Rome ne s’est pas bâtie dans un jour

We’ve arrived to gorgeous weather.  It’s going to take us some time to acclimatise, although we have been having a bit of a heat wave back home in Blighty too.  It’s all hands on deck today with the building work as we have friends coming to stay for a week on Thursday.  We need to be sleeping in the new bedroom in the extension.  So it’s a case of the loo being fitted now, painting being done and then a temporary wash basin going in as well.

We’ve been madly mowing and strimming.  My son spent most of the first day we were here mowing the lawn as he was so board.  The minute we arrive he’s like, “what are we going to do” and we are like “we’ve just driven for 18 hours we want to snooze and do nothing”.  Bit of a miss-match going on.

All the plants that I put in at Easter have died and gone from this:

To this:

We will probably have to invest in some sort of watering system if we want to plant again or make sure we plant in October/November.  Although, the garden centres don’t have the same selection of plants at that time of year.

The exterior of the extension is now completed apart from the crépi.  The interior is still a work in progress.


Paul is enjoying the new view from the bedroom window.

Now we need to choose flooring and tiles.  Allons-y!

The Brexit vote

Such interesting commentary on Brexit, just had to Reblog.

Arun with a View

Blue = Remain, Red = Leave (credit: The New York Times) Blue = Remain, Red = Leave (credit: The New York Times)

[update below]

I’m stunned. And it is likewise with just about everyone I know who’s reacted so far on social media, not to mention countless others. It’s the near unanimous reaction by everyone who supported Remain, as it was so utterly unexpected. The collective shock and dismay on my English Twitter feed—which I checked every half hour until 5am, when the outcome was clear—was total. And the final result wasn’t even close. 52-48 is not a cliffhanger. So much for the betting markets, which had reinforced my confidence on the eve of the vote that Remain would win, even handily. And then there are the polling institutes, whose credibility will take another hit. This is disquieting. Political scientist Yascha Mounk, in a commentary on social media last night, noted that the polls had significantly underestimated the anti-establishment vote…

View original post 1,917 more words



With a French house you have to remember that the windows open inwards, so you can’t put bedsteads or bedside tables with lamps on them under a window if you’re short of space in a small room.  And shutters (volets) open outwards from the inside so you always need space on the outside wall for them to be folded back.  At the moment our shutters are a pale powder blue which is a very traditional look.  I really like the colour but as we are in the process of extending, we will need to add new shutters and I suspect it may be difficult to match this lovely sun bleached pale blue colour.


This colour blue has an interesting history to it.  In fact the pale blue dye comes from a flower called Isatis Tinctoria.  Sometimes know as Glastum or dyer’s woad.


Woad is an ancient color. An historic natural dye. The blue dye is contained within the green leaves, which when broken down reveal pigments of blue. A range of blues, dependant on the method, the plant and the soil.  I have read that the colour echoes the blues of the sky.  The word “Woad” is of Anglo-Saxon origin: wad. The use of dyer’s woad dates back to Egyptian times.  In 17th-century France, woad pastel came to mean the plant,  the pigment, the dye, and also the blue drawing sticks, that were made through a complicated process of pulping, fermenting, drying and crushing.

It was this pastel blue that made Toulouse wealthy.  Trade in pastel enabled  the merchants of Toulouse to become very rich. The mansion of pastellier Pierre d’Assézat,

a merchant who made a fortune in the woad business houses the Fondation Bemberg  private art collection.  It is open to the public and includes many French artworks from the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries.

If you want to find out more about this historic dye you can visit France and partake in one of the dyeing workshops, for example, there is one I found in the South West of France at Chateau Dumas.  There you can learn the history of woad, dye fabrics and stay in fabulous surroundings.

So, what is the best colour for shutters? This question made me look at the colours of the shutters in our village.  Some are stained wood or even unstained wood.  We have some bright green, red and even purple coloured ones as well as the more traditional pale grey and pale blue.

Some of the shutters in our village.

Another question is do shutters have to be a specific colour dependent on the area of France that you are in. I do have a French acquaintance who renovated a chateau and was required to use a burgundy red colour for her shutters.  However, I cannot find any real details on this question other than they should be in keeping with the rest of the building and similar properties in your region. It seems to be when in doubt consult your Mairie.

I am still undecided but really fancy going for a pale creamy grey green colour.  Just trying to cover all bases.  Of course this will be very similar in colour to the crepis but still look very stylish.

What do you think?????

Bastide Provencale - heaven:

Lafourcade Isn't this gorgeous? Check out the website of these home builders/restorers for other extraordinary homes in Provence.:




I love this idea of sharing photos and the emotions they conjure up.  Great one.  All thanks to Osyth from Half Baked in Paradise where I found Claudette from To Search and to Find

So here’s mine.



Cal & Luke

This is a photo of my son and his cousins feet in a very cold stream in the Pyrenees.

Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid

“Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid” is a phrase that translates as, “Little by little, the bird makes its nest.” This proverb refers to patience and perseverance.  So it can be used in many different situations, but particularly in the process of something not yet accomplished, as opposed to something that has been accomplished.

And should the accomplishment take a lot of time and effort then you might also be tempted to recall that “Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour!” (“Paris was not made in a day!”)

And so petit à petit, pierre à pierre more pictures from the extension.