Sunday, 7 March 2010

April to September 2008 - Part 21

DIY in the house was not much of a priority over the summer. I put a lot of time into preparing the garden, so had a good supply of vegetables as a result. The asparagus beds were installed in accordance with the textbooks, but the results cannot be tasted for 2 years as we have to allow the plants to get established. We’ll wait and see what we get!!

As there was a lot of daylight coming through gaps in the tiles covering the barn roof (also water when it rained!), we had decided that it was time to get it fixed and in the process, add some roof windows, which would provide natural illumination for the three upstairs rooms which will be added when we have more money. These will comprise one more spare bedroom, an office and an art studio for me, so I can get back to painting pictures rather than walls for a change. I also love doing all kinds of arts and crafts, including making jewellery. I hope that when we retire permanently to France, maybe I will find some time engage in these hobbies again.

We also had several visitors in that summer, so a considerable time was spent travelling and viewing the many varied and interesting sights in Poitou Charente.

Nigel managed to split his leave up into 3 visits between visitors and during these trips we did manage to do some work on the house but we also tried to relax, cycle and enjoy the sun.

April - Lets hope we have no rain for a while as the roof of the barn is now under repair!

The roof windows being inserted.

Our neighbour brought his tractor round to help the roofers lift the new tiles after the waterproof membrane had been laid.

Finally finished and although we did get some rain during work it did not cause too many problems.

Meanwhile I managed to plant the asparagus and keep the lawn tidy ready for our first visitor of the year.

Early June and my first visitor arrived, meanwhile the garden had been doing well and we had some good fresh salad to enjoy.

Liz and myself
Liz at La Rochefoucald Chateau
We found an amazing restaurant in La Rochefaucauld where we enjoyed a six course meal and a bottle of wine all for €12 each.

The family then arrived later in June for three weeks while nephew Sam who was spending his gap year in France drifted in from time to time.
My father-in-law (Dad),  brother-in-law (Ray) and sister-in-law (Hilary), this was the first time that the barbecue had been in use since its arrival in France.
Dad at Brantome.
Dad enjoying a good meal with a glass of wine at Aubeterre.
Dad, nephew Sam, Hilary and Ray waiting for lunch at Cognac.
Sunflowers looking towards the sun, the fields en route were just full of them.

The new wood burner was installed 1 July, the heat now stays in the lounge and does not disappear up the chimney.


August, Nigel came over for a short period and we fitted in some cycling and a visit to Île d'Oléron which is France's largest island after Corsica.  We drove back to the UK together for a couple of weeks. I then returned to France early September with yet another car full of boxes.  Will they ever come to an end!
Crossing the bridge to Île d'Oléron and on the island.


September I only had one visitor, Simon, but we managed to cover a lot of ground in a few days and see many places.  Simon bought several cases of wine and a couple of good bottles of Cognac which, as he had flown, over I planned to bring back with me in October.  Nigel flew over a week before I was due to leave and we drove back together having our usual stop over with our friends near Boulogne.

Simon out for an early morning run on the day he left.  I might add that the Hunters were out in force while he was jogging so I suspect he may have speeded up trying to get back home before he became the hunted!

To see Part 1 In the Beginning click Here  


  1. Know I can put a face on names you gave me when we talked by phone

  2. Thanks Sébastien for the comment. Watch this space for more pictures as they are taken.


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