Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Le Manoir Source

Today Chris & Joanne tackled rejuvenating the natural source at 'Le Manoir' the source begins high on the 'stake' a hill behind the house and is piped to both the lavoir and the kitchen. The source is running but the pipework is blocked SOMEWHERE, oh what fun. The lavoir has become overgrown but as you can see from the pictures, it was no match for Monsieur, in a couple of hours it looked great and is ready for water. Jess & Bonny were on the look out but no swimming today ha ha. Tomorrow, we will look to unblock the pipework and once again breathe natural life into a beautiful place, it so deserves it !

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The Lambing season is well underway here in France, Joanne & Chris love visiting the lambing sheds, the noise is incredible. In the first photo the lambs are marked up and then released in the fields with Mum, the second photo shows Joanne & Allyanne checking on two day olds, and the third photo, well, what can you say?

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What do we do when the Sun comes out

Spring in the Creuse realises weather that you wouldn't turn your nose up for Summer in the UK and doesn't it make you feel good? Yesterday (Tuesday, Mardi) was beautiful, very warm and sunny with clear blue skies. Chris, knowing that 2012 will be a busy year managing La Petite Maison and Le Manoir, is already in front with the wood and was hard at it stockpiling for next Winter. In the afternoon, we moved over to the Manor house and inspected the condition of the swimming pool. Joanne & Chris were pleased with what they found, after many years of non use, the condition was remarkable. All the equipment etc is in better than good condition and Chris is confident that when he gets the PH right and circulates the necessary chemicals, the water condition will soon return to normal and we will have a crystal clear sea blue pool. Shall we say Jess & Bonny were more than interested in diving in !!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chasse a Courre

The annual mounted fox hunt went well this year, glorious sunshine and warm temperatures meant a great day for all, including the foxes who all escaped !! Tonight we will eat and drink well, as will the hounds at the after hunt banquet.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Garage with cement

One of the garages at the Manor, and yes, on the left, that really is a bag of hard cement, it's obligatory isn't it? Have you ever moved into a new house that doesn't have a hard bag of cement in the garage?
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Lord of the Manor

Is that a blue sky or is that a blue sky? The big freeze seems to have gone back East, although temperatures at night are still dropping to -5 or -6, the daytime temperatures are magnificent, Joanne & Chris actually have a tan, it's true. Work is definitely underway at the Manor house now the weather permits, chimneys swept, how wonderful is it when you see the hedgehog pop out ? Deep cleaning is underway and the 'Lord of the Manor' sits on his steps pondering, Jess and Bonny just don't know which rabbit to chase and are in Dog wonderland, they just love the place. There are massive trees that although are majestic, have to be felled, they are just too big and too close to the house. The front door is finally opened after days of persuasion and lots of WD40, does it feel like home? In a word, YES!

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Gateau du Jambon

Joanne bakes the most wonderful 'Gateau du Jambon' a savoury cake with ham, goats cheese & blue cheese. Chris works hard for a slice or two of this !
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Swimming pool pumphouse

Chris has a new passion, the swimming pool pumphouse, he knows a thing or two about water treatment and can't wait to start things up, perhaps in a week or two the weather will permit him to prep the pool for 2012.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wild trout and potato fish cakes

Look at these beauties, wild trout caught by himself, fresh parsley grown and picked by herself, garden potatoes grown and conserved by himself, lemon zest, yes indeed, from our own lemon tree, eggs from the hens, olive oil, salt, pepper and a dusting of flour all turned into the most delicious fish cakes you have ever tasted.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

St Valentines

St Valentines, and this is how we do it in the Capital of Love ! Whilst we dine at lunchtime in a small but cosy restaurant oozing with tradition & romance, the champagne chills 'dehors' what will this afternoon bring, mmmmmmmmmmmmxx

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Marmalade, the finished product

Glistening in the winter sun, Seville oranges turned into liquid gold, does it taste as good as it smelt? oh yes, oh yes it does. How can you get to taste some? Visit us at La Petite Maison.

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Pam the Jams Marmalade

With Seville oranges at their best, Chris decided it was time to try his hand at making marmalade. Of course, there was only one recipe to try, that of  Pam The Jam from Rivercottage, yes, Pam Corbins chutneys and preserves really are at the top of the game. If you have never made marmalade we can't begin to tell you how the kitchen smells, it is divine. The top photo was the prep last night, the other two are the reducing and tenderising of the peel, watch this space for the finished product!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Joanne and Chris were delighted to welcome there latest guest to La Petite Maison, he arrived last Friday and has eaten here each day since, and, is not sure when he will check out, perhaps when the temperature once again rises above 0 degrees. He is the most colourful of the garden birds including nuthatches, blue tits, great tits, dunnocks, red tails etc etc. Enlarge the photo for the best view!

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Friday, February 3, 2012


Wonderful views are transformed after snowfall into magical views, Joanne, Chris, Jess & Bonny take full advantage of the winter wonderland, -14 but sunny with the most stunning blue skies you can imagine.

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