Rent  A  Traditional  Country
Farmhouse  in  South-West  France


Week 86

Monday 24th April to Sunday 30th April

Well, a bit more to say this week. The weather has not yet got to summer and we have a few fires in the evening, burning old floorboards and other junk wood. However during the day, it's warm enough to mean that we have to water every evening. While we still have only one outside tap, we've added extra lengths of hose and and a tee piece so the Boss waters the flowers while I do the vegetables.

With the scaffolding moved into place, I've got no excuse for not starting on the second upstairs window. Drilling lines of holes and then drilling more to join the holes up, is slow, boring and tiring. Then, cut through the steel bars and don't ask me what the bars were for. Then dig away the stones on the inside and sledge hammer one large piece of Charentaise stone out through the opening.

The bedroom looks a mess and despite covering everything, dust gets everywhere. To most of you, a window is no big deal, however, when you've lived with plywood forced into the opening for a few years, it is progress and quite exciting. Like so many of the small things we do, it makes a big difference to the appearance of the house. Once the window is in, the opening needs to be cemented up using lime and sand.

I have been converted to not using cement in the stone walls. It is too hard, does not "breathe"; which means take up water when it's damp and let it out when it's dry, and it cracks as a result. Lime and sand sets almost as hard as cement, although it dries out a little slower, and it ruins the nail varnish. I used to dismiss the traditionalists who talked about the walls breathing, but I can tell you from experience, cement does not work on this type of construction, so I am a now convert.


The warmer weather indicates that the moles that we thought had spent all winter hibernating. were not hibernating at all. They were breeding! Nothing for it now, except the most drastic of solutions and try and keep the mounds down until the time comes.

However, in the interim the Boss benefits from the fine soil dug up, which she uses for pot plants.

Mole, enjoy it while you can