Monday, November 5, 2012

Swimming Pool Works

After a number of years saving up the money for these works, we are finally in a position to do away with the manual pool cover. We are going to install an automatic underground cover, operated by remote control. This will avoid all of the hassle of taking the cover off first thing in the morning and putting it back on late at night. At the same time, we are going increase the paving to the farmhouse side of the swimming pool.

The first task is to move the cherry tree back by 5 metres or so. This has been a fraught task, with Mrs. C. anxiously looking on, worried as to whether the tree will survive. The tree has been severely pruned back to increase its chances of survival and a large hole dug for its roots.

Here it is in its new position

The north side has been dug out and the top soil stocked for later use. The paving to the deep end of the pool has been Karchered clean and the slabs lifted and stocked onto pallets ready to be relaid. The sand and chippings to the deep end have been excavated down to level and the material laid to the north side awaiting tracking in and levelling.

A week's break for the Autumn half term: works recommence very soon .....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Les Demoiselles

Well the worst of the winter weather has now passed, including the Mother of all storms, and work has now started. Hardcoring of the floor and then its concrete slab. And guess what .... a lovly little hidden niche discovered in the fireplace wall. No gold coins inside though, alas.....

Work continues at a pace with the "doublage" - inner brick skin - going up. Airing cupboard now built and plastering started .......

revealing the old stones of the window and sink...............

the old staircase being returned to its original setting ..............

and then built under to make the broom cupboard .............

....... the lovely old stones and fireplace, joints raked out ready for repointing.............

...... the work continues apace with the lovely new little window completing the outside stonework and plastering well underway upstairs .............

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wedding of Number 1 Son

Well ..... cometh the man, cometh the hour.

July 25th 2008 was the special day that our son, Adrian, married his georgeous fiancée Lara Orfei at the Guildhall, Windsor. The weather was perfect: a beautiful warm summer's day. The magnificent setting of the reception room at the Guildhall made the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.

Lara was handed over to Adrian by her father, Alberto, who took her beautiful bouquet.

The bride was dressed in a stunning Karen Millen satin dress with red (very) high-heeled shoes and with beads in her hair.

The groom wore a hand-made pinstriped suit. The bride's mother wore a silk dress and red high-heeled shoes, purchased no doubt from some very chic outlet in Brazil.

The exchanging of vows and rings was the emotional highlight with everybody fighting back the tears.

The groom's mother was dressed in a sequined Fotini dress with a matching fascinator made by FunkyFascinators.

Following the ceremony, the newly-married, their parents and guests assembled outside just in time for the march-past of the Queen's Guards after the Changing of the Guards ceremony: magic. We all then went to The Riverside Hostelrie on the banks of the Thames for champagne and a light lunch.

The bride and groom entertained their parents to a wonderful dinner in the restaurant at Berry's Restaurant, Taplow House Hotel, Taplow.

All in all, a day that I will never forget.

Our thanks go to:-
The Guilhall, Windsor for a lovely, light-hearted ceremony.
The Queen for sharing the Household Cavalry.
The Riverhouse for being so accommodating.
FunkFascinators for a perfectly matching headpiece for Bunty.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weather Disruptions

Well, the weather these last few weeks has been absolutely glorious here at Domaine de Fumel with temperatures in the low 20s. Grass cutting is well underway and trees have started showing their new leaves with the daffodils bobbing underneath.

This has naturally precluded sitting here at the computer updating this blog: however, needs must and an update here follows.

Upstairs in La Ferme, the bathroom tiling is now complete and awaits grouting: pictures to follow once this is done. Benefitting from the fine weather, works has begun on the passageway through La Ferme, which will link the parking to the swimming pool area, thereby obviating the need for our holidaymakers to go round other gites to access the pool. This work has meant demolishing the original doorway to enlarge the opening: the reveals are then being rebuilt with new corner stones, which will make the passageway appear like the original building and not a man-made doorway.
You can see here the initial demolition of the right hand reveal and in the foreground, the collection of corner stones ready for its rebuild, together with the doorway to the "Pitstop". Pitstop, which was put into service last year with great success (as some of you already know), is a small area where holidaymakers who arrive on early flights into Bergerac can put their suitcases, prepare sandwiches and make a cup of tea, whilst their gite is prepared: similarly, those who will leave on late flights can vacate their gite in the morning but stay at Domaine de Fumel until ready to leave. Pitstop also has a small bathroom with w.c and wash hand basin, equipped with mirror and hair-dryer. All in all a perfect solution to the problems of precise timing of arrival and departure and getting the gites prepared.
Time will have to be spent on getting our "Themed" holidays underway. We have started with our proposed "Walking Holidays" (see the link on our Web page) and we are thinking of doing some wine tour holidays, coupled with tasting other locally grown and made specialities of the region. Your comments here would be helpful.

That's all folks 'til the next time

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bedroom works to La Ferme

Works started late last year with the dormer window built and the ceilings plasterboarded out. Insulation, partition wall to bathroom and first fix plumbing were all installed just before Christmas.

Return to work in the NewYear allowed fitting of sanitaryware and board jointing to ceilings and walls.

Unfortunately, I have now moved on to an outside contract, so works have slowed to odd days. Still, Monsieur Peyridieu, our gifted joiner & carpenter, has built and installed the new staircase, all built from solid ash. Beautiful. Tiling to the shower has been started, so Mrs. C. is happy.

Things will have to keep moving forward as we have a group in the gites come April!!!

Photos should give an idea of progress.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Last year's ramblings

This year has sped by, as they all do, each seeming to go more quickly than the last, so our personal theory is that it is not global warming but greater friction that is heating the atmosphere as the world spins faster and faster.
This higher velocity gave us strange weather this year: the French swear that it is because we had 13 moons but that only supports the spinning theory, room to pack more in.
We had fab weather in April, as you did in G.B., yes I know but ours was better! At the end of April we had a small late, late Xmas party and were swimming at midnight on 25th (some, no names etc. without clothes!!!) Then it went downhill and we had the majority of the first half of summer with two fine and sunny days, then 2 mediocre and 2 wet and miserable ones. It did pick up after a while but was never great until September. Now we have the normal high pressure with dry air, sunny days, beautiful sunsets then freezing overnight, -7° the lowest so far.
Time for Dave to get playing “In the bleak mid-winter” on his piano…..
Well, it only took 3 goes but this should give a taste of things.