samedi 30 juin 2012


St Girons in the morning for the market and supplies, then back to work.Slow progress but might be ready to glue up the first flight tomorrow evening.

vendredi 29 juin 2012


To work with the stairs today, starting with the upper flight. When I built the oak staircase for Rupert a couple of years ago I had some some lovely prepared seasoned oak to use, but as I can't afford such a luxury for myself I'm robbing some oak from my barn. The big cill members that sit on top of the walls on the inside were green when they went in 4 or 5 years ago. Now they are beautifully dry - only they aren't at all square in section any more.
Cross section of a tread

They've bowed as they dried and now I must spend 2 hours a tread planing them back into a square section. Times like this a planer thicknesser or even an electric plane would be handy.
One face complete

Amazing how often the plane iron (blade) needs resharpening on this hard oak. Managed to get 5 treads done today. Top tread and all the risers to make, then wedges and blocks before and I can start assembling.
As usual my hands are stained purple with tanin.

jeudi 28 juin 2012


Some to eat.

...and some definitely not to eat.
Otherwise busy with painting the living room and building the stairs....and it's hot!

mercredi 27 juin 2012

Back to France

It's easy to forget when you've lived here for 6 years just how good the weather is compared to the UK. But as I stepped off the plane into the wall of heat this afternoon, it was impossible to repress a smile. A storm seemed to be building across the frontier when I arrived but after a few rumbles of thunder nothing seemed to have materialised. But by 10.00pm we had a great display with a lightning strike every 2 seconds.
Lots to do, but the main priority this trip is the staircase.

lundi 25 juin 2012

Barbeque time

At last some of the scaffolding is down in the rear garden and after a day of clearing up in the garden we braved the weather for a barbeque on the chiminea my mum and John bought us as a wedding gift. The shish kebabs and sausages went down well.
Ruby pulling her grumpy face

At the market we found a lovely hand painted tall boy chest of drawers which we purchased with the money dad and Jane gave us. The extra storage space has let us get rid of some the scrappy open shelves I built out of some ikea odds and ends. The bedroom is looking lovely.
Off to France on Wednesday and some much needed warmth and sunshine. Stairs to build and maybe some hay to make.

mercredi 20 juin 2012

Books and Bikes

Most this week I have been writing. I'm writing an Architecture text-book, something I've been thinking about doing for some time and now our house in France is nearing completion and the weddings are over, the time to make a start has arrived. 8000 words so far. I'm hoping to have it ready by the end of the summer.

I also finally have my bicycle back in the UK (Paul kindly transported from France on the back of his camper van after the wedding). After some adjustment it's running beautifully - great to be out and keeping my fitness.

lundi 18 juin 2012

Stormy weather

Stormy weather on Saturday, though thank god we now have some sun. With the Dares and Anna, Susie and I headed for East Prawle and took a coastal walk watching the huge waves come in.
Starry Saxifrage

A retreat to the pub for a fish supper afterwards.

vendredi 15 juin 2012

Both weddings in 2 minutes!

Click on the image below to watch....thanks Dommy for making this for us.
Movie ci dessous - cliquer de démarrer

mercredi 13 juin 2012

A little snow

After the big clear up, a touch of fresh snow on the mountains. Found the time to scythe most the fields, but alas not mend all the fences, that'll have to wait until the next visit in a few weeks time.
A quick visit on Monday night from Rupert, Charlie, Austin and Jason on route to their annual motocross event in Northern Spain.

dimanche 10 juin 2012

Pic des Trois Seigneurs

A quick trip up Trois Seigneurs (2199m) with Dom. Still some neve persisting despite the modest altitude. Good to spend some time with my bestman in the hills.


After the wedding and partying, Susie and I sloped off for a some extra fresh air in the mountains today. Following the ridge up to Pic de la Tese and Soubirou (2277m).
Col de Pause and Mont Valier

samedi 9 juin 2012

wedding no 2

Some photo's from our wedding in Aleu on Tuesday...more soon.