Sunday, April 4, 2010

April already!

Long time, no post!

I don't know where the time has gone but I think it's about three weeks since I last posted, apart from to add the fantastic running totals of our Knit Your Square to Give Your Share group on

Much work has been going on in the house and outside. This floor has been laid (apart from one tile that has to be cut round the staircase - Brother-in-law is coming to stay next week and will bring his special cutting tool to cut that last tile; I think we'll turn it into a sort of topping-off ceremony!).  My poor bookcase has been in every room of the house, I think.  We've had to move it yet again because it was in the way of the next project.  It contains about a quarter of my books - eventually, I have been promised a proper library arrangement to house them all but, for now, they crop up in various spare corners just waiting.....I'm longing to get them sorted once and for all.
This is the 400-year old beam that is being removed and replaced this week.  It is splitting dangerously and is currently being held up by acro props and timbers.  The room is in the attic and will eventually be a huge bedroom-en-suite which will easily take a double and two singles, ideal for when the family come to stay.  The windows look tatty at the moment but, with their wide reveals and sills, will look really good when they've been renovated.  In this room, besides the beam needing to be replaced, part of the roof also has to come off - all this is being done from tomorrow.  The attic was only ever used for storage in the days when the house was a working farmhouse. It had a rickety outside staircase as the only access, but we have put in a new staircase and landings - which meant breaking through the ceiling of the floor below and lowering the walls to increase the height of the doors - all very technical but, as one of my brothers-in-law is an architect, not too difficult to achieve!

These are the only windows at the moment but we will be adding a Velux window in the roof to let in more light during the day, and to see the stars during the night!  You can just make out the old water pipes - these are being removed this week as we add to the central-heating system up here.  The electrical wiring has all been installed - it just needs fixing once the rest of the work has been done.

We spent most of yesterday emptying this room of  boxes and spare furniture ready for the roofing work to be started.  For a change, I'm not going to be helping - we have the professionals in for the week.  I shall just keep the cuppas coming! I shall also be refurbishing myself -  I have a visit to the hairdresser planned, then a visit to the dentist and, as I'm not being called upon to assist, probably some retail therapy, too!

A Bit of the Woolly Stuff

I've also managed to fit in some crochet.  I have lots of squares crocheted, most of which need blocking, so photos will be posted when that's done.  For now, here is a photo of the lovely pattern book that Mrs Twins (see link to her fantastic blog in the 'Blogs that I Follow' sidebar) kindly sent to me, along with two balls of the most beautiful yarn in white and a lovely leafy green - it's called  Cygnet Silcaress  and is wonderful to work with. I've teamed it with a pink to make a square for Mrs Twins Blankets for the Elderly project, and something else as a surprise which will be revealed later when it's finished.

I've also made some rabbits for the grandchildren because I can't really send Easter eggs through the post - the ears were all tweaked after the photo but before they hopped across the English Channel - I hope they liked them!

Well, the sun has been shining and things have been going on outside, too. We've heard our first cuckoo, as well as the noisiest woodpecker we've ever heard here.  The swifts are gradually returning from their winter holiday in South Africa - they will stay with us until September when they will have raised their babies and taught them how to fly for their next winter holiday.  The local commune is tarmacking the track that runs through the hamlet and alongside our house but, sadly, they've had to fell two very old trees on our land to allow for widening the road to allow for emergency vehicles - this photo was taken in the rain, from our drive,  and reflects the sadness we felt at losing the trees. On the plus side, they were very old trees and may not have survived many more gale-force winds, and they will become a good source of firewood! You can see that the track is desperate to be upgraded - we have to wheel our wheelie bins along it - come rain or shine - every week. We're hoping that the widening will allow the dustcart to come to us, rather than the other way around!  Luckily, we have two entrances to ur property, so we shouldn't get hemmed  in while the work is being carried out.  The widening and re-surfacing starts on 12th April, and will include re-siting our water supply, too.

So, as you can see, I may not have been on here much lately, but there sure is a lot going on! And now I need another cuppa!  Hope you are all having a wonderful Easter.


  1. Kathy, It is all looking wonderful and sooo much achieved. No wonder you have been falling asleep in the evenings.
    We have just said Goodbye to visitors and are so enjoying the chill out time such departures leave.
    Then DMIL arrives on Friday for 2 weeks so lots of spoiling to be done in that time
    I will get her knitting though!
    So again lovely to see your wonderful progress and the photos really give me a picture of your lovely corner in France
    Love Linda

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