Monday, June 29, 2015


I think we've just about recovered from the weekend.
It was past midnight when we left the Fete de la Musique in Billio, and it was way past midnight when we left Martin and Colette's barbecue on Saturday.

There was rock, punk, folk, traditional and contemporary, choirs and plenty of dancing in Billio.

I couldn't get anything in focus, but loved these marionettes. They danced with the music and did everything their operators did. They were brilliant as they interacted with the crowd!

You can see how much hard work it is to operate these things. Even their feet were attached.

We walked back home up the hill in darkness with the music behind us all the way.

Saturday evening was the barbecue.

It couldn't haver been more perfect. The food was excellent and in abundance and the company, mainly French, was even better. 

There was the famille Gilet...Therese, Marina and Isabel (we are always happy to be in their company), our good friends Dave and Annie whose BBQ we went to last week and...

Jean-Claude (seen top right) who is the mayor of Guenno and his wife Lillian (seen dead centre in red). They were really good company. I liked Jean-Claude's humour even though he seemingly prefers Newcastle to Sunderland.

Natalie runs the library in Plumelec and is such a charming and lively woman, Christof (not sure how to spell his name) entertained us with some excellent traditional songs as the sun was replaced with moon and stars. In fact, we all ended up gathered around a single table singing something in the candlelight.

Colette was obviously having a good time. I think Natalie was checking on the dozens of photos Colette took because she kept pressing the button through not hearing a click.

Martin was here there and everywhere seeing to everyone's needs and doing such a good job of it.

The BBQ had everything, which is why it went beyond midnight.

Thanks, M& did better than good!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A little bit further.

It's too hot to work, but Bev encouraged me (and helped) cut the purlins and fix the brackets and fit in place.  It was a tricky operation as Bev wouldn't get on the wobbly scaffold :) She used lengths of timber to support one end while I screwed the other.

I've followed good advice from a professional (Andy Vanzandt) and opted for the double purlin squared to support the weight as opposed to a single purlin plumb. The saw bench wasn't able to cut the angle or depth required on the plumb version and, after speaking with Andy, realised that for the pitch of this roof, the weight will be pressing in as opposed to down. In short, the squared purlin is stronger and two would support the slate roof easily.

It will cost a little more, but it's more important  to have it right.

Just eight more to go.

I also had to change the brackets for these longer ones. They are only just over two euros each and I'll get my money back on the others.

Now that's what I call solid.

I'm also advised to strengthen the top and bottom of the velux opening.

Bad news...the mole surfaced right where it knew it would annoy me.

Off to a BBQ now over at Martin and Colette's place.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Who says voting doesn't make a difference?

This is the day America narrowly voted to legalise same-sex marriage across all of its states.

I'm assuming nothing has changed since Miracle on 34th Street, and that "In God we trust" is proudly printed on US currency. To my simple way of thinking, this is now contrary to popular belief. The nation is officially divided.

Is not marriage a religious ceremony?  I didn't think Man had the right to tinker with it?

I am, of course, in the minority now and in danger of being victimised for having a point of view, but what the heck! I believe in free- agency and I have the right to voice my opinion...I think!

I guess it will now be unlawful for some Christians to freely believe and practice their religion...unless of course you are Christian who only believes what is convenient or comfortable?

What of Christian denominations that refuse to perform such ceremonies...? Will they be forced to do something fundamentally against their Christian belief, and face prosecution if they stay firm in their belief and refuse?

It's crazy! This little  old world of ours is being turned upside down and we are being led by church-going Godless people. The statement is perhaps a little strong and unfair as I only have Obama and Cameron as examples, so excuse me for seemingly tarring everyone with the same brush.

There is shifting sand beneath the feet of many, but my feet will remain firmly planted on something far more substantial, solid and sure.

Thursday and Friday

We had help sorting out that bank for a couple of hours yesterday.  The weeds were beginning to think they were on a winner, so it was time to act. I'm waiting for roof timbers to arrive so the timing is perfect.

Is it that time already?

Mexican chicken, wedges and salad. 

All weeded and replenished...

...and covered. We'll cut openings to plant contrasting coloured shrubs, but the important thing is NO WEEDS.

Bev's old veg patch cleared, filled, levelled and rolled...

...and now seeded and covered with sieved soil. I don't suppose it'll be long before the moles re-landscape it, but for now I'm happy.
We just need a nice screen for the rainwater guttering...and something for the new path.

Back wall and retaining wall jet-washed and a tarpaulin down ready to catch the cherries which are already dropping.

Tonight we are walking with Martin and Colette to the Fete de Musique in Billio. Should be good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On the roof yet again.

Okay, these are interesting only to a few individuals. Everyone else can ease the pain by not going any further. Before you go I must tell you that I caught another mole...and so did Bev!! What a result!

Those pallets make a good storage rack.

This is what Sophie sees.

We ended the day with a game of boules with friends in Cruguel. It was so nice that we cycled there and back.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fete de la Musique

Today you are officially allowed to play music in France all day and throughout the night, and it's also the longest day. I think I'll sit out in the afternoon sun and play my guitar for a while. Billio have their music festival on Friday, so we'll probably go to that one as it's just down the road.

It's also Father's Day in the UK, and I'm pleased that I'm remembered.

Yesterday I worked on the bread oven roof before going with Mael-Dylan to visit Jean-Miguel in Lanouee. When I returned, we had a BBQ with Dave and Annie and a few other couples.  I ate too much as usual, but thoroughly enjoyed it. We walked home at 10:30pm and it was still bright.

I had to remove the overhang section as the rafter was bowed and couldn't be corrected.  I also strengthened it as it will be carrying some weight.  I can't tell you how many times I've bumped my head on that protruding ridge timber. I never learn!

Before you ask how I propose to remove the scaffolding, I can dismantle the scaffold below the base 'A' frame when I remove that top cross timber going through it, which is not fixed yet. I have thought about it :)

Can you see the template in position for half of the middle 'A' frame?

Gerry and Heather, Paul and Julie, Dave and Annie and us.

Annie's son Paul and his wife Julie (visiting from the UK).
It isn't the best photo, but the others were out of focus.

A little target practice.

Julie receiving instruction. I managed to hit my target...eventually.

The evening was good. The food and conversation were even better.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another day.

Dave and Annie got back safely and they dropped by to say hello. It's nice to see Annie's Son and wife who will be staying for a week. Looks like they've brought the nice weather with them.

A few more rafters and one floor timber in place.

Still a lot to do at the front, but the spacer for the cladding is in place on one side.

Perfectly level, although there is one niggling problem that needs resolving.

Changing the landscape...again!

Had a few games of boules with friends to finish the evening.