the ErDF. I asked if they could dig the hole for the meter as well and they said of course! Suddenly I had a spare day with snow on the hills. 

I jumped in the car and headed off to Guzet - which was deserted as the school holidays in france had ended the weekend previously. The fresh powder was beautiful and I soon found my ski legs (if not my fitness) and spent 2 and half hours on Freychet skiing the off piste beyond the black run "dome"  -wonderful!


The duct was installed when I got back. My last day was spent putting in the floor joists for the first floor, having a huge clean up and filling the house with firewood for the next visit in a few weeks with Susie, Jasper and Ruby.

The flight back to the UK was delayed because of technical problems and then because someone on our plane decided to smuggle a knife on board. The police boarded twice and the second time left with the passenger. Statements had to be given and all the cabin luggage checked before we could finally leave Toulouse.

Back in the UK the weather is clear and bright (almost the first time in 5 months!) so we have been keen to get outside. At Dartington Gardens the snake head fritillarys, crocii and daffofils are out.

On Sunday Susie and I stretched our legs on Dartmoor, making a circuit joining Haytor and Hound Tor in beautiful spring sunshine.

A dipper catching some sun.

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