Friday, 12 October 2012

The Truck & the Box go their separate ways

Finally, today Paul & Tracey’s first home (the Box) was separated from the Truck! The word was out in Puycaquier that today was the day, the ground was just right –hardened by summer sun- so the crane didn’t sink, and there were plenty of straps, ropes and helping hands for the task.

it went from this







to this    P1040785

then, with some help from the van, the truck moved …


and, finally, the box was put in its new resting place


Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the scrap metal guys return and remove the truck –apparently its not going anywhere as the clutch has gone!


All this was done in the wonderful October sunshine that’s still with us –although we have had a couple of brief, very wet, storms. The tomatoes and french beans continue to ripen and Paul has pulled the first parsnips.

And the stone wall is looking very good, with pointing almost as far as the front of the house … well done Paul and Tracey for all your hard work this week.

Monday, 8 October 2012

A special garden for the dogs and other stuff

I’ve been out and about with my camera recording the changes at Enmatte in the past few months and days. We now have a dog proof garden under the old oak tree –very useful at reducing the number of times we are distracted by the task of looking for Macaroon or looking for Crumble.



When the dogs go walk about they are almost always looking for the cats –an impossible quest as Tom and Geo are wise to this activity and know where to go to not be found. But that doesn’t stop the dogs trying and the new fence gives them freedom and limits!



  There’s lots of toys for them to play with –but one small stick was very much in demand this afternoon.




Work is progressing on the stone wall. Paul has fixed the power hose so the water goes where it should and importantly not all over him.



After the cleaning comes the pointing –the stone looks so good once this is done. P1040764

Today is hot and humid –wonderful weather for October. The sunflower harvest continues, Paul’s tomatoes are still ripening and (not good this) the cabbages are populated by Cabbage White butterflies. The wasps continue to be a bother despite a special trap and most likely attracted by the fragrance of Peach & Vanilla Jam Paul made last week. And late last night I did battle with a very noisy mosquito –no bites, thanks to the wipes I bought for the South American jungle and bought home untouched.

Its market day in Fleurance tomorrow and I’m hoping there will still be soft fruit for sale –peaches for breakfast is just the most wonderful way to stretch the summer.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Moving week … its wonderful on the 1st floor

I’m not usually at Enmatte in October but this has not been a ‘normal’ summer, Anyway, I am here at last, the sun has been shining since I arrived and best of all I have moved into the 1st floor space. Its almost impossible to describe just how wonderful it all is … spacious, light, airy, full of character and now full of me! The large pile of boxes of books and other stuff is no more, although more book shelves are needed (no surprise there, I hear you say),



I have spread all my sewing stuff across the middle space and sorted out an office space, and the sitting room is a calm, quiet place.  P1040747

One of the best things about this space is the mix of furniture from different places i have known all my life. I am writing this on our dining room table bought in 1967, over there is a small table that used to be at the top of the stairs in my Grandmother’s house, behind me is the camphor wood trunk that belonged to John’s parents. Two of the bookcases once belonged to John’s Grandparents and I have a chair from their house in my dressing room. In front of me is the brass chess table we bought in Iran, Peggy’s Singer sewing machine … it makes for a memorable and practical melange of everything a home needs.

Then there is the bedroom,  through the sliding doors …….



and (very posh this) a dressing room. The wet room has a great shower, the best lit loo ever and the tiling is, naturally, Tracey’s finest. 


Paul’s electrician skills are so very good –the lighting scheme he designed and built for this space is perfect & Tracey has built me a wardrobe that has swallowed all my clothes in a way that means  I can see everything behind the large mirrored doors. Clearly, I am in love with it all.



More pictures to follow ,,, will try to also post some of little Macaroon who is the best puppy ever, and is growing up fast. He is slowly learning what belongs to me up here  -my slippers and the content of the waste paper bin - and what is his to play with. Crumble is quite adult beside him, and has made the spot at the end of my terrace her very own. It is a joy to be greeted by them each morning as if I had been away from weeks not just overnight.

And the work continues. Paul and Tracey have been cleaning the west facing stone wall of the house today, ready for pointing. I’ll try to post some pics of that this coming week.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

We have floor–wall 2 wall

Thanks to Tracey and Paul’s persistent hard work the first floor of this wonderful house now has an oak floor –soft to walk on, transmitting very little noise downstairs –this is gong to be a great space to live in.







Sanding and oiling are next, skirting boards need to be added plus a few cupboard doors. Its amazing how much light the floor level windows and door let in … probably no need for any skylights, just a few lights to work and read by. 

Meanwhile, Mack the puppy continues to be a joy, he met the vet yesterday and went out for his first proper walk today wearing a very posh collar! Despite a large box of toys he much prefers our slippers and the broom … but he’s learning what ‘not yours’ means. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

A new member of the family

Welcome to Mack, or Macca or more properly Macaroon & I’m not even going to attempt his ‘real’ name! He is a very well socialised, perhaps a little plump, eight week old English Staffi  -presently snoring gently on the space my laptop leaves on my lap. Cookie and Crumble have been very welcoming, only a little overwhelming at times but very happy to play and share their favourite spots. 

Mack & Paul April 2012

Mack & Tracey April 2012


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Only 500 metres left …

Its hard work, there are bruises and splinters, there is noise and wonderful progress.


The floor is out of James’ room and alongside the top of the stairs –with lots of craft needed to get a good finish on the last step   - well done Tracey.


As I write more insulation is being pumped in the space between the ceiling and the floor –the stack of bales of compressed newspaper is diminishing. A good use of one sort of print media that we quickly discard. I’m thinking of John as I write –his newspaper habit was legend and he would have been so proud of all this work.

Briefly other news –overnight we have had the best sort of rain …soft and gentle on all the young plants. Paul has forgiven me for pulling up the wrong spring onions –I now know where the ones for eating are! My quilt is less a pile of small pieces and more a pile of small squares and yes they were a few days late but the homemade hot cross buns got top marks. I don't expect there will be any left for tomorrow! Off now to do some more work on my poetry and then make pizza for lunch.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The start of the cover up …

I’m writing this to the beautiful sound of floorboards being hammered, strapped and nailed into place. The pictures tell the story so far –lots of planning, hard work and the occasional fall of dust. I’ve been taking photos to record what is under what boards –some places light fittings, elsewhere insulation.










I’m also making tea, cooking for the workers and sometimes getting in the way as my bedroom looks more and more like a place to move into –and, as always, once a floor goes down, a much bigger room  than before. Cookie and Crumble keep a watch on it all. Yesterday we 3 went out for our usual along the hedgerow walk admiring the blossom and young wheat that now really does need rain. Cloudy today but no sign of rain yet.  To be continued …..

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Spring 2012 update

I’m writing this inside away, yes away from the March midday heat! Not sure if this is early summer, just a good spring but its certainly making up for the icy spell in February that gave many plants and trees a shock they may never recover from. Its a case of watching and waiting, seeing past the impact of the sub sub zero temperatures on the eucalyptus, passiflora etc.  lots of brown leaves and peeling bark at the moment.

The fields are vibrant with young wheat and hedgerow blossom –but rain is needed for the crops to continue to flourish. As usual Cookie is taking advantage of the sun out on the front terrace currently a work space for the laying of the floor


Yes, after lots of work on the professional plumbing by Paul to improve access to key pipes and construction of  James’ bathroom it is almost time. So glad that I am here to become chief tea maker and cook for the ‘workers’ over the next week as my rooms are given their finishing touch. Some early pictures below –lots of levelling, cleaning up the dust and fitting cork soundproofing strips happening today. I’ll keep the camera handy and continue the story -OK its a bore for most but I am so excited to see the plan for the space working out so well.


Friday, 13 January 2012

… switches on the wall

In fact, we have six switches at the top of the stairs –brushed satiny grey steel- elegant and ready for the light fittings we are still pondering over .Switches so nice I had to take a photo …



I just hope I can learn which switch works which light in a shorter time than it has taken me to know which switch to press to get light in the family room!  Blinking lights comes to mind whenever I try to turn them on and off .. and here are only four to choose from there. 

Paul is busy with the plumbing for James’ wet room …  and with the floor well rested, next week the fitting can begin. I am trying not to get too excited but I man be sleeping up there next time I’m here… WOW


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

the floor is resting

Transferred form Tim’s between Christmas and New Year the oak floor boards are getting used to their final home … adapting to the air on the first floor ready to be laid. The wood pale, smooth and smells woody and wonderful.

. IMG_0085

Tracey has diligently cleaned the ceiling –floor space and taped the light fittings in place, Lots of discussion about position and type of lights for the big space up there –we’ve all seen the ones we like, as usual there are strong opinions  and some are excluded on cost grounds alone as we need several!


and the plumbing for James’ shower room progresses ….