9 days to go…

Worked all day. No progress on the gite. The clock is ticking. Advertisements

10 days to go…

Have just been tiptoing around the house thinking that someone was trying to break in, only to realise that the banging sounds I can hear are fireworks echoing around the valley. Panic over. Thank goodness. I didn’t relish the prospect of lying in bed wondering whether or not the boogie man was going to get…

11 days to go…

Nanny Betty left today. Her five-day holiday had been extended by a week after she fell and hurt her arm. We had been having such a lovely time as well – a trip to A&E was not what we had on our agenda (even if the doctor was very good looking – her words not…

The deadline approaches (and we’re not ready)

In 12 days, we have 20 friends from the UK arriving for our house warming party. For a week, both house, gite and garden will be full of adults and children all wanting kitchens to cook in and somewhere comfortable to sleep. Not unreasonable demands. I’m just not sure I’m going to be able to…

I wandered lonely as a cloud…

There may have been a grey sky this morning as I went about my daily wandering but that didn’t detract from the beauty of my route. All around the house, the fields are awash with yellow – the sunflowers are in full bloom and it is a glorious sight. The hedgerows are splashed with red…

Painting woes

Yesterday was a frustrating day. I had fully intended to have the bathroom in the gite painted and ready for the toilet and shower to be installed, but it was not to be. Dennis has done a sterling job on it so far. Somehow in between entertaining visitors, sorting out our new windows, installing new…

Local walks: Bors-de-Montmoreau

Two sets of friends visiting over the Easter holidays gave us the excuse to take some time off, and to pack the weekend full of activities. Over four days we managed to cram in a dinner party for 10 people, the 15km walk to Champagne Fontaine, three meals out, stand-up paddle boarding (more on this…

The adventures of Donkey

Once upon a time, there was a donkey called Donkey. He lived all alone in a field in France. His house was dirty, his water trough was full of sludge and he was very lonely. Then one day a group of crazy English people turned up with a wheelbarrow full of straw. They set about clearing…

Local walks: DeeDee’s in Champagne Fontaine

If one is to go on a walk, there should be a purpose to that walk. It might be to get a different destination, to see a particular attraction, or to test ones fitness, but there should always be a goal. One of my favourite reasons for going for a walk is to blow away…

A (new) window into our world

We have made the first big purchase for the main house. New windows! Our first winter here was freezing, and neither of us fancied spending another one in a house that gets so cold you can see your breath. There are two reasons why this is the case: no insulation and a knackered, old heating…

Recipe: Giant vol-au-vent stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and goats cheese

  “Oh my god, the oven’s on fire!” This wasn’t quite the statement I had intended on making while cooking Den’s birthday meal. In my mind, I would flit around the kitchen, looking all chic and glamorous while creating a culinary masterpiece – a bit like Nigella would. What actually happened was that I got distracted…

Too fat to run? Not me!

Hands up if every January, “lose weight and get fit” are among your new year resolutions but come February you’ve lost nothing but the motivation. Yup, me too. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, I don’t seem to be able to lose weight. For example, three weeks in India at the start of…