dimanche 27 février 2011

Susie, Jasper and Ruby visit - part 1

Picked Susie, Jasper and Ruby up from the airport on Monday. It's the first time Jasper and Ruby had ever been outside of the UK and the first time they had flown so they were suitably excited.

Le mardi, j'ai cherché Susie, Jasper et Ruby de l'aéroport de Blagnac. Pour les enfants c'etait le premier fois dehors Royaume Uni et le premier vol, doncs ils se sont excité.
The weather was a bit crappy for the first few days but it didn't matter too much. We got out and about and also visited the caves at Niaux with their prehistoric paintings.

Nous n'avons pas le beau temps ces premier jours mais dommage. Nous avons promené un peu et nous avons visité les grottes de Niaux avec leurs murals prehistorique.
The happy couple

On Tuesday I proposed to Susie (we'd already chosen and commissioned the ring). We plan on getting married next summer.

Le lundi j'ai fais une demande en mariage à Susie (nous avons deja commandè la bague).
The ring! (blue black sapphire in white gold)

Jasper and Ruby seem to love the environment here and are happy that we're getting married.

Jasper et Ruby aiment le pays ici et ils sont content que nous nous sommes marié.
Jasper doing "the apeman"
Jasper and Ruby

Susie, Jasper and Ruby visit - part 2

The weather finally improved on Thursday/Friday and everyone got a taste of the heat here even in February. Friday was Ruby's birthday so we all went skiing. The first time for Susie and the kids, but they all did really well and enjoyed themselves.

Le jeudi/vendredi, le beau temps est arrivé enfin et mes visiteurs ont senti la chaleur de fevrier. Vendredi etait l'anniversaire de Ruby et nous avons fait du ski. Le premier fois pour Susie et les enfants, mais ils ont aimé beaucoup.

During the week we also made some sausages, tapped birch trees for their sap and made some birch syrup (delicious with pancakes).

Pendant le semaine nous avons fais les saucisses, ramassé le sevre de bouleau et avons fais du syrop (délicieuse avec les crêpes)
The girls having a snooze

Jasper had his first attempts at shooting an air rifle and he did really well - hitting a sub-10mm bullseye at 15m from a standing position and achieving excellent grouping.

Jasper a fais son premier essaye à tirer un carabine d'air comprimer.
Jasper shooting
Ruby's birthday
Lichens and fungii

On Sunday afternoon the snow started and by Monday morning there was 20cm. The snowplough was late so we had to set out for the airport regardless. No bother for the car but it was slow going and we only just made the check in. In fact I had to plead with the airline staff to let them board (even though I secretly wished they'd have to stay).

La neige a commencé de tomber dimanche l'apres-midi et lundi il y avais 20cm. La chasse neige etait tardif mais néanmoins nous sommes parti à l'aéroport. Nous avons progessé lentement et ils ont manqué presque l'avion.

samedi 19 février 2011


I have been suffering from a bout of man-flu and a dry hacking cough last few days (probably aggravated by building dust at Pont). Snow is slowly arriving on the mountains now and at Guzet they now have a reasonable number of pistes open (though none of the black runs). Is the ski season about to start?

Susie, Jasper and Ruby arrive on Monday alas they seem to have missed the amazing weather as the coming week is forecast to be wet and changeable...never mind, it's the first of many trips.

Today before the drizzle arrived at 4.00pm I've been a tree-surgeon, a laundry boy, a puncture repair man, a woodsman, a farmer, a blogger and in a minute I hope to be asleep...I didn't get much rest last night.

J'ai souffert d'une atteinte grippale et de toux sèche ces derniers jours (probrablement aggravée par la poussière à Pont). La neige arrive lentement sur les montagnes et à Guzet ils ont à présent un nombre raisonnable de pistes ouvertes (mais aucune des pistes noires). La saison de ski serait-elle sur le point de démarrer ?
Susie, Jasper et Ruby arrivent lundi, hélas, ils ont vraisemblablement manqué le temps exceptionnel vu que la semaine prochaine est annoncée humide et variable... pas grave, c'est le premier parmi de nombreux séjours.
Aujourd'hui, avant la tombée de la bruine vers 16h, j'ai fait office d' arboriculteur, blanchisseur, réparateur de crevaison, forestier, fermier, blogger et dans une minute j'espère dormir... ce qui n'a pas été beaucoup le cas la nuit dernière.....traduction par Dani (Merci)

lundi 14 février 2011


A big tidy up today at Quélébu, as my back is a bit sore from hurling rocks and hauling plasterboard. The upstairs is now spotless and has lots more space, and the cosy little attic is ready for Jasper and Ruby. Hopefully they'll have their own bedrooms by the autumn.

Aujourd'hui une grande nettoyage à Quélébu, au cause de mon doleur au dos de jetant les pierres et tirant les placoplâtres. L'etage est nickel et il y a plus d'espace et le sympa grenier est pret pour Jasper et Ruby. J'espère que ils vont avoir leurs mêmes chambres en automne.

dimanche 13 février 2011

Moving rocks

After working at Pont for most of last week and Saturday being probably the last day of the amazing weather, I decided to stay at home today. I got to work clearing the land beside the ruin and then starting to move and sort the tonnes of stone which were lying close to the building.

vendredi 11 février 2011


Works progressing nicely at Pont - the walls to bedroom 2 and 3 are insulated and plasterboarded as is the roof. Only the sloping soffits still have to be boarded. The lighting and sockets are wired and working.
Of course there's bedroom 4 to do and all the second fix joinery, decorating, and board jointing to do yet!

lundi 7 février 2011


Another beautiful day...alas I'm busy working inside at Pont for the next couple of weeks.

dimanche 6 février 2011

Pic de la Calabasse

A lovely day in the mountains today with Ian, Ben and Sandrine. A fairly relaxed start at 10.15 from the ancient slate mine (1000m) above Ruech. It was freezing in the deep sunless valley but we followed the Besset stream and soon emerged into glorious sun and summer temperatures.
After the little cabane we skipped the Col de l'Herbe Soulette and climbed the snowy ridge to the summit of Pic de la Calabasse (2210m). Crampons were necessary for much of the ascent.
The ridge to the summit

The views from the summit are immense and we lay in the sun eating lunch for an hour.
Panorama to the east
Panorama to the west

The onward route took us down to the Col de la Calabasse.
Pic de la Calabasse from the Col de la Calabasse, Sandrine in the distance

Then along the snowy ridge over Roche des Gours, Pic de Paumaude, Tuc des Pans and finally the Col de Lourech from where we cut across to the Col de Quimes. Here we quit the ridge to descend steeply past numerous barns to eventually reach the forest track and then the car. 7hrs and 1200m height gain.

We returned to news that a mini bus had crashed off the road at the Col du Pause and 3 people are dead, 2 seriously injured and another 4 also injured.

jeudi 3 février 2011


Some more lenticular clouds behind Mont Valier early this morning.

mercredi 2 février 2011


Been rushing around a bit too much since getting back from the UK - chopping firewood, working at Pont, a trip to Pamiers to get insulation, a trip to the notaire, a trip to a friends house in Boussenac to check for frozen pipes. A half hour walking the fields was a welcome moment of calm. It's easy to forget how beautiful it is here.

Bright sunshine this morning with lenticular clouds over the mountains. Light rain swept in over the peaks this afternoon. More sunny weather on the horizon so this weekend will be a good opportunity to catch up on farm work - topping the brambles, lopping low branches and maybe pruning the old apples trees. Maybe a walk in the mountains too.