All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · Renovation work · The farm

Restoration chairs

A few weeks ago a visit to our local brocante found us hauling another van load of furniture back to the farmhouse. Now much of the land has been tamed and the ground cleared of fallen branches and sadly household rubbish, we have the foundations of a garden, orchard and meadow. This means the farmhouse… Continue reading Restoration chairs

All Posts · Renovation work · The farm

Studio scheme

We have a small cottage next to our farmhouse, a little two roomed building that I have decided will be the perfect writing and photography den. Sometimes you need your private quiet space. I know my husband would agree. There are times we spend too long in each other’s company, working on the buildings all… Continue reading Studio scheme

All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · French Life · Renovation work

Brocantes and vases

Vases. In my case as seductive as shoes, as mint chocolate thins, as the very mention of “fancy going to Chambon resourcerie”? https://m.facebook.com/Ressourcerie.La.Dynamo/ I inherited a lot of hand painted vases from my mother who collected them in abundance. By the time she passed on, her house was a crowded display of nick-nacks and charity… Continue reading Brocantes and vases

All Posts · Renovation work

Picture this

Today I framed a picture. This post developed into something more than that somehow. On rainy days work at the farmhouse comes to a stop. The fields get slippery and knee deep in mud after a history of being cow pastures, and work on the coop building is dangerous. It’s a big build and with… Continue reading Picture this

All Posts · Cats and dogs · French Life · Renovation work · The farm

We have a cellar

After a very heady youth in the 1980’s spent in the City of London between working as a banker and sliding at most lunchtimes into the local pub, by the time I was in my late twenties I had somehow obtained a complete necessity to avoid alcohol in any form. Had I pickled my liver?… Continue reading We have a cellar

All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · French Life · Renovation work · The farm

Sofa sogood

I didn’t really want to mention the Coronavirus but this lock- in period hasn’t really caused us any inconvenience apart from having to slightly rearrange projects to deal with a few material shortages. The French brico stores are open but we are limiting our visits and the small local ones are closed. Generally the French… Continue reading Sofa sogood

All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · Making and crafting · Renovation work · The Factory

Woodworm

Rain. Flooded field and the chicken coop projects on hold…again! So what do you do? Go to a Brocante armed with your measley €30.00, knowing that there will be an immense wealth of objects that would make even the Count Of Monte cristo blink twice! A short half hour drive across country to picturesque Chambon… Continue reading Woodworm

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work

Tap

A design original! After buying the farmhouse the kitchen tap lasted a month. It broke in two! This amazing replacement design of ours featured a simple rocking motion to turn on water. Couldn’t adjust temperature but when in France and renovating you get used to temporary things. Sadly last night it fell off. Replaced with… Continue reading Tap

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work · The farm

Bottles and steel balls

Our Notaire is a very jolly guy and I think with a bit of wicked sense of humour. Unfortunately I have yet to master French and with our rather ambitious renovation projects of doing up four properties, my head is more full of the finer points of a 1-3 lime mix than whether I can… Continue reading Bottles and steel balls

All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Making and crafting · Renovation work · The farm

The mundane and the magnificent

A homestead is a isolated dwelling, especially a farmhouse, and adjacent outbuildings, typically on a large agricultural holding such as a ranch or station.  A homesteader is a lifestyle of self sufficiency. A year ago we would not have called ourselves homesteaders, but by the close of this year, we actually feel we are heading in… Continue reading The mundane and the magnificent

All Posts · Animal tales · Cats and dogs · Renovation work

Letting in the light

We finally hauled ourselves after the long hot summer into the Farm House to start renovations. Somehow a trillion excuses manifested to keep us from mustering up the courage to tackle opening up this lovely property and get some order into the rooms. With no rear access to the house, the kitchen off the bedroom… Continue reading Letting in the light

All Posts · Making and crafting · Renovation work

Putty in my hands

Autumn seems to have arrived with earnest. From a blistering sahara 42 degrees we are down to a fishfinger chilly 18 degrees in less than two weeks. This signals not only rummidging in cupboards to find lost winter jumpers, but realizing we must get to the Farmhouse to decorate our bedroom. We need it to… Continue reading Putty in my hands

All Posts · Landscapes and trees · Renovation work

Oaks

We took the brave but necessary step a week ago, to ask our local tree surgeon to work his magic on the sadly neglected trees at the Farmhouse. My husband was rather doubtful about the whole project, but trees are complex guys. Firstly height. It’s a dangerous job to rope a tree, climb and wield… Continue reading Oaks

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work

Behind the wall.

Well you buy a place, you plan your renovation, you argue, you draw it out merticulously on graph paper with little paper shapes denoting cupboards and chairs and even rope your electrician friend in, to stop you getting electrocuted by the decidedly dodgy French electrics. You then realize the dresser will not fit unless you… Continue reading Behind the wall.

All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work

Mad Englishwoman goes out in the midday sun

I looked it up. Is was important. That confusion between Celsius and Fahrenheit. Today it’s an oven hot 102 Fahrenheit. It’s a larger number written that way. It represents the searing heat today and we are not even in July.What do I do in this canicule? I don wierd garb reminiscent of an 18th century… Continue reading Mad Englishwoman goes out in the midday sun

All Posts · Renovation work · The Barn

The roofers finally arrived

Four years ago we could see the sky through the tiles. Mmm nice and sunny today! The joists had insulation made from spiders webs, a dense white drapery befitting Mrs Havershams world* and the beams looked as if the woodborers had a work in progress ‘re the new lunch menu. With no money the prospect… Continue reading The roofers finally arrived

All Posts · Renovation work

Girl does concrete

Well it’s turned hot so out comes the masonary gear, sand buckets and rubber mixing tray. The girl likes to live dangerously! So first job, tackle silly top of Little House wall in prep for converting room to a cold room to hold food, preserves and such like. The original builders didn’t finish to top… Continue reading Girl does concrete

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work · The Barn

Fosse septic at the barn

Big day today. Septic tank going in. All hands on deck. Except me. I was foreman and well, drank tea! Someone has to keep an eye on health and safety from a safe distance! Ah that was a lovely cuppa! My friends sent messages of congratulations as we had to use a bucket for our… Continue reading Fosse septic at the barn

Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · The farm

Backbreaking work

A week ago we signed for our farmhouse just north of the barn, in a lovely forested area full of lakes and rocky outcrops.Typically when you move in, the remnants of the previous owners lives are left unloved in cupboards, under beds, chucked in garages and garden outbuildings. This house is no exception.The van is… Continue reading Backbreaking work

All Posts · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · The Barn

Update on the barn project

The sun is finally shining and I got a chance between sniffing into my hankie (I have a cold) and trying to stop Bonnie goose from pecking me (she has hormones!), to do a quick video. It’s countdown to signing for our purchase of the rear stone barn to ours, complete with the large hey… Continue reading Update on the barn project

All Posts · Making and crafting · My Company Projects · Renovation work · The Factory

Mezzanines

This week the mezzanines arrived from Spain. The French delivery guys had no idea about health and safety and appeared to have no safety boots or understanding about using truck hi-abs without the risk of loosing their pallet truck in the process. I couldn’t watch. After a lot of groaning and levering, the three very… Continue reading Mezzanines

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work · The Barn

Big House – Little House: Water

Starting as I mean to go on – a promise to start a regular update on our renovation projects in Limousine, France; we finally had a water supply installed at the barn. Our properties seem to have an habit of providing us not with just one building, for example our barn, but two.  The new… Continue reading Big House – Little House: Water

All Posts · Animal tales · Chickens · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work

All change – French property plans

I have been a little too quiet on this blog.  Life’s ups and downs as they are.  But today in December was wonderfully windy, autumnal and the bright golden leaves looked like the sun had been scattered to the ground ready to swept up for a winter slumber. The chickens were out – the coop can get… Continue reading All change – French property plans

All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · The Barn

Decorating girl

I was always daddy’s girl and from as long as I can remember I helped my dad with everything – gardening, decorating and building work.  Neighbours still on my mum’s estate from the 60’s, remember the little girl with the pony tail, sitting high up in the skip with her dad, eating sandwiches.  I loved… Continue reading Decorating girl

All Posts · Animal tales · Chickens · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · Tony Costin

Team soul mate – notes and plans

I often refer to Tony in my posts. He is my rock, soul mate, breakfast and tea maker, solid sharer of life’s stresses and calming problem solver in a crisis. I haven’t met anyone who works as hard as he does nor with such enthusiasm. I am more tetchy and vulnerable to doubt. Hard labour… Continue reading Team soul mate – notes and plans

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work · The Barn

Angst, rethinking and making a home

Angst Its been a bad morning. I shouted at my mum, her illness has stressed me. Somehow in the UK dealing with cancer is a hit and miss affair and much of it just people spouting words. They don’t really talk with you, but at you. Cliche but true. But my point is, my mums… Continue reading Angst, rethinking and making a home

All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work

Taming the wilderness

Arriving back from England was another shock to the system. Leaving your home for a month seems to throw your well being out of kilter for quite a few days. Maybe exhaustion from the the two day journey including a cancelled train and a detour to another French town didn’t help, but London is as… Continue reading Taming the wilderness

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work · The Barn

La Mason Femme

This post turned out to be a little technical, but I was fed up spending hours searching the internet on “how to point a French barn”, and finding unhelpful comments. So to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I decided to write a post.  Bare with the length of this article… Continue reading La Mason Femme

All Posts · French Life · Renovation work

Mad dogs and Englishwomen…

As the song goes…Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…”, well coming from the constant dreary grey drizzle of England, even in July and August, this English woman had a nasty shock two weeks ago after a few pleasant days working outside. It was not one of those extremely fierce heat days,… Continue reading Mad dogs and Englishwomen…