lundi 27 décembre 2010

Cow Rescue

On Christmas day we arrived at Susie's sisters house in Herefordshire where the temperatures have barely risen above -5 for the past week and the snow is still thick on the ground. Within a few moments of arriving there was a phone call from a distressed neighbour who had discovered that two of the cows in the nearby field had fallen through the ice on a small lake and were stuck fast in the freezing water to their necks and unable to get out!

A rescue was quickly organised. With ropes, slings and harnesses, the farmer eventually getting in the water upto his waist, and plenty of strong hands we managed to pull the cows to safety.

Le 25 decembre nous sommes arrivé à la maison de la soeur de Susie en Herefordshire. La la temperature etait moins cinq ou moins pendant une semaine et il y a encore beaucoup de la neige. Quelques minutes aprés nous avons entré un voisin a nous appellé parce que deux vaches ont tombé dans un lac gélé. Elles ont totalement collé avec seulement leurs tetes au dessus la glace.

Nous nous sommes mobilisé vitement et venu au secours d'elles. Avec un chord, les sangles et de la force nous avons reussi.

jeudi 23 décembre 2010


Plenty of snow here in Devon, probably more than at Quélébu right now! A good days sledging and snowball fighting on Dartmoor with Susie, Jasper and Ruby.

Beaucoup de la neige ici en Angleterre, peut-être plus que à Quélébu! Une belle journée avec le tobbogan et les boules de neige sur Dartmoor avec Susie, Jasper et Ruby.

mercredi 15 décembre 2010

lundi 13 décembre 2010

No Pointing

A day off from pointing today. After shopping for yet another oil pump drive wheel for the chainsaw (the second in two years), I cleared a dozen big pines that had fallen across a friends track in the snow last May blocking access to his spring. They were mostly hung up or suspended high above the ground so much care was required.

Then back home again to take down some of the fences dividing up the fields so I now have fewer but larger fields. It means the sheep need moving less often.

Après avoir commandé une autre pompe d'huile pour ma tronconeuse (la deuxieme en deux ans), J'ai dégagé une dizaine sapins qui ont tombé en traverse d'un chemin d'un copin. Ils etaient suspendre donc il faut de la prudence.

&Agrve; chez moi j'ai demonté les clotures qui partagent les prés, donc maintenant il y a moins prés, mais plus grands. Comme ça mes brebis pouvent rester plus long dans chaque pré.

samedi 11 décembre 2010


It's mid-December, there's hardly a cloud in the sky. The sun is shining, there's not a breathe of wind, the light is fantastic, the temperature has been in the mid twenties for most of the day and there's snow on the mountains. The only sounds are the sheep's bells and the distant baying of the hunter's dogs.

It's hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else...but a new adventure is afoot. Even 6 months ago I could never have imagined it...but Love is a wonderful thing and it will never be anything but the first consideration in my life. For a period of a few years I may be dividing my time between Quelebu and another location...fingers crossed...exciting times!

C'est mi-decembre, il n'y a pas une nuage au ciel. Le soliel brille, le vent ne souffle pas, la lumiere est fantastique, le temps reste a peu pres vingt dégrées et il y a de la neige aux montagnes. Les seuls bruits sont les cloches de la brebis et les chiens du chasse.

Il est difficile d'imagine que je voudrais envie d'être ailleurs...mais une nouvelle aventure est proche. Il y a six mois je n'ai jamais pu l'imagine...mais l'amour est quelque chose merveilleux et toujours le plus important dans ma vie. Pendant quelques années je vais partager ma vie entre Quelebu et un autre pays...les temps passionnant.

vendredi 10 décembre 2010


Beyond the 2 posts will be two bedrooms, with a third this side of the them.

Spent most of this week working at Pont de la Taule. The attic conversion into three bedrooms is the last major job. Work has started with the mountain of pointing required to the stone walls. I've realised that originally the ridge of the roof ran at 90 degrees to its current orientation. Low in the current gable wall is the old wall plate and the in the wall either side of the chimney the old gable end can still be seen in the stonework.

J'ai pris presque toute la journée à Pont de la Taule. La rénovation du grenier de faire 3 chambres est les derniers travaux. J'ai commencer avec la montagne de joints de boucher. Aussi j'ai aperçu que la fêtière en epoque etais dans l'autre sens de aujourd'hui. On peut voir la vieux sablière dans le pignon, et la pente du ancien toit à côté du cheminée.
Goldfinches in the garden

lundi 6 décembre 2010

All change

I may have been skiing on Saturday but today the sun came out and temperatures have soared. The snow is melting fast. Today at Quelebu in the sun, the temperature peaked at 33 degrees. Looks like the same weather for the rest of the week.
C'est vrai que j'ai fait du ski le samedi dernier, mais aujourd'hui le soliel brille et la température montée. La neige fonds et à Quelebu il etais 33 dégrées.

samedi 4 décembre 2010

Tuc de la Coume (ski)

A beautiful bright sunny day and with my man flu almost gone I couldn't resist a first outing on the skis. Tuc de la Coume is nearby and with the snow down to 300m it was sure to be in condition. In fact there was 15-30cm of lovely cold powder on top of the old snow and it was a glorious ski.

Unfortunately I picked up the wrong rechargeable batteries for the ski-cam (the uncharged ones) so every time I tried to film the batteries cut-out...doh!

Why does you-tube mess up all the careful synchronisation of music and video images?

vendredi 3 décembre 2010


Been snowing all day - maybe 4" here by mid afternoon. Tomorrow looking good for a ski-tour!

jeudi 2 décembre 2010


More snow overnight. Had an idea to make a short ski tour late this morning but the weather quickly closed in. Saturday looks like being crisp and clear.
Three lost goats have appeared at Quelebu...phoned around but can't seem to find out who they belong to. The black and white billy has a red colour and bell and an ear tag no. 5007

lundi 29 novembre 2010

Christmas Pudding

Today was the day to make the Christmas pudding. I never put peel in my puddings and usually substitute it with chopped apricots - this year for a change I'm trying cherries. 7-8 hours of gentle steaming this evening, then 4 weeks for the flavours to mature.

samedi 27 novembre 2010


A rough night feeling wretched...but the sun is shining and there's snow on the mountains!

vendredi 26 novembre 2010


Just an inch or so
Food for the birds
Icicles on the thatch
First snow of the winter here at Quélébu overnight. Unfortunately I have English "man-flu", so am wrapped up in bed sniffing and coughing and feeling generally rough. With just under a metre of snow at 2000m the first ski of the year is now long overdue.
Spindrift blowing from the summits this evening

mercredi 24 novembre 2010


Back from a week in Totnes visiting Susie and her children Jasper and Ruby. Finally got to see Susie teaching dance - she's amazing. A short walk on the moor, a trip to the cinema, a sauna and a swim, plus I caught up with Dominic and Bridget and Al who's also just moved to Totnes.

Whilst there a beech martin got into the chicken run here and killed all my chickens. There's been a good fall of snow on the mountains down to 1000m and it's cold. The Rayburn and stove are both alight to rewarm the house.

dimanche 14 novembre 2010

Tuc de la Seube, Cap d'Auternac, Tuc d'Eychelle (10 peak watershed)

An enjoyable circuit in fantastic weather starting and finishing at Col de la Core (1395m). Ian, Ben, Arto and I set off a little before 9 and on reaching Col d'Auèdole followed the ridge over Tuc de la Seube (2105m), Sommet de Peyre Blanque(2176m), points 2224m, 2256m, 2314m, 2331m and Cap d'Auternac (2361m). After a descent to the Col de Crouzette we climbed upto Col d'Estiouere and followed the other side of the watershed over Tuc de Quer Ner(2389m), Tuc d'Eychelle (2315m) and L'Aubague, before descending the ridge (and some tricky, iron-hard steep snow below Pene Rouge) back to the Col de la Core. Ice axes were indispensible, crampons would have been useful but we managed with some step cutting.
First summit and a quick bite to eat

The peaks on the ridge to be climbed before our descent to the Col de Crouzette
Ian heading for peak number 5
Ben strikes a pose
Lenticular clouds warn of the on-coming poorer weather

Le Mont Valier (left)

Ian descending from Tuc de Quer Ner

samedi 13 novembre 2010


A beautiful day today, 28 degrees in the sun. A walk in the mountains planned for tomorrow.

mardi 9 novembre 2010

Current state of snow

There's enough up there to ski, but there are strong winds forecast tomorrow morning which might spoil it.

vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Cabane d'Eychelle

The Indian summer continues (a reward for a tough first half to the year) so today Ian and I went for a leisurely stroll up to the Cabane d'Eychelle from the Col de le Core.
It was hot and we were post holing through the crusty snow. Not a cloud in the sky but plenty of gossamer threads of spider's web glinting in the intense sun and drifting on the gentle breeze. Meantime the valleys remained under a sea of low cloud. At the Cabane d'Eychelle we found an unopened bottle of Bordeaux and couldn't resist. We progressed no further and snoozed in the sun. In payment we took the litter left at the hut back down the mountain.
Too much wine!

jeudi 4 novembre 2010

Golden day

High pressure has reasserted itself and the days are hot and golden. The colours of the trees change so fast.

Aujourd'hui etait chaud et dorée.
Even the sheep like looking at the colours.

mercredi 3 novembre 2010

Book binding

My little book is finished. A hand made book with an original tale and a combination of watercolour and photo illustrations. "The Trial of True Love" is (of course) a romantic fairytale!

Mon petit livre est fait. Faire à la main, un histoire originale, et les croquis de aquarelle. "l'essai de vrai l'amour" est (biensûr) une conte sentimentale!

mardi 2 novembre 2010


Two days of heavy rain have kept me house bound, but I've been busy preparing the bacon, and doing some book binding (something I haven't done for a while).

Today the clouds have cleared and there's a good covering of snow. 30cm at the Port d'Aula weather station, so a tentative 'first ski tour of the season' might be made tomorrow.

Il a plu pendant deux jours et j'avais rester dedans. j'ai fait la poitrine et un livre. Ce matin les nauges ont disparu et il y a de la neige sur les montagnes. 30cm au Port d'Aula...peut être un ski demain?

samedi 30 octobre 2010


Another day at Pont de la Taule. Today was terrace day. There was a lot of faffing about to get main beams level, then quite a bit of shovelling muck, but once we (Chris and I) got into the carpentry it sped along. All done in a day - phew! Knackered!

Encore à Pont de la Taule. Aujourd'hui la terrasse. Il y avais beaucoup de trevail de faire les poutres horizontales, et quelques terrain a battir, mais lorsque la charpenterie a commencé toutes a passé vite. Toute a fait.

vendredi 29 octobre 2010

South wind

A strong hot (24 degrees) south wind has been blowing all day. Producing amazing cloud formations.I swear I have been able to see the colours of the leaves on the trees changing before my eyes from minute to minute.

Le vent fort et chaud de Sud soufle toute la journée. Il a fait les nauges encroyable. On peut apercevoir les coleurs des feuilles changeant chaque minute!
Sometimes the natural beauty of where I live is overwhelming.

La paysage ici est souvent trop belle pour ma tête!