Thursday, 31 January 2008

Welcome Clarabelle

I have learned a lot today, and there have been a few changes to my blog. I have been speaking with my daughter because she is rather "techie" and she has been an absolute star. She isn't a blogger so some of the things I was asking her, she didn't understand, so, being the wonderful daughter she is, she has become a blogger so she can help her aged mother. How on earth she has managed to create such a beautiful site in such a short time I have no idea, but please visit her blog she is clarabellesprinkles. I am so proud of her I could burst.

Richard has finished the staircase today with Ian and they have made a brilliant job of it. At least we can now get up into the attic of the barn and begin to get our heads around the fact that "this is going to be our guest suite". The fun part now of planning and building mud walls, laying floors, putting in a bathroom etc. Did I mention this was going to be a long project?

I would like to say to everyone of you who have left me comments, I am making my way through your blogs and they are fantastic, and Clare talked me through how to send my comments today, so I will be with you in the near future. Does anyone else take this long to get their head around this or is it just me? Perhaps best not to answer that.

Well I think my head is "full up" now and needs a bit of a rest so I will get my knitting out I think. Talk to you all again soon.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

What a Night

Gosh, talk about new experiences!! I thought it all happened with the building work in this house of ours, but we went round to some friends for a meal last night and they are quite musical and have various instruments, guitars, saxaphones, flute, recorders, tin whistles and I'm not sure what else. Well after the meal, these came out and we had a bit of a sing-song and I said I had always wanted to play the saxaphone and he let me have a try. Amazing. At first I couldn't get a note or sound out of it, but after a while I was getting some sounds and loving every minute of it. Once you get to "feel" the reed in your mouth and know how to hold it, you start to get the hang of it. I was so chuffed to be able to have the chance and he has even said that I can bring one of them home to practice. How cool is that. Mind you, it's a good job we live in a quiet area with not many neighbours!! All in all, it was a fabulous evening and we haven't laughed so much for a long long time. Richard was even singing and letting himself go, he never does that. Could have been the wine of course, I was nominated driver so he could indulge for a change.

Today he has been getting on with the staircase, though he did have a bit of a headache this morning......bless..... It is looking good and a very good friend came round to help him so they got a lot done. In fact Richard wouldn't have been able to do it at all without Ian so we are very grateful.

I thought I would show you a photo of the view we have from our garden. Of course, photos don't do it justice, but those are the pyrenees and we can look at them while sitting in bed having our cup of tea in the morning.

I still haven't got the page how I want it to look but I will keep trying. There is such a lot to learn and my poor brain hasn't worked so hard on technical things for a long time, so it must be good for me. I wonder if I have got any links to other blogs yet, I will have to go and view.

My daughter noticed that I have missed a day in posting a blog so it's good to know that my family read all about our antics. Hello girls, I will try not to embarrass you too much in my writings.

Monday, 28 January 2008

I mustn't get disheartened

Hi everyone,

I have got over my excitement of receiving all my lovely comments and I thank you for telling me how to get the links to other blogs. As you can see from my posting today, I haven't managed it. This will be a short post because I know there is a sledge hammer close by and this computer may just have the feel of it :-) I thought I would show you the before and after pictures of the walls in our kitchen. You will see from the first one that it was just plain lumpy lime plaster and when we took this back to smooth it off a bit, the second picture is what we found underneath. Obviously we treated all the wood, then filled and lime washed in between the timber. The timber work is called colombage and we were so thrilled to find it, a real bonus. Also, because this colombage is in the kitchen, it must also go up the stairs onto the landing as well, so that is going to be a HUGE task when we come to do that, but it will look fantastic. This was a really gloomy room and I didn't like it at all but now we have this feature wall it has made all the difference. I wonder what other treasures we will find hidden in this house.

Today was a major one for us because we obtained french number plates for our car. Doesn't sound much does it, but somehow it is quite scarey. We needed to do this because of insurance coverage and we are in France now more than we are in England so it needed to be done. How strange to see our english car with french number plates.

We were watching a Hen Harrier Hawk in the garden this afternoon. Quite amazing and the agility of this bird was incredible. I think it was a Hen Harrier, judging by my book. Our deer were back this morning as well, I hope they keep their heads down when the hunters come out. Actually I would go out and scare them away, the trouble is, when they are running away, they have the most beautiful white patch on their bottoms which can be seen from quite a distance.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

How Excited am I???

Hi everyone,

I cannot tell you how excited I was to see I have some comments on my blog. When I saw there were some there I assumed they would be from my family and friends but what a thrill to have them from people I don't know......yet. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have made me very happy, so much so that I had to call my daughter straight away and tell her, and she said she had already seen them. I was doing a little dance around the kitchen, poor Richard thought I had lost it I think. I haven't yet worked out how you have found me, but I am so glad you did and I will try and find you, just give me time.

We woke this morning to look out of the bedroom window and the snow on the Pyrenees was glistening in the sunlight. It reminded me of crystals catching the sun through a window. While we were having breakfast we were watching 5 deer in the field just beyond our garden and they were having a wonderful time. It made us think that spring is around the corner. What joy. I am going to try and post another photo, one that I love. I took this picture of our swallows who come back to the house year after year. They are an absolute joy and don't bother with us at all, they really are very tame.
Richard has been busy today making a rather large hole in the floor ready for a staircase to go in. It's surprising what you can do when you put your mind to it. We had our lunch outside again but would you believe it was too hot to sit in the sun for too long. A good day for Living the Dream?? I think so.
Well I have my picture there but I'm not too happy about my layout. I wish I was better at this or had someone beside me who knew what they were doing. You will no doubt be seeing lots of changes in the coming weeks, but I'll get there in the end.
How often should I write my blog I ask myself, I would love to write it every day, but surely people would just get bored wouldn't they? Having said that, my friend Florence, if she doesn't write every day I get really disappointed, I can't wait to read what she has been doing. When I know how, I will put a link to her blog. Don't know how to do that yet....
I have just popped back on here to say I have tried and tried to make some links to other blogs but I just can't work out how to do it. Will try again tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

To photo or not to photo, that is the question

Well here I am again and this time I will try a photo. Should it work, it is a photo of the old farmhouse we bought and are now renovating. It is a long term project, but we are in no hurry we are just enjoying doing it. The walls are mud and river stone and are about 18-20" thick, I think that is 50cm, and there are a lot of old beams inside. We are learning such a lot and now we know how to make up and use mud walling and we know we can't use normal emulsion paint indoors, we have to use a lime wash mix so the walls can breathe. Personally I will be pleased when I can do some fun bits like making quilts and things for indoors, but as yet I haven't got my sewing cupboard here and even if I did, I have nowhere to put it!! Mmmm the caravan......... Could make a very good sewing room, never thought of that.

Another glorious day today and apart from still tackling the brambles, I had my first attempt at taking hardwood cuttings from a mock orange. I can hear cries now of "It's the wrong time of year" I realise I'm a bit late but unless I try I won't know I keep telling myself, so fingers crossed on that one. I know I am going to run out of fingers soon.

Poor Richard has been scratching his head a lot today because he is not sure how to make a staircase, so we have called upon a friend who is going to come for an afternoon to get him going. What we would do without our friends here I have no idea.

At some stage I am going to count the differenct species of birds in the garden, there were so many today and they have finished 3 fat balls in two days. Also, everytime we go anywhere near the pond we hear the splashes of the frogs, so spring must be on its way. Oh the noise of the frogs when they are in full swing, they are so loud; having said that, I always go to sleep with a smile on my face because it makes me laugh. You can tell it's been warm today because the little lizards have been running up and down the outside of the house and then vanishing into every little crevise there is. There must be hundreds of the little things running about the house and we don't even know. They are so cute.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Trials and Tribulations

I wonder how many times Richard and I have asked ourselves if we have done the right thing. Does anyone know if you take the right path through your journey of life until you have tried? Today made us feel as though we had because it is January and we were outside in the garden, albeit working hard, but in glorious sunshine. To be able to sit and have a cup of tea outside at this time of year is a bonus. So yes, today we have done the right thing. Could I have said the same yesterday? I'm not so sure because my little grand-daughter in the UK fell and pushed two of her front teeth away from their roots and was taken to a specialist where he pulled the two offending teeth out without anaesthetic!! Poor little soul had to be wrapped in a sheet and held while it was being done, but after crying for a few minutes, she was fine. After talking with my daughter today and yesterday, you wouldn't know that anything had happened, apart from the fact that she won't have teeth there until she is about 6? Did I mention she is only 1 year old. That is when it hurts being so far away, but then, children and parents have to live their own lives, it certainly doesn't stop you loving them and giving them virtual hugs when you can.

When I get the hang of this blog thing, I want to put some photos on here, but I haven't worked that one out yet. I should be pleased to be able to do this second posting because yesterday I couldn't find how to do it, it had got lost in the bowels of the damn computer, but luckily, after my shouting "Where the hell are you?" it waved a little flag and here I am again. I will keep the postings short, is this short? otherwise I could get carried away.

For mums everywhere: ..even as a child you knew you were being led, and as you grew older you sometimes suspected you were being taken, but who could resist? Who wanted to miss anything? You knew she was building a glittering web to contain you but you knew you were always at its centre... and she might be controlling you but she was also completely at your service, helping you learn to work the controls that would take you farther....

Isn't that lovely, written by a lady called Adele Wiseman, born in 1928.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

My Very First Posting

Hi everyone,

Thank you for visiting my blog but I ask for you to be patient with me because I haven't a clue what I am doing. I love reading the blogs of friends of mine and various people have said I should have a go, so here I am. We haven't got a television in France so it should keep me amused, either that or the laptop will go flying out of the window. Already I have called a very dear friend to ask for help and I haven't even gone public yet!! No hope I hear you say.

We have had a beautiful day here today and even managed to sit outside to have our tea and cake with friends. Living the Dream seems to be working so far. I am off to a sewing group tomorrow so I should be able to meet with like-minded people and perhaps learn more of the language, more I say, some would be more like it.

As this is a trial post I won't bore you with any more of my news just yet, but wait until I get the hang of it, there will be no stopping me.