vendredi 30 décembre 2011

UK again

Back to blighty for Christmas. Whilst Jasper and Ruby were with their dad, Susie and I crept off to explore Salcombe with Anna, lots of swanky clothes shops which the girls loved!

Then a flying visit to see the Hewitts at Shenmore and a very blustery walk up table mountain.

vendredi 23 décembre 2011

The two days of rain striped away the snow around the house, but walk around Guzet Neige enabled us to have a good trot in the snow and an epic snowball fight lasting most of the day.

The following day the weather was warm and balmy so after a walk upto the airstrip at Joubac to admire the view and sunbath, there still time to squeeze a little bit of retaining wall building back at Quelebu.

jeudi 22 décembre 2011


Horray! The central heating is working. It was bloody frustrating as we had to fill and drain the system three times before we found all the leaks - only three leaks which wasn't bad considering the total number soldered joints. I still have a permanent cold water feed and all the hot water to plumb but that can wait. The house is warm and cosy and after the snow and torrential rain of the last few days. We found a xmas tree in the woods and with the Rayburn working we had a lovely pork roast last night. Today off for a bit of snow shoeing!

dimanche 18 décembre 2011

Susie, Jasper and Ruby arrived on Saturday. As did the snow which made for a nice xmas feel to the start of the holiday. The central heating isn't finished yet but hope to get it done in the next few days. We're keeping warm around the fire until the weather improves. Susie and Ruby added some decoration to the living room and the front door.

jeudi 15 décembre 2011


All the radiators are connected to each other, but removing the old water cylinder today proved problematic.

First of all I couldn't empty it. I'd put a drain tap in the cylinder when I installed it but to connect a hose to the tap required several adapters and with them attached there just wasn't room for the hose without crimping it. Eventually I succeeded but not before several leaks into the kitchen below.

After dismantling all the connections I was ready to remove the cylinder, but then I remembered the cupboard in which it sits needed to be dismantled to get the tank out (I'd forgotten I had to do this when I installed it). Once out, the header tanks (feed and expansion and cold water) had to be separated from the cylinder (it's a combination cylinder but I want to reuse the header tanks). Some careful sawing and voila. Needless to say after a trip to St Girons to get more pipework and fittings, and re-assembling the cupboard there isn't gonna be time to get all the central heating working before Susie, jasper and Ruby arrive on Saturday!

A big clean up tomorrow, some essential small jobs, washing, chopping firewood and shopping. There's snow forecast for Saturday - we'll just have to keep the fire going as I can't light the rayburn until it's plumbed in or I'll damage the back boiler.

mardi 13 décembre 2011

Race against time

All morning fetching plumbing supplies then working late into the night plumbing in the radiators. Slow work, but I've started at the difficult end where I have to join into existing network. Hopefully things will go quicker tomorrow.

lundi 12 décembre 2011

Getting there

All the radiators hung, lots of little tidying up jobs done...tomorrow pipework!!

samedi 10 décembre 2011

Another long day (aren't they all?) and the dining room floor is ready for varnishing.

vendredi 9 décembre 2011


Got the kitchen tiled last night and have now started on the oak flooring. Nail gun problems so have resorted to good old hammer and punch.

mardi 6 décembre 2011


It's been a busy few days since my last post. Besides trips to fetch plasterboard with Ian, another to collect the new water cylinder and radiators, and yet another to give Justin some urgent advice with his latest construction project and see Emily and the twins, work has been progressing here.

The construction of an attic to house the feed and expansion tank, infilling the last piece of first floor (Susie's walk in wardrobe), patching the hole in the living room floor where the stairs used to land, studwork, plasterboarding, hanging two new bedroom doors, screeding the kitchen floor (1/2 tonne) ready for ceramic floor tiling and working out some of the electrics! Oak flooring to be collected on Thursday, once that's down I can start on the central heating - at last.

vendredi 2 décembre 2011

A dusting of snow

Field clearing and studwork today.

jeudi 1 décembre 2011

Works resume

Back to the continuing Indian summer in the Pyrenees (26 in the sun today) but work has now switched to indoors. Next week the central heating, but first all the necessary preparation work. Today I installed the rayburn - knocking through the wall to connect the chimney and positioning it on the plinth I cast before leaving for Totnes.