Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The 'Oh Jesus' bench...

As my posting of bench photos on twitter continues under the hashtag #MyFaveBench I remembered that I never did get around to posting about the 'Oh Jesus' bench when recounting an Issac Newton moment from the same garden.
Irish friends of ours have this bench around a tree in their garden just outside La Guerche. We were told it was called the 'Oh Jesus' tree,when we asked why, we were told that as the complicated design around the tree was being constructed by the men of the house the phrase was heard uttered on more than one occasion! 

Monday, 30 March 2020

Wind of change...

With the wind picking up here in Southern Touraine our beautiful cherry blossom in the courtyard of our cottage will soon fall like snow and sadly will only have been  seen by us and in images here. 

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Looking forward to normal service being resumed but could be a long way off.

We are currently trying to shop locally but as we are now entering our second 2 week 'lockdown' here in France I made the trip over to Intermarche in Yzeures-sur-Creuse to stock up with items we can't get at the village shop and to try and minimise the number of times one or other of us has to leave the house. It was quite surreal with only one other car on the road.I was stopped by the gendarmerie en-route and had my paperwork checked out. I chose to go at 12.30 thinking most of our French neighbours would be enjoying their lunches and it was a good decision as the store was very quiet with perhaps around 12 customers all of whom kept their distance but it was as quick as I could get around and back out as it felt very uncomfortable.Felt for the cashiers as they sat behind their perspex shields wearing their PPE - probably better placed than some UK nurses though! Took the shot above as I was leaving the the retail park.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Thursday, 26 March 2020

A sign of solidarity...

The church bells rang out here in Barrou last night and all over France, as a sign of solidarity.People were aske to place a candle in a window on the street - we don't have one so put it on our gate post

Monday, 23 March 2020

hairball idea...

During this self isolation period the fact that normal service re hair cutting are not going to be available many will be adopting a self-service approach which for me will not be a problem as with little to work with on top I have been doing this myself for years. Sadly the hairball in the above pic. is what constitutes a haircut for me - the walnut is there only for perspective!

Don't know why but made me think of this...have a good, if not 'fantastic' day!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Trying to bring a little brightness...

Some of the colours from our recent visit to the market in 

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Provence. The lady above was happy to have her pic taken as she produced more stock for her stall!


Saturday, 21 March 2020

Survival packs come in many forms...

We brought a survival pack back from our sojourn to the south to help us cope with our period of  social distancing - you know normally we would love to be sharing it with you. 
BTW are we the only peeps who have never seen an episode of 'Game of Thrones'?

Friday, 20 March 2020

Making a grand entrance...well perhaps not so grand

Another job for me at the Provence project was to make a secure entrance from the basement garage,the only way in, to the main house. Kept me out of mischief!

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Boxing clever?

Another task I was set at the Provence project was to conceal this rather ugly arrangement for sharing the heat from the house's wood-burner to the upper levels.

Here it is in the new kitchen (by others)

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

And for my next trick...with apologies to non-DIYers

More from my Provence project - after modifying my steps to suit crooked wall on the right I was blessed with the ability to form a new one square to the wall on the left...needed for kitchen fitters but guess what? - the beam running off the wall was not running square to it!  
Had to bring my engineering skills to the fore...
Interestingly a professional had said that the only way to do it was to leave a gap between wall and beam!

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Ripping out and making good

My second job at the Provence, Monmoiron project was to rip out the old kitchen and form a small office/pantry that would also provide one of the walls for the new steps.
As anyone who has worked in old French properties will know,trying to find a square wall to work from can be difficult - and that was the case here.My already formed steps had to be modified to accommodate the misalignment.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Taking steps to make access safer...Mormoiron project.

One of the projects I undertook here in the Mormoiron  house renovation was to replace what was, unbelievably, an architect-designed stair. Francoise had come up with a plan to replace the old kitchen and form new stairs which would be both safer and more aesthetically pleasing - I had to turn it into reality.

With the help of a good builder's site  on the internet I came up with the design and made replacement steps. If only it had been that simple...more to follow!

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Taking steps to return home to Touraine...

We are heading home tomorrow after a great stay here with family but you may not be surprised to here that I did a little work while here...more on that later. 

R&F are renovating another house in the village - it is the one to the left of the lovely four-storey house in the background above and he had a couple of projects they needed my help with.
We will miss Monmoiron and Provence but are looking forward to being back in Southern Touraine in these uncertain times.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Tough year ahead methinks...

courtyard of Loire Valley holiday cottage vacation rental
Our first three early season bookings for our holiday cottage have all, understandably, cancelled - two from USA and one from Australia...it is going to be a tough old year!

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Here comes the sun...

Hope it is nice where you are, we are having  lunch alfresco today ,like yesterday, as the temperature has climbed to the mid twenties here in Provence.