Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fabulous Spring Blossom!

The end of March always sees the most fabulous explosion of cherry blossom.

This part of the Luberon  is renowned for Cherry trees, much of the  fruit is sold to Kerry for use in yogurts and candid fruits.

The blossom is fragrant and attracting lots of bees already.

Cherry blossom cottage! what a wonderful setting.

All on our walk this morning.

Spring really is one of the most wonderful times to visit the Luberon.

Language in Provence

One of the things that makes Saint Saturnin Les Apt such a special village is that it really is a living village!
It has many excellent commerces most of which are open all year unlike some of the neighbouring villages that 'go to sleep' in winter. There are two Hotels, three bars, four restaurants,  the Spar 'mini' supermarket, a fruit & veg shop, butchers, newsagents, chemist and two boulangeries to name but a few.

The latest addition to the village is the Language school 'Language in Provence' headed by Susan Bento.
It has previously been based at her home where the students still meet for lunches and 'aperos'.
The new premises have just opened ready for this years season and are right in the heart of the village, opposite the Hotel St Hubert and next to Bar des Amis.

The school provides one to one classes as well as small groups, the courses are very much tailored to your requirements. The school also runs themed weeks to include Lavender trips, Roman sites and wine tours making learning French all the more enjoyable!

The school arranges for some students to stay in the village with French families so that they are completely immersed or for those who like to be more independant and self cate,r we have looked after several students in our gites and Chambre d'hote.
For details of Susan's courses look at her website

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our new Turf

Our new turf has been down 10 days and is growing well.
Lets hope no one tells the pesky Sangliar!

Golf Club update

We understand the driving range(practice) will open in April with a buckets of 40 balls just 2.50€.
The 9 hole course will be open in June with a round starting at around 15€.
I hope they are not relying on rain to water the grass seed!
On a more serious note it is an exciting new venture to come to the Luberon with a private investment of over 740000€.
I think they will reep the reward.

Pool cleaning day!

The weather sure is hot! so time to get the pools open ready for the weekend guests.
At Le Chene , despite the cover there was a fantastic collection of leaves at the bottom and some rather green water!

All in a days work! I am just about getting to grips with maintaining our three pools, not always easy and it is amazing how one down pour or a sudden hot spell can change the  PH and so effect the clarity of the water.

Just 24 hours later the water is clear and almost ready for swimming, well maybe a tad cool!

Our own pool has been a different challange, I have emptied the over flow pool for cleaning before adding the salt.

Am I taking this job to serious?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Olive Trees

Each spring we have our olive trees pruned, Eric is our man! his mother is Potugese and has an Olive Farm.
This year we have gone for the hard cut - partly because the frost has burnt a lot of the outer branches and leaves and also because the trees are getting taller and taller making the harvest more difficult.
These are our younger trees, they were originally where our house stands and we moved them about 4 years ago. Next year they should begin to produce a fruitfull harvest!

Of course as fast as Eric cuts I get to do the picking up!

Golf on the horizon

Between Saint Saturnin Les apt & Villars there is an exciting new venture being created.
A small Golf course, under construction, with a driving range.
Pierre Cardin might have resisted in Lacoste!

But here it happens! we will try and find out when it opens, the driving range is ready, the greens are, well sandy, but about to be seeded - watch this space....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome Back!

Firstly for my family, friends and clients who check in to my blog from time to time
my apologies for the lack of updates since early January.
I decided to spare you the details and photos of our recent trip to South Africa suffice to say it was the most fantastic holiday with Cape Town, MeerKats and our safari in the Kruger being particular highlights!
And so the last few weeks have been taken up with preparing our properties for the season ahead, we always like to upgrade interiors, carry out painting and then of course there are the pools and gardens, the latter of which have sadly suffered from one of the shortest but coldest winter snaps since 1948.

At Les Cypres, we have carried out painting to the interior, updated the sofa, bought new chairs for the garden and sun bed cushions amongst other things.

We opened the pool today, when we returned from holiday it had over 6 centimetres of ice on! it is still too cold for swimming, but with the summer cover by early April it should be warm enough - for the brave!

Talking of brave, we have already welcomed our first guest to one of our gites, Sean, is spending a month learning French at the local language school which have just moved to new premises right in the village - more on that to follow.

In Les Cerisiers we changed the sofa and again carried out some decorating to keep everything ship shape!

You may recall the disater that stuck us  last October when the Sangliar torr up the entire grassed area by the pool. We have put in place defences that we hope will keep out the animals and so felt it safe for the new lawn to be laid.

I will update over next 48 hours with details on Le Chene also!
as they say, watch this space.....................