Monday, February 25, 2008

Our 'Feronnier' has started to install our metal bay window. Once it is fitted it is treated and 'rusted' plus hopefully glass will be installed!

Our plumber has started with the first shower and loo being installed in the Gites.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Meanwhile...... the second house has had its roof added, Karen surveys the scene!

And the 'upstairs' of our house is getting there slowly!

This brings a whole new meaning to an advert 'painting holidays in Provence'! Martin is here for the week and in exchange for food, wine and a bed he is a willing helper - this weeks task the endless job of window painting!

Naturally a day off was granted combing business ( visiting bathroom show rooms) with pleasure (lunch outside) in Avignon on Thursday. Martin is celebrating a rather large birthday next month and is going treking in the Sahara desert for the charity he works for so we decided to join him training with a walk to Travignon.

The village we live in is known for walking holidays. From our villa you can walk a short way to several marked foot paths. We took the route to this now deserted village last occupied in 1914.

The walk is abt 13 Kilometres, quite steep rising from 350 metres to 925 with superb views and scenary. Right on our door step!

Is it left here or right?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It is now 18 weeks until we move into the New house - or I think Gite! But we are progressing with the roof put on the kitchen this week and the second floor advancing well.

We have ordered floor tiles, internal doors and are putting final touches to the pool design. The windows were delivered on Friday for the lower house which is also progressing well - our builder commented it was changing from an Ugly Duckling to a beautiful swan! ( not sure what he is on!).

The genoise have been added, these are layers of tiles that are under the roof line. The height of the genoise were a sign of ones wealth, ie a Grand Bourgeois house would often have as many 4 layers. In our case its just two or if a sign of our wealth after this project - none!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our builder has added a forth member to the team and all is progressing well. The Gites are watertight, well roof wise although there are no windows! And our bedrooms are soon to be added to the main house. The building project is demanding more and more of our time,which of course we are happy to give! We have just ordered all the
internal doors and chosen sanitary ware - Its not easy choosing for 8 bathrooms!(but it is expensive!)

This will be our lounge. We have just bought a wood burner which will sit in the Chimney recess. We are about to order all the stone and floor tiles. We had quotes in December which are valid to the end of February,(prices have risen in the meantime) so although a little in a advance we can buy at last years prices.

As we are project managing the build it is up to us to prepare the working drawings for the plumber and electrician, both of whom are French and do not speak English so this also keeps us occupied. Karen and I have our distinct roles, I am the finance minister responsible for purchasing and socialwhilst Karen is on design and cuisine!I am officially the 'gerant' of our enterprise, ie the manager whilst Karen is known on site as the admiral - isn't that above me?

The second house is also coming on well. Despite some dubious building methods!

And finally for pet lovers - Ginger posing!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where exactly are we in France is a question that often comes up! Well we live in the Vaucluse (county), facing the Luberon Mountain (1800 meters). We are 90 minutes drive to the coast at Marseille which leads to the Cote D'Azur. If we head North East we are in the Southern Alps, which is where we went for 3 days last week. Just over 3 hours drive away, the snow was fantastic giving perfect skiing conditions.

We were lucky enough to have the use of an apartment with some friends 'gratuite' which made it all the more appealing.It was literally on the slope enabling us to ski in and out directly from the apartment.

Being mid week and out of the school holidays the slopes were very quiet and peaceful.

This is me shortly before I decided to dive rather than ski 25 meters down a red run curtailing my skiing for the day. Having fallen over only the week before on our land hurting my ribs this fall only cemented the pain I had already been in.!

Despite us trying to persuade Karen the benefits of skiing she was looking rather warm and snug( or should that be smug) staying off the slopes and walking instead.