Thursday, July 26, 2007

10 Days since I last blogged! where has it gone! Well the Mercedes has gone, some money towards the swimming pool! And another mission accomplished.

We also seem to have successfully negotiated a satisfactory deal on the windows and shutters for both houses so will be ordering this week ready for October delivery giving us the time to get them all painted prior to fitting.

The weekend was taken up preparing for our first real party on Sunday evening - a bbq for 25 friends - folks we have met over the last 2 years - all went really well with the straglers leaving just before 1.30am!! On Monday, it was a little cloudy so we decided to walk off our 'tired heads' but the sun soon came out and we turned back to the village to the bar for a hairy dog - I think we peaked at that point!I should also mention Martin arrived sunday morning and did a sterling job as waiter/bar man so if you are having a party I can forward his number!

We took him to St Remy de Provence on Wednesday where the market was on - the town was heaving which reassured us tourism in Provence is very bouyant!It is a lovely town with many stunning buildings. Does your dry cleaners look like this?

The house is coming on with the 'Vide sanitaire' being constructed which contains the pipework under floor - the closed in area will be the wine cellar,the floor slab will sit on these blocks,

meanwhile the second house is playing catch up.

Weather is perfect, 32 to 35 degrees and an overnight low of abt 20 - lovely! Sorry England! Are we missing the rain - NO!

And finally a note from our sponsors 'the Allos group' for the hats to keep us cool!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Well kind of good news- looks like we sold the Mercedes - sad to see it go really - Matisse is even more distressed - where will he sleep now?

Today has been one of the hottest so far - 35 degrees - and we had 8 lorries delivering 40 cubic metres of concrete for the foundations - I was on water delivery keeping the troops happy!

Mr Maughan re appeared complaining we had damaged his drive, taking pictures and calling his 'Attorney'??? ####!

This is the foundations for the second house we are building. Also poured today with the basement to the left.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Its confession time - bought myself - well us actually a new toy - it just happened to get delivered on my birthday! What better day to take it out - a beautiful hot Sunday

The market in Coustellet is on Sunday morning - it differs from many because it is a true farmers market - the stall holders can only sell what they have grown or produced.

So we tend to buy our fruit & veg here.

This guys just sells his Thyme and beans!

Today they had a raffle with some very healthy and colourful prizes!

My Wife!

and I!

It also makes a very pleasant way to pass a Sunday morning, hearing everyone chatting, of course there are one or two bars to stop at where there are street musicians to entertain.

And finally stopped off in Gordes on route home

where there is a very nice view of our valley!
Yesterday, July 14th was Bastille Day, one of the most important celebrations in France. In our village there is a huge 'Vide Grenier' or loft clearance. There was a fete and parade the night before which started at 10pm culminating in dancing in the square to 2am. The stall holders started setting up at 4am and were selling well by 6am (Unfortunately none of my pictures came out )- truth was I was asleep!
So by 9am our once peaceful road became a car park!

During the course of the day litterally thousands of people strolled through the village admiring the junk that was being sold!

And at lunch time it was the perfect opportunity to do what the French love most - eat , drink and talk!

By 6 pm the village was quiet and returned to its normal pace - for some though the night was still young - it was down to Apt for fireworks at 10pm and a Ball, out doors of course starting at 11pm - once again no pictures availible! Far too lively and late for us!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Work continues on the lower plot with the digging out of the basement and garage. Concrete will be arriving Tuesday so the main house now looks like a steel fortress with all the steel in place in the foundations.
We spent 4 hours in a Menuiseries yesterday sourcing windows which we need to order before August as all factories close then so even now we are looking at a September/October delivery at which time we have to paint everything prior to fitting which should be in December.
Weather now pretty settled, abt 30 by day although more wind than last year and a liitle cooler at night- still warm enough to sit out till late but not stifling so you cannot sleep. Pool is 29 degrees.

Bastille day tomorrow - huge celebrations here, massive car boot in our village , attracts thousands - litterally - the busiest day of the year.We will walk through and take in the atmosphere, have to view some land for a client so not all play!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday is market day in our village where you can buy all the essentials - wine, Olive Oil, Fish & cheese, fresh fruit & Veg etc

This is the view from what will be our driveway leading out and away from our house. We have just cut a row of large trees creating the gap where the road will be built later.

Work has today started on the lower plot with the start of the digging out.

Monday, July 09, 2007

And there was only one thing to do after that...Snooze..........;

And last of all today the top plot as it advances with steels in ready for further concrete to be poured.
And the weekend came............

Ian & Sheena arrived Friday, we took some time out poolside,

visited the market in Apt Saturday which was heaving,

Drove past Lavender fields on route to Roussillon,

where we took in the Ocre

and of course an evening drink
Whilst our guests have been here work has been progressing on the land. This despite Mr Maughan coming back yet again to say he no longer wants to give us access.

Our challange is that all materials, including over 100 cubic metres of cement are going to have to be delivered from the road. As the Maughan's have prevented us from crossing the drive, all delivery lorries will block the road for as long as the unloading takes - which with cement will be a day at a time. We have an alternative access for smaller loads but with a 3.5 ton limit. Once we build the new entrance to the site we will have our own private driveway.

This picture shows the hopper parked ready to receive the concrete.

Seeing the cement lorry reverse down the road to the hopper.

And finally he makes it, connecting to the hopper, the cement is then pumped up to 100 metres away to the foundations.

No blogging for the last week as we have been entertaining or should I say being entertained! In preparation for future guests we wanted to check that everything is child friendly, and so Louis,who is four came to stay with his 8 month old sister and of course Mum & Dad, Merilyn & Keith. Every one had a great time, no toast was found (yet)in the DVD player, wine consumption increased a little and the cats have all returned home! And for the record Karen and I will not be having children! But we quite liked seeing others have fun!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Works are progressing with the footings being prepared for concreting Wednesday.
July is Lavender month in Provence.

This is about half an our from where we live with Mont Ventoux in the back ground.

There are some big 'critters' in Provence - but I am curious to know what this caterpillar, found poolside, will turn into? Any ideas?