Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sunshine on the Old Stone Walls

I was awake from 4am and just couldn't get back to sleep. At 6am I asked Chris if it was too early for a cup of tea and he murmured, no, as long as I was making it. The thought of tea and morning must have made me sleepy as I then drifted off. Funny how that happens. isn't it?!

We then got up at about 8.30am. Chris ventured up the ladder to inspect the front farmhouse roof. My job was to stand on the bottom rung and catch Chris if he fell...yeah right....It seemed scarily high to me but Chris didn't seem phased. He could see that the corner of the roof needed some work.  

I couldn't imagine how he was going to work at such a height (about 6 metres up) so I called him down and said we would review the situation!

Like maybe get someone else to go up there?!

I have a habit of having songs in my head (remember 'Return of the Max' here) and now I had 'I'm Reviewing the Situation' as sung by Fagin/Ron Moody in the musical 'Oliver!' ...Oh dear...

As we had the ladder at the front, we decided to cut some branches off the oak tree. It's a lovely old oak but will need to be cut down as it's too near the house. 

Chris did a fantastic job of removing some of the branches whilst I acted as safety officer, clearer upper and project photographer. 

Lovely pic of our windmill
This oak tree has grown far too large. In addition to potential problems with its roots, it cuts out all the light to the front of the farmhouse.

Chris used our long handled lopper where possible....

Before long there was a gap in the thick canopy and blue sky peeping at us....

The sun was bursting through where it hadn't been able to for ages. 

Gradually the front of the farmhouse became bathed in sunlight. It was wonderful to see this old house feeling the warmth of the sun on its walls again. 

There were even patterns of sunlight inside, through the windows.

We made a token start on cutting some of the felled branches but left most of this work for another day.

Later in the morning, I heard a car pull up outside and then Chris and another man's voice. I went around the front with Spencer and introduced myself to the gentleman who had stopped by. He didn't say his name but was very polite and called me 'Madame'. Chris proceeded to show him around and I was trying to catch Chris's eye to ask him who he was. We were in the barn and Chris told me he was the same man whom we had met whilst viewing the house back in May/June. I recognised him now. Amongst other things, the gentleman told us that there used to be a large wood cutting machine in the barn. We think he works for Serge the local farmer that we had met a few days ago. After looking around and chatting a while, he looked at his watch and said he had to go for his lunch. Unfortunately we didn't catch his name. He was friendly and I hope he calls in again.

Half an hour after the man had gone, my mobile rang. It was Serge the farmer's number. I answered and a man, not Serge, said hello and spoke to me in half English half French. I find it more difficult to speak in French on the phone as you cannot read the other person's expressions or see their gestures (perhaps that's a good thing!). What I did understand was that he was a farmer and worked the fields near us and he was offering us some help....not sure what sort of help. I asked him if he would like to visit us. We decided on tomorrow morning.

We spent most of the rest of the day working on the tree and the gap in the canopy became bigger...

Just before dinner, Chris moved the ladder into the farmhouse so that I could climb up and see the upstairs rooms. There isn't a staircase to the upstairs, just an illusion of one!....see here

I didn't actually climb onto the upper floor. I was too much of a wimp! I just perched on the ladder but this was enough for me to get a good view of the large upper front room of the farmhouse.

I hadn't seen this area before. I can imagine one day that it will make two lovely bedrooms....with rustic stone walls......

.......and pretty window seats looking out onto the countryside......

A girl can dream, can't she?!

After dinner, we cleared some more of the brambles and laurels from what we have assumed to be the 'well house'. In the centre there is a huge concrete pipe structure that could well be a well. Around it are some massive rocks and rubbish.

 Chris managed to get close enough to remove the metal hopper type structure that had been put on top. Under that there was a rotten wooden lid in pieces.

Chris carefully removed the old lid and we could see that under the concrete pipe was an old stone well.

It looked deep. I didn't get too close. Chris found a grill and a pallet to make it safe for now.

The sun was going down so we decided to investigate it further another day. It would be interesting to measure how deep it was.

It's been great to have your company!

Maggie xx


  1. Such a lovely old structure – I think I can understand how you could buy it without even seeing all of it! But it sure looks like a monumental project.

  2. Lovely pictures - but oh! the work!! I'm sure your dreams ans plans will come to reality though...You seem to be the determined type.
    When Mr FD goes out on our roof I hate it, & prefer not to know that he's doing it until after the event. "It's perfectly safe!" he tells me in exasperated tones...Yes, but dearest, our house is FOUR STORIES HIGH. One slip and you're splattered on the pavement.

  3. It's a very beautiful house, the stone walls are just amazing and the beautiful old windows...It would be a perfect place to take photos of your quilts...

  4. How did you find this place and how did you decide on this one? Were there a lot that you looked at? Were you planning this for a long time? I'm so nosey aren't I? LOL! How do you know it is fixable? Good foundation, wiring etc, clean water.....of course, if you get something inexpensive enough then you have the money to fix it up's all about the numbers. LOL!


Please leave a comment....I would love to hear from you.....