Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day 2! Water is at last being connected.

Earth is cleared ready to prepare levels and foundations.

The lower plot is also prepared.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Action! At last the diggers are in, holes are being dug - work has started.

And these are not migrant workers!but welcome guests working for their keep - my sister Gillian & her Fiancee Neil doing sterling work in the garden.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Well, at long, long last work starts tomorrow on the land with the arrival today of the diggers. The house has been plotted out, Neil,my brother in law to be(pictured), has cut through the foot high weeds to create the driveway so it is all systems go!

It has not been with out one final twist! The son of the infamous Irish neighbour phoned this morning demanding an urgent meeting with Thijs, our builder, and myself. He claimed he had flown in especially at the request of his mother who was distraught after attempts by Thijs to persuade her to give access. He even threatened to return with his 'heavies' if he upset her again.
And quel surprise, this afternoon he has called to say if Thijs undertakes to do various works to his mothers house they might concide and allow him the access he need s to make the construction easier.! Incredible!

Friday, June 22, 2007

It has been a lovely week, especially weather wise, hot, dry & Sunny, and also very satisfying as we have been working in the garden which is a full time job! It has also been quite a thought provoking week with lots of Summer events going on in the UK ie Ascot, which I would normally attend courtesy of a client and usually end up eating & drinking far too much! So what a difference a couple of years makes, I have spent the week in a pair of shorts ( heaven forbids I hear you say), been in and out of the pool, worked in the garden, got filthy dirty and its great!

My sister Gillian and her Fiancee Neil arrive tomorrow ( Saturday) so we are looking forward to a week off being hosts and tourists! Oh - yes the Lavender is just coming out more pics to follow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We have just returned from a weekend in Blighty.The first this year. We arrived in cool temperatures last Thursday and stayed with Martin - (known to many of you!) we went for a great meal at the Gurkha Kitchen in Reigate - serving lovely Curries something we do miss in France;

Friday it was up to London where we stayed in Canary Wharf, we lunched at Gordon Ramsey's pub ' the Narrow' then walked our socks off!! Met Richard for his 22nd birthday - Yes 22! went to one of his haunts 'Jewell' in Leicester Square then dinner at No 1 Leicester Square where these picture were taken - its on the 7th floor.

Wow how London is buzzing - its an extraordinary contrast to where we now live!
Saturday after exploring Canary Wharf we headed down to Surrey for a little retail therapy! of course a beer and then out to a 50th Birthday party.

Sunday after further retail experiences we took in the a good British Pint by the River then a BBQ with Friends Sunday evening rounding off a very pleasant weekend.

We returned home to Provence to be greeted by rain - hence this picture of the rainbow that was shining ! seems it was a good weekend to be away!

Like many places our weather is far from normal but thankfully the last two days have been fabulous, hot, sunny and abt 33 degrees - that is one of the many reasons we moved here!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Well what a week it has been since I last blogged. Last week saw some very turbulant weather in Provence, one minute we were bathed in sunshine and temperatures in the mid 80's , the next rain like you have rarely seen, torrential!

Thankfully the sunshine returned for my birthday, Friday 8th. We went out for a superb meal sitting outside under the plane trees enjoying a pleasant balmy evening.

On Saturday we dealt with the formalities of closing the sale on our village house, which involves the purchasers, us and the one Notaire reading out the contract, we all sign and away we go - very simple and uncomplecated. Of course we had to go have a drink to celebrate so we visited the market in Apt which was heaving with tourists!

In the evening we went out with 4 friends for dinner and once again dined 'al fresco'.This rather stressful weekend continued on Sunday when we went with 3 other couples for a picnic in the park with live jazz.I grant you the music was not quite the Isle of Wight festival stuff but it was a very pleasnt way to pass an afternoon and complete a lovely weekend.

And today I have finally been able to photograph the villa almost finished, the rendering is complete, the shutters are done, just one or two more little jobs (I think we have decided to paint the windows in the Autumn)to finish off leaving us to concentrate on the new houses which fingers crossed will start in about 10 days.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

One thing you have to get used to in Provence is that there are seasons for everything. Produce in the market and shops and certain times of the year when you do things!
In May strawberries are in abundance, in June the Cherries follow, these are the second 'batch' used for Jam & Yogurts etc.

These are the darker red ones for eating, these are from the tree in our garden- they are delicious!

June is also the 'Vide Grenier' season. Vide is to empty - Grenier is the loft or Attic - like a UK car boot but rather more sociable usualy set around the village square and close to a bar. The similarity is that the junk they sell is the same if not worse than in the UK!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday the 1st June - 19 months after seeing the land our dreams are starting to come true! The first real day of work - the Olive trees we learnt are potentially over 100 years old. Dominique arrived at 8.30am and proceeded to reduce them to 'stumps' before up rooting them, and then transporting them to a temporary 'ditch' where they will stay until we can position them next year after construction.

The most important part of a French mans tool kit is shown here - they arrived with 2 large vans on the back of which were the diggers,chipper, chainsaws,etc but it is none of these that are important! The Cool/lunch box is the most important tool of the day!

And this is all that's left of 21 Olive Trees - worth abt 11 Thousand Euros! Some how I don't think we will be picking many Olives from these this year!