26 Nov 2007

Shameless self-promotion

OK, well as uncomfortable as this feels, I am going to use my Blog to promote my ‘other’ website i.e. my house as a rental proposition!
However, needs must …. and I figure that as I’m a late-comer to the holiday rental market, I need all the help I can get to get the information out there in time for next summer’s bookings.
So, even though some of my minor renovations / decorating bits in the house are ongoing, I have a fairly certain completion date for the barn, and therefore a date when I can make the house available for holiday rentals.
Leaving plenty of room for delays, the house will be available to rent from June 2008.
But, for MORE information, please see my other website.
And please feel free to 'spread the word' ..... it will be much appreciated.
There, it wasn’t too painful …..
Phew ….

23 Nov 2007

A very big crane

They certainly brought in the big guns to move the beams of the roof. It was a huge crane that turned up the other morning from Narbonne – blocking off the street to the school for the whole morning. The community policeman even turned up to help divert the traffic! The builders had obtained permission to take the crane into the vacant block of land that backs onto the barn. But it was too wide to get through the opening in the stone wall.

Fortunately it was big enough to reach over next door’s property and do the lifting of the beams from the street. One of the beams was not in good condition and had to go, and another from the front was being used to replace it. Certainly had the townsfolk out and about having a look at the goings-on.

The first floor is down, precast reinforced beams in place, and a fresh batch of cement poured.

The walls of the first floor take shape, and the roof lining goes on.

13 Nov 2007

Autumn colours

Having now spent nearly a full year in France, I’ve decided that autumn is definitely my favourite season! The colours of the vines – different shades of the different varieties – are just stunning. And of course all the other trees and plants are changing colour, too.

The photos can hardly do justice; however I’ve taken a lot and am posting a few of my favourites here.

This is taken standing on the bridge in Bize, looking down-river.

The weather has been amazing – hardly any rain at all, and none forecast. Not a good thing for the area – the River Cesse in Bize is scarcely a trickle and the river bed is as dry as it was at the height of summer. This is again taken from the bridge, looking back the other way. The swimming pool wall is still intact - normally by now the waters would have washed away the dam wall.

This is looking down on Bize from the Pech:
Looking down the Valley of the Cesse, again from the Pech.

There was another chestnut festival, just a week after the one in St. Pons. This time in the village of Olargues – again up in the Black Mountains. And the drive up there was beautiful:

And more chestnut market / fete photos:

But this was a little different in that there was a group of Frenchmen in Kilts - a Scottish pipe band was there for the celebrations! They’re called the Claymor Clan and are based in

1 Nov 2007

It’s taking shape ….

Progress on the renovations has been going great guns – except for this week when the builders have been pretty thin on the ground. And not likely to return until next Monday – the boss is ‘en vacances’ in Spain, there’s a public holiday today and a lot of the manufacturing companies are apparently also on holiday this week. Not to worry – things are still well on track. I hope these are not famous last words.
Some HUGE pieces of stone that were buried (one of them was part of a set of steps) and had to be removed:
And being taken out through the garage. This is the smaller of the two rocks - I missed getting a photo of the removal of the huge one - they had to bring in an even bigger piece of machinery to get it out.

Some pipes go in:
The cement on the ground floor gets poured -
And the bottom half of the front wall is nearly done …
It looks awfully small from this perspective!

Moving sideways

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