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July to September 2016
Chanson de la Semaine

The morose track has been changed for this more upbeat one.


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July to September 2016
Bye bye barbed wire

We complete the purchase of the extra bits of land on tuesday september 13. So, by way of a celebtration, we began taking down the barbed wire and fencing material. We did the same in the front of house and also cut down the shrub that was dominating that part of the garden.

The Veg Plot

We want to get the veg plot planted by end of november. The layout is a series of raised beds plus a trellis wall running down the length of the plot. This will support the fruit bushes and also screen off the veg plot from the rest of the garden. We've just finished making the raised beds out of shuttering and we're hoping some kind soul might volunteer to paint them in dashing shades of cuprinol pastels.

Buying materials for the build

Over the last month we've started to collect the materials we need to start the renovation. That includes window frames, sub-floors, purlins, metal wall frames, an electric fuse board and roofing membrane. At the moment it's all stored in the house. As I was photographing them two very dodgy characters turned up, so I thought I'd best get them tagged for future reference.

Revealing the Cobbles in front of the barn and planting climbers and ferns

Earlier in the year we'd revealed some of the underlying cobbles in front of the barn, so while the weather was dry and it was easy to dig up the soil layer, we continued taking up the soil along the barn fronts. Then we removed some of the stones so as to plant some climbers and replant the ferns which were already there - but growing above the stone layer. Hopefully they'll take off and continue to grow during the period that we renovate the house.

August 2016
Moving the tile cache and beginning to clear the back garden

As ever, the biggest problem we've always had when renovating, both in Les Morins and La Jarrige, is finding a place to stick materials or hardcore where it can rest permanently. That isn't always possible, as evidenced by the amount of tiles and rubble we had to move from the barns. We knew when we were stripping the barn rooves earlier on in the year that putting the reclaimed tiles in the back garden was always going to come back and bite us. But at the time we didn't have any where else to put them. did come back and bit us with a vengence. The grass had grown through them, making them invisible and difficult to extract from the tangled shoots. We finally moved them and they are now stored in the mangers of the old barn. They won't be needed until we begin work on these buildings - so the next move will be planting them on a roof. We're in the process of taking down the dividing fences between the three back gardens behind the barn. These will ultimately become one large garden. And lo and behold, mote it be. It took a winch and burning tire rubber to pull out the wire fences, which had become embedded in the grass, but out they came, eventually. The posts were equally difficult and graham dug deep and threatened them with serious retribution, and then smashed the beejeezuz out of the concrete. So for the first time in living memory the three parcels of land are now joined in one happy contiguous garden.

Emptying the house

We've dragged all of the inherited rubbish out of the house - destined for the local dump. That amounts to three beds, two bedsteads, a baby buggy, baby car seat, shower unit and miscelaneous detritus. We've brushed everywhere down ready for the next onslaught, which involves ripping down ceilings, knocking down walls and lifting floors...deep joy. All of our own stuff has been stored in the first barn.It feels like the calm before the storm. I've included the shots of all the cleared rooms with a few before shots, courtesy of Barb, as a reference for what comes next.
In pic 12 there's a shot of three tin can tops nailed into the floor of the upper landing. No idea what they're for, but they were behind the shower unit. Any ideas? A bedstead goes to the lucky winner.

The Second Barn

Finally the second barn's been cleared. We calculated that we've moved about eight ton of tiles and hardcore out of there. The stuff was on two layers and on the second layer there was a mix of old corns husks and broken tiles. We used an old bedstead to filter the two substances. The tiles have gone to create paths and a hardcore base for the hangar floor, and the corn husks have been spread over the veg plot and furture border areas. We'd intended to store stuff in here but we're a bit doubtful about the condition of the concrete upper floor and may need to investigate further. We do have adequate space in the first barn though. Most of the oddments left in both barns have been deposited at the local dump.

The Environs

A friend of ours called Alan took these amazing aerial shots of Les Morins on Friday July 15th at 9:30am. One of Alan's super powers is flight - so it always comes in useful.

The Environs

Barb took these pics of the local area. The river is the L'Anglin, which is just down the road - literally. The Castle is the fortress of Brosse, and there are a number of shots of the medieval town of St Benoit Du Sault - which is a few kilometres away. The medieval frescoes, near the bottom of the page, are in the local church of Roussines, and are a hidden and not very well known gem. The rest are just some great shots.

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