Monday, 30 May 2011


Well thank you Jason and the girls for looking after the place in our absence, we did think we may have made a slight error of judgement when having left Limoges in blazing sunshine we could only see the runway of Bristol seconds before we landed on it, and descended the steps of the aircraft in horizonal rainfall. 'Thats it!!!' said Neil 'We are only visiting Wales in the winter from now on!!'

He doesn't mean it. The Brecon Beacons are a wonderful place to be in the summer, and contrary to what everyone says, it doesn't always rain in Wales. Just a lot of the time. So we did the only sensible thing you can do when it rains in Wales. We went to a pub.

Here is Neil with Mum and Dad outside one of the many pubs we visited. This one had won the CAMRA pub of the region award and hence was handing out free pints of real ale.

We also visited one of my favourite places - an architectural salvage yard.
I could spend hours (and several thousands of pounds) here had I the time and the money available

We did manage to spend some time out and about walking though, here is a picture of my niece Megan taking a stroll with us

Lovely as it was in Wales visiting family and friends it's always nice to come home. We had a lovely welcome from Tess and luckily the weather was still wonderfully hot. here is Neil in his role as chief pool cleaner!!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Non-stop sunny days & memorable moments:D

Hello, I'm Chloe:)

Even though I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning on Friday, this holiday has made it all worth while. Well after all the stress on Thursday night trying to get our bags packed and get all sorted for the flight, it didn't turn out good when we arrived at the airport. Jason probably already explained that the bags were over the limit. We finally got to france and it was lovely and sunny.

On Monday we went to Margaret and Keiths for a BBQ, Keith BBQ'd some delicious pork chops, AKA BB and Rasher (poor pigs). They also have some beautiful puppies called Belle and Badger. I had a nice cuddle with them both. Tuesday, we went to Lisa and Marcus' house I made good freinds with her daughter Yssi and son Connor also made friends with his freind Ben, we all played on Connor's Xbox. Later on that night Connor and Becky played a game of Call Of Duty on PS3, Becky won I think Connor was a bit embarresed as he lost against a girl.

Wednesday we just relaxed, we went in the swimming pool and sunbathed we did the same Thursday. And today so far it's been quite good, we will be making French cookies and Google translating the ingrediants as we don't understand a word, also i will be getting in the swimming pool. I have thoroughly enjoyed my holiday in France and would love to come again:)

Non-stop parties and too many late nights!- Becky

Well hello everybody, it's Becky, and I would just like to say how much fun I have had out here! It's been amazing possibly the best holiday i have had. The weather has been glorious and I have a lovely tan =).

I have been working hard with Jason. I moved logs with the quad and trailer but found it quite struggle to move some of them but as they were really heavy but I managed by myself okay.

The quad has been amazing. I love it ! I have riden on it by myself a couple of times then with my sister. I had her screaming in my ear when we went really fast! I went round the 'loop' with Tess. That was great fun.

I have loved it here as I have said earlier. It has been like my own little farm. Having had new members of the chicken family it has been lovely holding the little chicks they are sooo cute! I love horses and horse-riding and having two horses here to look after by myself has been great! I love grooming them and they are so good. I went out and rode Elles (I think thats how you spell it) she was really good and I am looking forward to going horse-riding again with Nicoline.

Tuesday night was an eventful night! With Jason putting on a red bikini and stripping to me having a couple of glasses of red wine to my dead grandad's birthday. It was a night I will never forget I have met so many lovely people there it was great. Lisa Vallo has sworn to be my best friend forever =). Yssi and Connor Vallo are also lovely and I am sure we'll be friends for a while too.

Monday night was at Margret and Keiths for a delicious BBQ! They have 2 gorgeous puppies called Belle and Badger! Chloe and I had quite a few cuddles. It was Chloe's first time holding an animal which she was very pleased about and will, I'm sure, never hesitate to do so again !! Margret's Quiche was delicious !! Best quiche I have ever had. Keith's pork chops, aka BB and Rasher, were also delicious.

Yesterday Jason and I went to the Supermarche and bought some lovely Beef burgers which were most enjoyed for dinner. Whilst also in the supermarche Jason showed me what he though was a skinned cat but also to find it was acctually a rabbit which i corrected him for! After that we went to look for the Tabac shop but first went to an amazing toilet! I know it sounds wierd but it was the wierdest coolest toilet I had ever seen. To having a cool way to wash your hands to a door locking it self and then when you open the door to go out the toilet flushes it self! Jase went to what he thought was a Tabac shop was actually a Lock smiths we then went round the corner to find the Tabac shop and Jase was very pleased with himself when he was asking for Cigarettes in french as his french im sure you can tell with the mistake of the skinned rabbit is not very good.

As I have said before this holiday here has been amazing and if you ever get stuck to where you want to go for your next holiday deffinately choose Limoges. The people are lovely and you will make lovely friends and also get a lovely tan! It has been an honour to look after Roz's animals and hope that I will get to be a vetenary surgeon when I leave school. Goodbye or should i say Aurevoir!

The end is nigh !

As promised the final installment from my good self !

The weather has been absolutely superb and temperatures have not fallen below 25 degrees, the girls have spent most days in the pool and completing there "animal" tasks - putting chickens away, feeding them, collecting eggs and grooming horses.

The pool is still yet to warm up to a comfortable temperature despite the new "solar cover " arriving.

Tuesday night was spent at the vallos which was different to say the least and a party never to be forgotten ! Moving on ive spent the past two days strimming, cutting grass, moving wood, painting / treating wood and visiting the recyling unit !! Tess seems to be struggling with the heat but is more than happy to run around the loop once cooler.

Today is sadly our last day here and we may venture out to a beach / lake but the girls appear to be stuck on there "ipod touches" and getting them dressed and out may prove a greater task than i am upto.

Yestrday we ventured into chalus (me and becky) and again managed to get the required goods from the supermarche, it was also pointed out to me that the skinned cat in the meat counter was in fact a rabbit - my French is not all that good and i was told "look it says Lapin" to which i hung my english head in shame and replied "of course it is".....how stupid did i feel !

We then attemted to find the local Tabac and after spending 40 minutes amazed at the self flushing self locking toilette we found the shop we were looking for.......oh no that'll be the locksmiths ! I again hang my head in shame as becky clearly pointed out all the blank keys hung around and the French owner looked at me in a very confused way whilst asking for Marlborough lights (in a french accent - i do try).

Once home and i had recovered from the trauma of our outing, i cut all the bracken down with the strimmer and appeared quite pink and sweaty from the blazing afternoon heat - im also sensible.......or not as the case may be.

We then had unexpected visitors.....my heart was racing .....what if theyre French....what will i say?? I then let out a huge sigh of relief as i recognised the couple to be Fred and Pat (although i called him Sam for most of his time here) several beers later our good friends Ian and Jude arrived with more wine and beer.

As we were having beef burgers for dinner i asked how the the best way was to cook them - jude Frying pan Ian on the BBQ so the next hour and a half was spent making a fire on the rusty BBQ (you really need a new one Rozzy)! this was after spending an hour chopping the kindling but as all good men do the fire started and a further hour later the burgers were cooked and two very hungry girls polished them off albeit nearly three hours after we said dinner was on the way........Frying pan the next time !

A few more pictures should appear below and then its over to the girls for there thoughts,views and tales from the Haute vienne, its been a pleasure writing this and i hope you have all enjoyed reading my nonsense.

(I apologise for my huge gaps/spaces as i was only given a ten second intro to this im not sure what ive done wrong)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Excess baggage,Mechanical Failures,Quads and parties!

Hello one and all ! or should that be bonjour !! I feel both honoured and worried that Roz has left me in charge of her blog but excited too. Our children becky and Chloe will write a short piece on Friday before we leave to share there thoughts on there time out here.

We set off from England at 4am on Friday morning with two very excited girls (Chloe - below and Becky), we arrived at Stansted thinking we had been clever and out-foxed those buggers at Ryan air by checking in two hold luggage bags...........20 minutes later and faced with a £300.00 excess baggage charge we quickly purchased another bag and learnt to divide weight extremely quickly!

We arrived in Limoges to 27 degrees and bottles upon bottles of wine ! (and promptly told everyone in the UK).

Since we have been here its as usual been non stop party's, BBQ's and social visits although on friday evening after "Naked whisky drinking" and my partner Mel being in some form of comatosed state holding a GCS of about 8 things have calmed down a little. Becky has been as happy as the preverbial Pig in S*#t as she loves animals and the place is like her own mini farm, hopefully she is learning something as wishes to become a vet on leaving school whilst chloe has been more than happy to practice her drumming skills, sunbathe and splash about in the pool which does not seem to be quite upto my acceptable temperature! (or hers by the look on her face below !)

Chloe on the drums Chloe in the "warm" pool

Becky and chloe were also allowed to ride the Quad around the field which they both thoroughly enjoyed, i then took Becky around "the loop" a circuit around the local woods surrounded by fields farm houses and a small hamlet i then stupidly allowed her to drive the quad around a relatively safe part or so i thought of the loop to which she promptly drove into a fence knocking it over throwing herself off and scaring the life out of me ! fortunately no lasting damage was done and Becky survived.

Saturday was my first day of "unpaid labour" or as neil likes to put it as "learning", so i thought id be helpful and collect all the logs from the bottom of the field and start to chainsaw them ........so becky got on the quad with trailer attatched and pretty much got them all up by herself which was quite an achievement for a 14 year old as i could barely lift some of them myself let alone her. She then did what she loves best and took out one of Nicolines horses - Elles.

Becky on "Elles"

This all went to plan until i saw that the linkage had come off the chainsaw and rendered it useless, i then spotted a petrol strimmer so began to cut down a mass of nettles and trim the edges of the field until what i thought was the string snapping prevented me from doing anymore, Neil returned and was extremely polite when he returned - despite me wrecking his chainsaw, then i pointed out his strimmer had ran out of string........only to be told that it hadnt ran out of string but i had lost the bolt that in fact rendered it useless..........oops! (we managed to fix both) to then suprisingly start drinking again and watched the FA cup final.

Saturday evening was spent at Veronica and Mike's who had kindly invited us last minute to celebrate Veronica's birthday, all the usual suspects were there and it was really good to see everyone again, what started off as a very sophisticated mellow evening of Mikes Carribean pork and chicken ended in a booze fuelled cat fight over a girls V boys game of articulate.........the boys won easily and the Brecon Beacons will remain a secret ;-)

Sunday was another day of "learning" this time i was having lessons in many things ranging from sawing, carrying, fetching, nailing, hammering, drilling and screwing the objective of this combined "learning" was to complete the rafters on the new workshop all went well and i completed my "lesson". Neil was chuffed to little bits that we had managed to complete the rafters and is getting excited at the prospect of getting a roof.

On saturday night we were invited to Keith and margarets for a BBQ and to sample more BB and Rasher, my plan of abstaining from alcohol went very well until we arrived and i was asked "what would you like to drink ?", my answer appeared to be "wine please" another fab evening of great food conversation and Jenga was had and everyone played with there new puppies - Badger and belle.

Monday saw the birth of several chicks which are all doing well, we have transferred both mother and chicks to allow the other nesting hen her time to hatch her chicks. Myself and Mel got started on the top field / orchard which was badly overgrown and had a rickety old fence seperating the top of the garden, we initially thought that it would take us a couple of days to complete this mammouth task but three hours later it was cut mown and treess were removed, both Neil and Rozzy seemed ecstatic at our work and the speed at which we had completed it. I managed to not only find my way into Chalux but find the supermarket, cash point / ATM and collect the feed for the chickens.

It was Chloes turn around the "loop" on the quad and all went well this time without event it was off to Champsac for village fish and chips which was enjoyed by all, most of the pub then followed us back home for more beers. Neil and myself then settled down for more NWD (naked whisky drinking) which this time was broadcast to close friends via skype.

This morning was quite sad as Neil and Roz have now left for the UK leaving us to fend for ourselves (however they have left with us absolutely gorgeous weather) and Neil has left me a sheet of A4 "homework" the blog not been one of them! hopefully ive done ok and kept up with rozzy so id better don hard hat boots and some sort of power tool or my "teacher" may have something to say to me.........

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Happy with Appie!!

Its been a long time since I last posted - but this time of year is particularly manic and being on horse sitting duties, having visitors and work commitments hasn't left me much time to sit at the computer.
Firstly a workshop update. the beams and purlins are in and hopefully the roof will follow soon

Neil and Keith have almost finished the horsewalker which is just awaiting the grill between the upright posts and permission to come through so that it can have a roof.

Beryl, Neils' mum came for a visit, and we went to a beautiful village just into the Dordogne from here called St Jean de Cole - where they were having a flower fete.

Lenny had his first birthday, a bit of a momentous occasion if only for me - someone told me that if a cat reaches it's first birthday without being squashed on the road there was a good chance it would remain a bit streetwise. After Tam being killed it became a bit of a milestone, and although there are never any guarantees I am going to stop jumping like a cat on a hot tin roof every time I hear a car pass.
He celebrated his birthday with a tin of tuna. Much to Tess's disgust.

By far the most exciting thing I have to tell you is that I am buying a young fresian horse for myself. Working with and being surrounded by horses has re-ignited my interest in riding and although I have been so lucky to have had horses and riding on tap, having my own land and stables it seems crazy not to have one of my own. Its just not the same riding someone elses. So I have bought one of Dutch Birds' yearlings. A little colt called Appie. I will get to know him and break him in when he is three. Here are some pics.

On the day he was born

His sire

Here is Appie with his field companion and meeting Beryl.

Here for your entertainment is a bit of video of Badger - Keith and Mags's pup trying to get Tess's dinner

Next week we are off for a much needed holiday - off to visit my Mum and Dad in Wales. Our friends Jason and Mel have arrived to hold the fort here - so hopefully Jason will do the blog while we are away and let us all know how they are getting on!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Mrs Mop (not)

I have escaped onto the computer to do the blog as a tactical avoidance.
Neils' Mum is coming to stay this week and we are trying to clean and tidy the house.

I have the same attitude to cleaning that Ryanair have to their customers. I know it is there but I have absolutely no interest in doing anything that would make life easier. I detest cleaning the shower, and suspect that doing it a tad more frequently than bi-annually (or when it looks really scuzzy or when people are coming) would help matters - but why anyone would want to spend time doing something so boring when there are a million and one more interesting things to do is beyond me...

Anyway, on to more interesting matters. I had a phone call this morning from Dutch Bird - "Put on the Kettle - I'll be with you in five minutes" says she.. turns out she had been to get the bread this morning and chosen a greener method of transport. Ahhhh....

I have been scouring the forums on line (avoiding that housework again) to find a replacement collie for Keith and Margaret. Keith has been pining for another dog since they lost old Tess a while ago, but Margaret was a bit more unsure that she could replace her old friend (well, its not replacing but you know what I mean).
Still when I found an advert that fitted the bill it didn't take too much persuading to get her to consider a new addition and guess what - they ended up rehoming two!!!

Here are Keith and Mags with Belle and Badger

Mags and Badger

Of course as chief instigator I had to go and view the puppies with them, and how I ended up coming home without one is still a mystery to me. They did all have prospective homes which helped, but still, I could have stuffed one in my pocket....

Lastly a short clip of the latest foal at work trying to bend her legs to reach the grass. Not easy when they are so long!!