Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well Summer has returned, lunch outside again today, no fire all week, 20 degrees yesterday. Bathroom is complete looks great. Now they start the shower room. Can't quite come to terms with the cost of building materials, 500€ at the builders merchants on incidentals, and that's with a 23 percent discount! Just like in the UK lots of bills in December, had the Electricity today, accountant yesterday, pension & medical contributions plus house taxes etc , oh well best open another bottle of wine! What is frustrating is that so many people here are not in the system, ie pay no tax, return UK tax returns rather than French, just does not seem quite right!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Well over the last 10 days winter has arrived with overnight temperatures dropping close to Freezing and daytime around 12 degrees. BUT the colours this year are truly amazing. We have been fortunate to take a long weekend off as friends have been visiting and to enjoy the incredible Autumn colours with the Cherry trees a splendid Orange and red blaze of colour against the Blue Provencal sky.

We went up Mont Ventoux Monday with Geoff & Wendy and took a bottle of Champagne as it was Wendy's birthday.The sky was so clear we could see the snow capped Alps to the East and sun glistening on the Mediterranean in the South West. Incredible!

On the house front our builders are working on Provencal time with slow progress n the bathroom front - when Johann said it would be finished by Friday I should have asked which one!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Global Warming!

What a day - I completed the Olive picking whilst Karen continued the decorating - unfortunately Johanns progress was hampered by the old plumbing so we now have a 'wet room', no water or power for most of the day either! When he said Friday he did not say this one coming!

We lunched out on the terrace again today; something we have done almost daily since we moved here in July, and the warm November is the 8th consecutive month. Today was incredible, 20 in the shade and 29 in the sun. Sadly after tomorow it could change, just in time for our guests who arrive Thursday, rain is forecast.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Good progress has been made over the last week, we have added French doors to the main bedroom opening to the terrace,

the bathroom is advancing with Johann optimistically hoping to finish it this week!!!

Today we picked 19 Kilos of Olives, which we take to the local Moulin for pressing Tuesday. We have 9 trees here of which only 3 produced Olives this year.
Apparently they produce Olives every other year, Sadly our trees have been neglected, they have not been cut for years or treated, so with a professional cut in February/March and feed we should get a bumper harvest next year, which added to the 20 trees on our plot might give us a single pressing - that is everybodys Christmas pressie sorted! Oh and by the way any help in picking would be welcome!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The advantage of builders being here is an early start! This is Sunrise! We now have 'french' doors from the bedroom to the terrace, the Blue bathroom is no more and Karen has been working hard decorating the living room. Unfortunately my arm is restricing me from some of these activities which is very frustrating. We went to the Cinema Tuesday to see 'the Queen', such a visit a sure sign winter is coming although this week has been warm dry and sunny. I spent a full day out wednesday seeing agents, quite different from my days in Walton, I drove 110 Miles, the scenary varying from vines to Cows and sheep (no I did not stop!) and the Luberon mountains and then the Alps!

Finally secumbed to doing most of my tax return which I think I have been putting off since May!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Its the 5th November - No fireworks here. Just a warm sunny day! Martin, known to many of you spent the last week here, we put him to work in the garden to earn his rent - and he did a sterling job as ever. On Friday we took a tour through the local villages Bonnieux, Lacoste & Goult.

This was for some stress releif after a visit to the bank who charged me 11 pounds for not paying my Tax Foncières Bill, ( like council tax)having rejected my Standing order instruction - Why? then being told that I have to pay 10 per cent extra on my annual bill to the the council for late payment! Letters will be issued after my French lesson tomorrow.

In between finding houses for clients, seeing Estate agents, sorting out this house & garden and preparing for the two new ones we have come up with two further initiatives to keep us occupied! translating Estate agents details - they fax them thru - we return them in English - how simple is that? and a local restaurant has agreed to display my photographs which I propose to also offer to the local 'tourist outlet' shop.

Well the week ahead sees the arrival of the European workforce, Eric our Portugaise gardener continues felling trees, Johann the Austrian builder starts felling the old bathroom and Thjis the Dutch builder will be felling our bedroom window and replacing it with French doors. The worst of it is the being European they start work at 8am!