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Chanson de la Semaine

To avoid repeating myself on a weekly basis and lose the interest of our regular fan, I will point you towards Week 68 in the Archive for an explanation of why I am suddenly featuring a piece of music each week. Incidentally, the Archive Pics with a little audio icon on them are the ones which will have this little feature..beginning, of course, with Week 68.

It's been a couple of months since anything's occured chez nous. Partly I've been reluctant to bug the one fan with the minutiae of our day to day, and we've also been so bogged down with the tasks in hand that I've not been particularly full of beans à propos updating the blog. Well, after completing the roof, of which more below, I'm brimming over with energy. Right - the song for the occasion is called 'Turning The Ship Around'. When I wrote it I'd reached a bit of a cynical and jaded pass, and I was torn between a kind of tempting-fate-bring-it-on-type mood and a real feeling (though I didn't want to tempt fate too much and admit it) that things were really getting better (they were I hasten to add). I guess, the ship did slowly turn around over the intervening years, something a bit more Mersey tug than Titanic, but it all gets there in the end.

You've probably already seen a blue or yellow band at the top of the page asking if you want to run this program and showing a 'Run Active X' tab. Click on that and then click on 'Run' and a little CD player should open below the song title. Press Play, Stop or Whatever.

'Turning The Ship Around'

Week 121
The Barn Roof

We've had a bit of a mini adventure within the big adventure recently. Friends of ours, Ed and Malc, who run a Chambres d'Hôte (B + B) asked if we'd give them a hand retiling their barn roof. They had a guy who was staying at the place on a work-for-board-and-lodging basis and he'd had some experience reroofing French rooves. The idea being that we help him. We did that for a few weeks until he had a little episode, got down from the roof and was never seen again. So....we were left to finish off the roof at the back of the barn and more crucially the ridge tiles at the top which could only be fitted and mortared in when the respective sides were complete. I am happy to say that the job is now done, although it felt at one point that it was never going to end. We can now return to our day job and hopefully finish the house this century. Needless to say all the pics are below


On our days off from the barn roof (when it rained) we continued with the house. We've been plasterboarding the upper floor and getting rid of the 70s silver lung effect. First job was raking out the gable wall and then repointing it, from then on we've been cutting wierd and wonderful plasterboard shapes to accomodate the twists and turns of the beams as well as levelling the uneven roof surface with batons and counter-batons. It's starting to look like a real room.


After working on the barn during the day we've been putting in a couple of hours outside to begin the process of levelling the paths and areas of hardstanding. I didn't take a before pic so I've stuck in one from the other year. We did have to move a load of earth, but now it's level and we're starting to put down old roof tiles on edge to act as a floor for our wood store. We'll also edge the lawn with them. When our neighbour Roger saw us using the tiles like that he nearly had a fit. He said they're too expensive to waste in that way. We did point out that they're too degraded to use on a roof, but obviously not as far as he's concerned. Incidentally we've inherited a load of tiles from the barn roof adventure. Those in good condition we'll use to re-roof the toolshed, which we hope to extend and those in poorer condition for the paths.

The Wave Machines

We had a visit from our favourite band last month. Carl, Tim, James and Vidar with tour manager Hanno and sound man Paul, otherwise known as The Wave Machines. They were touring in central France and were en route for a gig in Paris. They managed to spend a lazy sunday afternoon eating, drinking and chatting and did an impromptu rehearsal in the garden. You can see a video of it below, the quality is pretty grim and it takes for ever to stream but you get the general idea.



George is a local stray cat who's been coming to the door for the last eighteen months. He's grown from a skinny waif to the local hard boy. He's still pretty feral and doesn't let us get too close but he's happy to sit on the back step all night listening to conversation and the TV. He sleeps in the toolshed in the winter and the greenhouse when it's not too hot.