mercredi 30 septembre 2015


A light dusting of snow overnight on Mont Rouch

Logging from yesterday almost complete

Today I busy, busy, busy. I started by building the window frame for the first window in the barn. Mortice and tenon joints and a stooled cill. Then I did a bit of thinning out of the hedges in readiness for hedge laying, starting behind the wood store where several ash trees were getting rather close to the H.T. electricity wires.

Then it was down to the barn to install the window frame. I managed to go in from the outside and get the frame in. 

Knocking through proved more difficult, as the stones weren't as well placed for the opening and there were several colapses! Eventually I got a second oak lintel in place, but tomorrow I'll need to get sand and lime and start rebuilding the wall before there are anymore!

A beautiful sunset tonight. Have lit a fire for the first time this evening.

mardi 29 septembre 2015

Gite underway

Back to Quélébu and at last ready to start on the barn transformation into a gite. Autumn is coming and the leaves are just starting to turn and drop their leaves. First up, some photos for Susie of her summer planting...all doing well.

Elsewhere, there are the usual profusion of autumn crocuses and plenty of mushrooms - orange bay bolettes, chanterelles, hedgehog of the woods and horn of plenty.

Before the barn works can start I've been burning 4 out of 5 of the huge bonfires from the tree felling in August and cutting, splitting and stacking the wood. Then the ground floor of the barn was emptied of the thatch (about 120 bundles) and the sheep pens were dismantled. A trip to St Girons to collect the oak for the window and door surrounds, hassle the notaire (still haven't exchanged on Pont after 6 months!) and chase the water board (SMDEA) for a quote.

Weather is warm and sunny but with clouds building every afternoon/evening.

lundi 7 septembre 2015

8 tors

A beautiful day on Sunday, so Susie and I romped around our 8 tors walk (Sheeps Tor, Down Tor, Cramber Tor, Hart Tor, Black Tor, Leeden Tor, Sharpitor, Leather Tor). Susie feeling the extra walking fitness in her legs!

 Leather tor and Sharpitor from Sheeps Tor

jeudi 3 septembre 2015

Vespa Velutina

We saw an unusual hornet feeding on an apple half we'd left outside the front door. A large wasp flew by and it immediately flew up, grabbed it, pinned it to the floor, stung it to death then flew off with it it's jaws. Not uncommon behaviour for a hornet but this one certainly seemed aggressive ....turns out this is Vespa Veluti the asiatic hornet which has been responsible for a spate of human deaths across France since it arrived in 2004. We got rid of the apple!