Growth

It’s been a cold start to the new year here in Northumberland, but there are signs that whilst spring may not be just around the corner, it is certainly on the horizon. We’re starting to see the green points of snowdrops pushing up through the soil, and through last year’s leaf litter. It’s our first … Continue reading Growth

A Farewell to France

Despite the very best efforts of the French weather, we managed to move as planned last week. It was touch and go for a while with the removal van in the snow, but all ended well, and we are now safely settled in our new home in Northumberland. We left with a lovely reminder of … Continue reading A Farewell to France

Grahy 2011

Some thoughts about, and pictures from, 2011, our first full year of owning our French house.

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2011 was the first full year we owned our french house. We had arranged for a local builder to install a fosse septique, a bathroom and other improvements. Which he did during a very cold January through to March. So cold in fact that in February our neighbours contacted us to say the temperature was -18C at midday.

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We came over for our first visit after the work had been completed in early April. For a very sunny week of gardening and cleaning.

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This was also the visit of the giant hailstones.

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On our next visit in September we tackled the overgrown terrace with its grindstone “table”.

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Finally in 2011 we had our first Christmas at Grahy with a heavily improvised christmas tree.

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Grahy 2010

Some photographs from 2010, when we first bought our house here in Grahy.

750 metres

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This is the house as we first saw it in July 2010. It was all very overgrown!

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The interior of the main house was used as a studio by the past owner and their many artworks.

We finally signed the Act de Vente just before Christmas and this time the area looked a bit different…

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The interior looks a bit bare and featured the original open plan and open to the lounge bathroom and toilet. But we managed to get a good fire going.

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We closed the house up and returned to the UK. Little knowing that the worst winter in many years was about to hit France.

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weekly photo challenge: local (produce)

We've had very mixed fortunes in the garden this year. Some things, like the courgettes and squash, have done really well, producing far more than we could reasonably eat. Meanwhile, the potatoes were a bit of a disaster, and we've had no late fruiting raspberries at all. Today was a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon, and … Continue reading weekly photo challenge: local (produce)

weekly photo challenge: details

I successfully grew several of these echinops plants from seed sown in spring last year, and they are finally just about to burst into flower. They are commonly know as the globe thistle, and when they do eventually bloom, each stalk with be topped with a ball of tiny deep blue flowers. In fact, if you look … Continue reading weekly photo challenge: details

where the bee dances

Our lavender is looking really splendid this year, much to the delight of this enormous bee. I assume it's a bumble bee of some sort, but I have failed badly with bee identification in the past, so I'm unwilling to commit myself! Please do leave a comment if you know exactly what sort of bee … Continue reading where the bee dances

flowers and bees

We are continuing to leave areas of our garden a little wilder this year, in order to provide food for bees and butterflies. It's still a little early for many of the butterflies, although I did see a swallowtail a few days ago, but we do have a lot of bees visiting, and hopefully pollenating … Continue reading flowers and bees

blossom time

As April progresses, more and more blossom is staring to appear, both in the garden and the surrounding woods. In fact. some of the early cherry blossom down in the local town of Brioude is already finished. Blossom time is so fleeting, it's lovely to be able to capture it on camera. I thought I'd … Continue reading blossom time