Tuesday, 28 August 2012

and another one!

Pig in Poo!!

Hurrah for progress - here is the fireplace which I absolutely love - we hope it kind of looks like it was always there (apart from the central heating pipes!!) Keith has built an absolute work of art in my humble opinion!!
Next the barn doors - in at last - I am so chuffed with them...
And here is Neil - enjoying a very well deserved glass of vino!!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Building the fireplace

A Stick Insect with a Stick insect!!!!

Neil spotted this fella clinging on to the front door this afternoon. See below the video of the old beam being put in position - the addition of a fireplace is really turning the space into a 'room', and we can't thank Keith enough for his expertise in his stone work. Have I mentioned that the doors arrive on Sunday? (!!!) We were discussing how much of a difference having a lounge will make to us in terms of living space. Everything crammed into what will one day be our kitchen has not made life easy. Having extra space to store things will be fantastic and I can't wait - we might even get to be organised one day!! It's amazing what a boost getting some stuff done gives you!!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Some more pics for you!!

There is a tangible sense of expectation in the air - the bi-fold doors are arriving on Sunday and another burst of activity from Neil and the lovely Keith is moving things on once again. Keith is continuing with the fireplace. Great discussion has been taking place, as we hoped the beam that will sit across the fireplace would hide the silver part of the chimney, but that would make the beam a bit too close to the woodburner from a fire hazard point of view. So we may end up spraying it black to blend in as much as possible.
Keith is cutting stones here - he is amazingly skilled at stonework
Neil doing some of the last fiddly bits of plasterboarding
More of Keiths pointing!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Warm for winter?

Neil is busy in the barn insulating the wall so that we can get some plasterboard up. It's supposed to be summer, and although we haven't had the dreadful weather the UK have been experiencing, it is much chillier than normal so we are thinking ahead to winter and hoping that for the first year ever we will be fully protected from the elements.
Exciting development of the week is that we have ordered some bifolding doors for the big opening in the photo above. These doors fold right back onto one wall, so that when they are open you still have the impression of a big open space.
The space above the beam in the photo above will be a large glass single panel, which will be a ground level window for the front bedroom. Notice the instrument of torture in the front of the picture - it is partly responsible for turning my husband into the 'slim jim' you see in the picture below
He is standing on a step in this photo - we do have slightly more head room than it looks!!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sorry everyone!

I apologise for the lack of blogging - I was running out of things to say about the house renovation - so I guess I took a bit of a break.... Things are changing big time, not only with the house but also with myself and Neil. At the end of last year I was feeling a bit rubbish, saw the doctor and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Finally we decided it was time to lose weight and look after ourselves a bit better. Since then we have both shed lots of weight, and are now regularly running on a treadmill in the barn!! Appie, I'm sure will be grateful for my weight loss when he finally gets to be broken in. He is a growing lad and is maturing into a lovely boy. I'm also riding at work now, and the above photo was taken on the racecourse in the village of Pompadour - what a treat to ride in such a fantastic location. Here at some photos of the house - which now has electricity upstairs - hurrah!!
Bedroom 3 - look a door and everything - ok, we have not finished plastering but then we had some guests and had to put them somewhere.....
Bedroom 2, ok more to do here but it has walls!!!!
Not a bedroom at all - just a storage area, but then our guests weren't fussy and didn't mind sleeping in a cupboard!
My lovely hubby (and Tess of course) isn't he slim!!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Re- bonjour!!

Hello everybody – it has been bought to my attention just how long it is since the last blog – time is just whizzing by, and I just haven’t been getting round to it, even I was shocked when I realised my last update was early March. I apologise to those of you that enjoy reading our updates. Here, via the medium of my facebook status updates, is a zip through the last month and a half….. is looking out of the window at my Appie - lovely :0) Appie is now approaching two years old (Well, on the 23rd May), and we bought him to my house so that I could spend a bit of quality training time with him. It was great to have him here, but having had horses here all winter there wasn’t much grass left – so it was a short term thing unfortunately….. is going to get plastered later. But not in the way you think!! The work on the house continues – we were trying hard to get as much done before the next batch of visitors!! was wondering how many calories there are in a blackcurrant and licorice sweet, but then realised it was a bit pointless to be worrying about it when I consumed an entire bottle of white wine last night, which apparently it around 509 calories. I'm not going to be slim any time soon!!!! Since November Neil and I have been trying to have a bit of a lifestyle change – we have lost a fair bit of weight but are still finding it a bit of a challenge!! It's a suprise, but everything's ok!!! I had a bit of an accident at work when I got slammed against a wall by a horse that was having some dental work done. I had some trauma to my ribcage and ended up in A&E having X rays and scans. One of these scans looked rather like a baby scan, so I posted it on facebook and let people jump to their own conclusions. You wouldn’t believe the interest that caused!!!!! It was actually a scan of my liver. Firing up the new back boiler wood burner - central heating - woo hoo!!!!! Thanks to Paul the lovely plumber our central heating system was ready to be tested. Hopefully next winter we will be warm and Tess’s water bowl won’t freeze in the hall. has had an unexpected birthday present today - a duck!!!! :0) Three to be exact. Shame they all flew off the next day!! would like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent happy birthday messages - facebook wouldn't let me say thanks individually to some of them but I had a lovely day ta xxx I know some people hate facebook – but I find that it is a great , simple way to stay in touch.. is not talking to Lenny - he bought a half dead baby bird into the bedroom this morning......blimmin cats :0( Bless him has a very healthy emergency chocolate supply thanks to Melanie Leishman - just need to refrain from eating it as I am a bit miserable with rib ache :0( I need to have at least one bar in the house in case of Urgence!!!!! just had to evict my horse from the hall - chickens, ducks, horses - don't they realise they have 5 acres of their own to roam around? Neil nearly had a dicky fit – he was only happy when he had checked all the tiles and found they were unbroken! is really happy that Appie is now in a field with some lovely grass! With a complete lack of rain and hay in short and very expensive supply it was lovely to see him happily grazing in a field full of grass, even if it wasn’t at home.. hopes all the horses get home safely :-/ the day of the Grand National. Two didn’t and had to be destroyed. Such a shame. is trying to tidy the house up before mum and dad get here - we did it about a year ago but would you believe it's a mess again!!!! Enough said!! is enjoying having the mare and foal here - what a wonderful timewaster foal watching is!!!!! This years’ friesian foals have been born – after a bit of a traumatic delivery one came here so that I could give the mare her injections. I will post some photos soon!!!! is waiting for a stallion..... No peace for the wicked – mares come into season when their foals are about 5 days old – the two mares here are going to be put back immediately in foal, so Appies dad is coming over to do his job…. Ok, I’m back on it – will post again soon, take care xx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Up on the Roooofffff!!!!

Here is Neil on the roof fitting the chimney pipe. He looks quite happy in the picture but that was a brief moment in between swearing, as the pipe came out a bit closer to the ridge than he would of liked, which meant that the ridge tiles needed to be taken off and re-cemented in place. Nothing is ever simple.

I would take a photo of the completed chimney, but the weather has turned and I do like everyone to believe that we live in constant sunshine here in the Limousin.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Do you see that thing on the wall on the left of the picture below?

it's a radiator!!!!!! How amazing is that?!! Jase came up trumps again and bought out a working party consisting of Mel and his mate Paul. All of them worked like mad to help move us on and wow! what a difference.

The next photo is Neil (helped by Jase and Mels's dog Bob) putting in the woodburner with a back boiler, that will heat the aforementioned radiators

Next, one of Jason who got stuck into some plasterboarding, standing in what will be the bathroom...

and finally one of the bathroom - with the bath in position (and another radiator!!)


Lots more to say but Neil is currently on the roof trying to fit a chimney so I need to go and check he is ok and help him!!!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Curtis - call us!!!

Martin in New Zealand - if you are reading this please call us (or Jane and Den) urgently xx

Saturday, 18 February 2012

more progress

The dynamic duo are on form again and now working on the barn, hopefully soon to be lounge.
Neil has been pointing the wall and Keith has started to build the fireplace. We needed the hearth to be built so that we can stand the woodburner on top and connect up all the pipes for the central heating. Yes! I did say central heating - hurrah!!!!

The pink plasterboard is special fire retardant stuff, which has boxed in the right hand flight of stairs. The sides of the fireplace are being built up in stone and we have a large beam that will be the mantlepiece which will hopefully hide all that plasterboard!! We have some reclaimed bricks to go up to the ceiling.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Having witnessed some very late cranes flying south only a couple of weeks ago I was gobsmacked yesterday to see a large group flying North again. Do they know something we don't?
I couldn't believe it when I heard their familiar cry overhead. How odd.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Loo-ney Lenny

There was a bit of a feline commotion in the en-suite this morning and Lenny the cat (the scrounger on the chair on the right) flew onto the bed for a cuddle. As I started to stroke him I noticed he wasn't entirely dry.

Neil got up to investigate and pieced the story together - Lenny had obviously been sitting on the loo seat trying to knock a toilet roll onto the floor so that he could attack it (his favourite game) and fallen backwards into the loo......

Which leads me to conclude that despite respecting the environment we really must flush it every time.......

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Have a look!

Having received the Leibster award (see here) this is my first recommendation if you are looking for a blog to read - Veras blog Snippets from Labartere
Vera is renovating her house and running a smallholding and writes delightfully about her experiences, and includes some funny little videos from time to time.
I would also like to re-thank Sue, who nominated me and has also explained how to do links - so if the link to Vera's blog works I have got the hang of it, and if it doesn't I am too thick to understand her very clear instructions!!

Frozen pipes, cars and people!!

Another long gap between blogs - I would apologise but we have just been trying to keep warm and working!! At the end of last month the farrier came to trim Appies feet. He behaved impeccably (Appie not the farrier) and it was nice to hear that the farrier had remarked how nice he was.

We had had a small amount of snow at the end of January, but February bought some deep stuff and we have been down to minus 16 in temperature!!

Tess loves the snow and spends her days rolling around in it looking happy. Appie with his thick coat doesn't seem to mind either.

We do though, and we spent a few days with only one tap in the house working (upstairs) and no hot water. Both cars have frozen up and are undriveable, So our only mode of transport for a while was the quad until we were kindly lent a car. I will admit to being highly jealous of those fortunate enough to own a four wheel drive car - and if they weren't so horrendously gas guzzling and expensive we would consider trying to buy one. Still, at least with the quad we weren't confined to barracks and Tess loved running alongside scooping up snow in her mouth en-route to quench her run-related thirst.

I have mastered the art of multi layering in the clothes department, and under a couple of layers fleecy pajamas are part of my daily wardrobe at present. I don't care how I look frankly - all that is important is trying to keep warm.

Working at the stables in and out of the icy wind is no fun - and as all the water systems are frozen, trying to water 25 thirsty nags is a time consuming daily battle.

I am not the only one working in the icy elements. Our house is changing every day - Neil is constructing all the internal walls, so that now at last we actually have a proper sense of our layout and a clue to how it might look. Even with all the insulation, until the barn doors are shut off properly the barn is still not much more than an outside space and working inside is painfully cold.

We are getting there though. We are looking forward to the snow thawing so we can get on with stuff a little less painfully - I still wouldn't want to be stuck anywhere else!!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

And I would like to thank..........

Very kindly Sue who writes a blog called Writing Home has recommended our blog for a Leibster blog award. As a recipient of the award I can also recommend five other blogs.
I read very few blogs due to a distinct lack of time, but there are a few special ones that I catch up with as and when I can. I will sit down and take some time to talk about them soon, I promise, but in the meantime thank you Sue, it's always nice to get some positive feedback.

(and I will try and find out how to insert links so that you will be able to see them when I have recommended them!!!)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

La boîte de nuit du père noël

Look innocent don't they?! The little swine second in line (Baron - aged a few months) has been taking full advantage of my electric fence not working properly and escaped 3 times yesterday. Today we have replaced the energiser and even when he got zapped he just did the equine equivalent of a shrug and wandered off unpeturbed!!

I have been sanding beams this morning - what a lovely job that is!! I hate dust masks and goggles that steam up within seconds so that you can't see anything. They look fab when treated and sanded (the beams not the goggles!!).

I have been helping Neil with putting up the silver foil insulation in the house/barn upstairs.
The four year old child of Dutch Bird saw all the insulation and picked up on me calling it a 70's disco club 'Oh!' she said 'la boîte de nuit du père noël!!!' (Father Christmas's nightclub!!)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Neil is working like mad and has repaired the wall above the barn door and with Keith's help has reconstructed what was a pigeon house above the barn door and made it look much more attractive.

You may be wondering why there is a spray bottle with 'no cat wee here' written on it. That was originally a concoction put together by a friend of ours, who swore that it would stop our elderly cat using the entire house as a litter tray. Although we miss our old cat Romey we don't miss that annoying little habit and the bottle is now just being used as a water spray.

The next photo is Neil insulating the ceiling. As you can see the work is going on into the night!!

Finally my good mate Judi came to visit and we had a lovely hack out on Sunday. Although Judi and I were suffering rather badly with hangovers, we were still smiling in this photograph!!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you - and here the New Year has bought a new spurt of activity. Jason has somehow encouraged some good friends of his to come over for a working party next month, one of whom is an expert in heating, so the race is on to build the stud work for the upstairs rooms so that we can have a chance of getting our heating installed.

Here are some pictures of the bathroom being built. Do you really think I have a chance of having a bath this year?

Well in any case it is fantastic seeing more progress. Neil always said once our first floor was in he would be able to make great strides. The weather is abysmal at the moment so at least he is warm and dry working on the house. Unlike myself, getting soaked on a regular basis and yesterday getting pushed over into the mud by a very large horse. Occupational hazard I guess!!!