Monday, 26 September 2011

Our Lounge

Doesn't look much like a lounge does it? But this is a huge step for us - now this area is empty of (most) of Neils' tools we can get on with transforming this space into a comfy warm space. sigh. one day!!!.

When completed the wall on the left will be pointed and the stairs will be hidden by a stone surround for the wood burner with a back boiler that will power radiators to heat the house.

Out of shot on the right are the old cattle stalls. We are going to sand these down as a feature with a shelf above. The barn doors will become patio style glass and oak doors.

It feels like the start of a bit of progress..

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Happy Golden Anniversary!!

A couple of weeks ago Mum, Dad, my sister Claire and her husband Paul and my neice Megan flew over to celebrate Mum and Dads' Golden Wedding Anniversary. They stayed in a lovely gite down the road which is run by Mags and Keith (see the link on the right)and we went out for a lovely meal in Limoges to celebrate and cooked a bit of our home produced pork as a Sunday lunch.

We also took Megan to a wonderful zoo park just outside of Limoges which I would recommend if anyone is in the area and likes wildlife.

Neils Workshop

At last the workshop is up and running (and needing some more equipment apparently?!!!) it looks fantastic don't you think?

The Musical Ride

Even a few days before the show the practice sessions for the musical ride were a bit of a shambles to say the least - school holidays, changes of riding patterns and more than a few senior moments were making me wish that we had had a lot more practice. The final rehearsal was a complete disaster - with our 13 year old rider being spectacularly dumped. It was a long time before she could be persuaded to get back in (a different) saddle and even then mistake after mistake led me to think we were heading for a complete disaster.

I kept telling myself that it was only a small show and that it didn't matter, but months of preparation (for a handful of us) made me want to do it and do it well, but I did have somewhat of a sinking "it's going to be a disaster" feeling as the day dawned.

The weather forcast wasn't good, and we were pleasantly suprised when the morning dawned clear and sunny, so that at least made us feel a bit more positive. The Fresians that Jane and I were riding had scrubbed up well and we loaded them up, drove to the showground and managed to get all the horses in a handful of stables by doubling up the social Fresians.
We were then treated to a free lunch and some wine (which was very well appreciated). I had heard dreadful reports of the lunch, but apart from some extremely fatty pork accompanied by some beans that had had the life boiled out of them it wasn't too bad

After the lunch we realised that rather than the three oclock that we thought we were going to be riding, we were supposed to be on at four and then as the events got further and further delayed it was going to be more like five. Few of the horses are used to standing idle in a stable and were getting a bit bored. Just as it was our turn to get ready the original weather forcast kicked in and it started to rain as we were getting on.
Most of the spectators headed off and the remaining stragglers started putting up their umbrellas. I don't know what it is with horses and umbrellas, but unaccustomed to them, as well as audiences plus some riders nerves made our normally calm horses start to panic slightly, and as we rode down towards the arena a few of them started playing up.

I managed to get a woman, her umbrella and two small kids to move away from the fenceline as my horse was going to go nowhere near them and in a bit of a panic we tried to get on with the ride.

I can laugh about it now, but there were several points during the ride that I turned a corner and faced horses that weren't supposed to be in front of me - but Jane and I just doggedly carried on and our supportive families said that to the untrained eye not much of it was too noticeable. During the ride the sun came out again, so in the photos it just looks like a bright sunny day with no spectators!!!!!

It's a shame but it just felt like a bit of a relief when it was all over with no casualties!!!

Thursday, 8 September 2011


I've got a horrible feeling that anyone of you who reads this blog must be feeling like they have personally built this workshop, such is the amount that I have gone on and on about it.

Yesterday we got plastered with the help of Helen and Richard, a couple of friends who are looking at moving over here, who foolishly offered to help with plastering.

I think we got more on us and the floor than the walls, but with these two working like absolute trojans we got the whole place done in one day. The electrician is coming to connect the electrics tomorrow and then all that is left is to build a temporary door until Neil is in the workshop and can make the proper one, and fit it out - yay!!

This will leave the current workshop, our barn, empty and ready to be converted into our lounge. Neil and I have just had a lighting discussion upon which we had a minor disagreement.

Neil seems to think that it is not necessary to base the entire lighting plan around where I want the Christmas Tree to go. I think he'll find he's wrong. The debate goes on.........

Sunday, 4 September 2011


A strange plant has appeared in my field. I actually quite like it, and bouyed by some success on finding birds on an RSPB bird identifier website I decided to try a similar tactic to find the name of this plant.

I like flowers and growing a bit of veg, but would never describe myself as a gardener as such, but I never dreamed that the plant world would be so complicated. The site started off quite simply with colour of flower, evergreen or deciduous then, it went off into the realms of, and I quote..
mat forming
narrowly colmnar
narrowly conical
rounded to broadly columnar
rounded to broadly spreading
pendulous etc etc

Now don't get me wrong, I know what the majority of these mean but really - look at the photos and tell me what do you reckon?!!!

So I have done the only thing I normally do in such circumstances and I have enlisted the help of the "Oracle" aka my Mother in Law Beryl to help me identify this strange plant, but I would be interested to know if anyone out in blog world has ever seen this anywhere. It has white flowers on it, and the spikey fruit like things are absolutely rock hard.

Bon chance!!!!!xx