Life in France

A not every day story of normal people trying to live their dream in France starting at the beginning and ending?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


We received a phone call last week from a suplier of timber to say that he has been asked by our carpenter to deliver two very large beams for a balcony! A great surprise to us as we haven't heard from the carpenter for over 3 months and he hasn't contacted us to tell us about them!
Anyway we agreed a day for delivery and on Monday they arrived, bloody hell they are big, 6 metres long and almost 40 centimetres thick and very very heavy. It is a good job that the lorry had a hi-ab crane on board as the two of us can't even pick the end of one up to move it! even with a crane the unloading was a might bit dodgy as the two strops that the driver was using kept sliding along the beams causing them to tip up at an alarming angle. He managed eventually to get theend on the ground but he miscalculated the swing on the beam andthe other end crashed against the roof of the barn and broke a couple of tiles off! oops never mind its not that bad!

So we now have two beams resting outside the barn and absolutely no idea when the carpenter is going to arrive to fix them to the back of the house above the terrace to make a nice balcony/walkway. I just hope that the workers he brings with him have eaten their porridge as they are going to need it! Here's watching out for hernias.....

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Life resumes

I won't say that normal life has been resumed as that would be untrue but we carry on after the loss of "mum" as we have to do. The weather has been stunning, temperatures up in the 50's in the direct sun and 30- 32° in the shade! You don't really feel like doing any work but nobody told the grass to stop growing so i had to get the motor strimmer out and get to work. It is a hell of a way to lose weight. I disturbed no end of crickets and grasshoppers and even surprised a sleeping snake! Not sure who was more surprised me or it. I thought it was dead at first as it didn't shoot away but this was not the case. It was just playing dead, not sure why it didn't leg it when it heard or felt the noise/vibrations. After my initial what the f**k and stepping sharply backwards it legged it. It was only about 3 foot long so not big but big enough. I also had a baby one wriggle between my feet when i was down checking that the water recycling system was still ok. I reckon they are hiding in the reed bed! Wonder how many more have appeared during our 3 week absence! Not sure i want to find out..... i not very keen on snakes, even grass snakes!

So its back to doing some more cutting but perhaps i will make a lot more noise first to try and get them to move out!

Thursday, June 23, 2005


A quick post let you all know that I am back. A great time was had at the rally in ST. Tropez with about 10,000 Harleys! Plenty of partying and music and just enjoying the feel of the place. Working was hard as usual but great fun.

Reality kicked in bigtime though as we received a message to call England. It was to tell us that the mum of luscious had passed away so we had to go back to the UK. Its a hard time for both of us as she was a great lady and was always there for us. Helping us out when we first got together and had nothing and in later years just buying us odd little things for the house. She will be greatly missed. She will always be with us in our hearts.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

We made part of it!

Friday was a busy day, very, very busy. It was the day that we finally started to lay the concrete for the terrace! Steve a friend came to help and we got started at 7:30am to try and avoid the heat of the day later on. The best laid plans as they say....... Luscious was wheelbarrowing the sand from the front of the house to the back and sorting out the gravel as well,Steve was putting the mix together into the mixer and I was raking it out, tamping it down and trying to make sure that it was level! At 09:00 we had the first crisis we were going to run out of gravel due to a miscalculation on my part! Luscious was straight on the phone to the local merchant no problem another 2cubic metres of gravel would be with us before lunch! As good as his word he arrived 45mins later, now that's service. He couldn't get right around to the back of the house but at least it was much much closer than the last lot so not so far to barrow it. Luscious left us to get on with it as she went off to work and at 12:30 Steve had to leave as he had to go and do the shopping for his lady! It left me about 2metres square to finish on my own. The temperature was by now 35° and it took me until 3-o-clock to finish. It really is extremely hard work on your own trying to move sand and gravel round, mixing and then laying the concrete. In fact due to the heat the concrete was starting to go off before I could put a finish on it. I was totally knackered at the end of it all. To top it all we only have about half of it done! Will have to finish it off when we get back from a "rest" in St. Tropez next week.

I use the word "rest" lightly as we are going to be mixing work with pleasure courtesy of Mr. Harley-Davidson, what a hard life we lead eh?Untill we return in 8 days time have a good one and don't work to hard.......

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Swallows in the barn

Not a naughty title either if you even thought about it! We have a pair of swallows nesting in the barn which I think is extremely brave of them considering that we have a French pussy that just loves eating birds & mice and playing with the occasional snake! She is particularly fond of fresh young birds that are just learning to fly and can't get away too quickly although she does catch adults as well just so that she is not thought of only as a child eater. The pair in the barn fly in and out on a regular basis and provide us with some amusement as we watch Madame la pussychat try to work out how quick she would have to be to catch one. Let's just say she ain't ever going to fast enough but the fledglings ah well that's different. So far they are safe in the nest but one day soon.....

If they are as bright as one of the parents then I don't hold out much hope for than at all. I was sat here the other day wondering what to write when there was a loud thump from the front porch. I thought I had a visitor so went to the door. Couldn't see anyone when I looked out so was about to go and sit down when I noticed a new pattern on the doorglass. It was a perfect imprint of a bird in flight in great detail, you could even see individual feathers! I looked outside and there on the wall was a very unhappy swallow. It had flown straight into the glasspane of the door. It was saying......" What the f**ck was that and why is it there? That hurt."
As I went to see if it was ok it managed to get airborne and wobbled off into the sky I suspect it has a mother of a headache now.

What on earth made it fly into the window and not the barn I have no idea. Brings a whole new meaning to "couldn't hit a barn door at twenty paces" eh?