vendredi 30 septembre 2011

A lovely week in Totnes. Some paid work kitchen fitting, an outing to the theatre to see Slava's Snow Show - excellent clowning, a walk on the moor and Susie got her wedding dress, a 1930's antique.
Back home and on with the roof. Some fiddling with the tilting fillet then on with slating. Slow progress and difficult to find a rhythm. Eventually I emptied and moved one of the crates of slates which was in the way which helped...but the slates are thick, the battens hardened in the sun and the copper nails soft.
The weather is still hot here and has been for several weeks. A little rain is forecast for Wednesday.

mardi 20 septembre 2011

Battening over!

Managed to finish all the roof battening today...yay!
The weather clears again to reveal...

dimanche 18 septembre 2011


Rain all day today so have busied myself with laying and varnishing the bathroom floor, fitting the window ironmongery and boarding up the front door.

Through breaks in the clouds I can see that the first snows have arrived on the mountains - just a dusting.

samedi 17 septembre 2011


Despite the rain this afternoon, three out of four roofs are now battened out, including one of the gables. Still one more roof and a gable to go, but rain is forecast tomorrow, possibly bringing the first dusting of snow to the high mountains. Plenty of works to do inside.
The little finger which I smashed a while back and had finally grown back it's nail - so time to clout it with the hammer again - ow, ow, ow! Here we go again.

vendredi 16 septembre 2011

Back to roofing today...but of course that means rain :(
Battened out the smaller roof and started the eaves sprockets for the larger roof before the storm arrived.

jeudi 15 septembre 2011

Mont Valier (6)

I was a bit late getting up this morning and by the time I arrived at the Col de Pause it was already 9.45. I wasn't sure of my fitness, as with the all the building and travelling I haven't had any big mountain days this year. Still, I decided to head off at a good pace and see how far I got.

I made Spain at the Port d'Aula in 1 hour 10 mins and after another 1 hour 30 mins I was back in France beneath Pic de la Pale de la Clauere, I was flying along! After a quick stop for food I made the summit just 3 hours 30 mins after leaving the Col de Pause - a personal record.
Etang Rond and Etang Long from below the summit

The last haul of zig-zags to the top
Glacier Arcouzan far below the summit

The summit

On the descent to the Col de Faustin I passed a young couple, the only people I saw all day outside of the Col de Pause. Vultures, Isard and Marmots were in abundance.

Two baby marmots quite oblivious of me, mum was long gone!


I decided to return by a different route and descended via the Couloir de Peyre Blanc to the Cabane d'Aula. 1200m (just short of 4000 feet) of knee jarring steep descent after which there's a cruel sting in the tail of another 400m (1300 feet) of ascent and descent to reach the Col de Pause once more.
Mont Valier on the right and Petit Valier to it's left. The final part of my ascent
followed the skyline left to right. My descent dropped steeply from the low
point left of Petit Valier all the way to the Cabane d'Aula visible bottom left.

It was a tough day and strangely a repeat of the first mountain trip I made when I first arrived at Quelebu. Then I thought I was pretty fit and it took 8 hours, this time 6 1/2 hours!! Not bad for over 2000m (6600 feet) of ascent - I'm tired but pleased.

mercredi 14 septembre 2011


90% of the cladding finished! Still some scribing in against the stone walls, the gable ends of the dormers and the barge boards to do. Time for a day off...a day in the mountains at last!!

mardi 13 septembre 2011


Another hot still day had to find some shade to work in. Larch cladding progressing well - should finish it tomorrow.

lundi 12 septembre 2011

Another very hot day. Spent most the day doing preparation work for cladding, then a fruitless trip to St Girons looking for an "old" new front door.

dimanche 11 septembre 2011

Pressing on

It's been incredibly hot for the last few days (38 in the shade) but today has been thankfully cooler.

The day before yesterday I finished knocking through to our bedroom, cut through the oak truss (the tie beam of which is securely bolted to the wall), fitted the oak frame, hung the door and finished the flooring.
Yesterday I had a huge clear up - burning the mountain of offcuts, cleaning out all the new buildings, using the mounds of spoil in front the house to fill behind the retaining wall of the last extension.
Today my neighbours collected some the surplus rocks and I've been plastering the scar from the staircase removal (the whole in the floor has already been boarded in and painted) and fitting the last windows.
A planned walk for tomorrow will have to wait until Thursday - I need to get provisions. Meantime I'll crack on with finding a door and cladding the extension.

mercredi 7 septembre 2011

All Change!

No more staircase in the living room
Doorway to our bedroom at first floor - but what to
do with the huge oak traversing the doorway?

mardi 6 septembre 2011

Second part now watertight
The rear
View from the new porch

lundi 5 septembre 2011

Another day

Another day of roofing, another day of rain, another day and I'll be pretty much watertight...good weather arrives again tomorrow!!

Thanks Andrew and Jen for the mushroom guide, it arrived safe and sound - I will try some Russulas!

Enjoying reading "The Paris Wife" at the moment.

dimanche 4 septembre 2011

Roofing and Rain

How come every time I start on my roof the heavens open? Torrential rain for the last 18 hours and more to come : (
Pressing on with making the second opening between new and old....into our bedroom at first floor.

samedi 3 septembre 2011

Big thunderstorm last night with lots of rain...just before I got the roof waterproof of course

jeudi 1 septembre 2011

Taking shape

Very hot this afternoon and I have flu!! Still work continues, albeit a bit slower.