samedi 30 janvier 2021


Donkeys on Joubac

Heavy rain and warmer temps made the mountains an unsafe option for a walk with Andy, Paula, Sheri, Michiel, Kev and Becks, so a local walk around our commune of Aleu sufficed. After a cloudy start the mountains eventually emerged.

With more torrential rain and strong winds forecast, Susie and I have retreated indoors. Susie is knitting and I'm putting the latest warp on the loom. The conversion from counterbalance to countermarch is complete and after tying up the treadles (pedals) and adding a few weights everything is balanced.

Countermarch jacks for the 8 shafts

8 treadles tied up for the manifold twill weave
Reed sleyed with the new warp

mercredi 27 janvier 2021

Ski tour fitness training at Guzet

A break in the weather after rain at Quélébu, which was a light snowfall above 1000m allowed a quick tour around Guzet Neige ski station (closed for COVID). Andy, Paula and I set off from Col de la Trappe (1109m) and mostly following the unpisted ski runs, we skinned up to Le Picou (1720m). A lovely descent to the bottom station (1350m) on l'Arrech (apart from the bottom 100m which was cruddy). Then after a quick lunch another skin up to Prat Mataou (1512m) before a descent to Col de la Trappe in changeable snow. A sunny 11km trip in 4hrs.

dimanche 24 janvier 2021

Next weaving project

 Draft of the pattern repeat for the next weaving project - fabric for kitchen curtains. It uses an extended manifold twill tie-up invented by William Bateman about 100 years ago. The pattern is my own!!! We'll see how it pans out as there is little information about the weights of yarn Bateman used so I m improvising.

dimanche 17 janvier 2021


The first real opportunity to use the new telephoto lens (leica 100-400mm). Takes some getting used to, such a powerful telephoto but quite pleased with photos of the elusive red squirrel, they always stay far away unlike their much bolder grey cousins. The one in the last shot had been fighting with another pair and has a nasty injury on his nose...must have stuck it where it wasn't wanted!


lundi 11 janvier 2021

More snow

Lots more snow the last few days and gite guests who didn't heed our advice that snow tyres, socks or chains were essential to get here. In the end we had to collect them and then at the end of their stay find chains for them. Fortunately John had an old pair that I managed to modify to fit their super large wide tyres. Guest seemed more worried that the chains might scratch his alloy wheels, than the safety of his family! 

Today it's sunny and the snow has stopped, though more forecast for next week.

Giant snow bear

A little wren finding some clear grass on a bank to hide in


jeudi 7 janvier 2021

Tuc de la Coume (again)

After yesterday's disaster on Joubac I was keen to get out again on the skis. A quick tour up and down Tuc de la Coume sufficed (2 hours up and down). With stable snow I made a solo trip, meeting 3 local skiers and a boarder on the summit. On the descent I accidentally mounted the camera on my helmet facing the wrong way!! Doh!

mercredi 6 janvier 2021

More snow

More snow yesterday, enough to tempt me to skin up Joubac and attempt to ski down, but there wasn't quite enough and instead I ended up snarled up in bracken stems just under the snow.

Today the sun has come out, a relief for the sheep and the wildlife. 


lundi 4 janvier 2021

Tuc de la Coume

After the snow and continuing cold weather a chance to get out in it on skis and snowshoes. As Sheri and Michiel, Becks and Kev, don't have 4x4 we started from Navée above Ercé, rather than driving in from Cominac on the piste which always snowed up. A bit more ascent to make but we donned skis/snowshoes from the car.

Very cold until about midday, when the sun made an appearance and began to warm us. The summit was very chilly with a biting wind so we descended quickly for lunch in the sun a little above the trees.

The first 50m or so of descent wasn't fun to ski as the snow was compacted by the wind and a little crusty but after that is was glorious!

Our lunch spot

 Telephoto of our tracks close to the summit taken from just above Quélébu the following day.