La Belle Vie en France

Our journey into purchasing and rennovating our fermette in the South West of France

Since our last blog about the dog’s life in rural France, it has remained slow and tranquil except for the last 3 days which have been fun, lively and well, pretty much full on. We will come to that later.

After what seemed an age, but in fact was only about 10 days, the snow and ice finally disappeared. It disappeared everywhere else quicker than in our location, but we weren’t too bothered that it stayed with us a few extra days. However, this did make driving conditions a little precarious to say the least. One cold morning the local district nurse came knocking on our door and was speaking far too fast for us to understand, but turned out she had gotten her car stuck. I donned my warmest gear, followed her down the hill to see what all the fuss was about. She had managed to get herself stuck in the ice and snow. After a few minutes of digging, and explaining (in my not so good French) not be too heavy on the accelerator, and pushing at the same time, she was finally free and away to see the old man at the back of the hamlet. Albeit the ‘not so heavy on the accelerator’ didn’t seem to ‘comprehend’, and she snaked all the way to the top of the hill. A few days later, she presented us with a lovely box of chocolates which was very kind of her.

Now that the snow and ice has moved on, it has been replaced with rather cold temperatures and a significant amount of rain. The type of rain reminds me of the times I spent in Sennybridge, where the rain was so fine, coming from all angles and rendering me soaked through to the bone within minutes. We are however, getting some sunnier, drier days where the sun is reasonably warm brightening up all our spirits, even the animals.

We have pretty much remained in the dry and warmth of the cottage with the log stove burning away in the back ground. Things on the crafting front for Mandy’s small crafting business is moving forward slowly. She is making some stock and has advertised one item on her new Etsy shop which is currently live. More items will be advertised very soon.  We have both even tried our hand at bead jewellery making which is not as difficult as it seems.  Mandy has made some great stuff to sell.

Down in the man cave, limited progress has been made due to the cold weather and having no heater to keep me warm. On the bright side though, I have managed to get my brand-new chainsaw fixed at no cost. The chain tensioner mechanism had got stuck due to over tightening as a result of metal expansion. The mechanism to tighten and untighten the chain by the user is plastic so once its stuck you need a special tool to release it. The man in the Stihl shop sorted me out and said was a common problem!

Over the last few days, we have been non-stop, the land around our house has started to take on a new look and feel. We have had a tree surgeon in and a two-man crew to fell some trees for us. I have been working as a groundsman for them to keep the cost down, they fell, I chop and clear away. It’s looking like this may lead to some further work…paid as well.

The true hero of the 3 days was Mandy, who kept everyone in the team supplied with hot tea and coffee even when the rain was hammering down and the wind was blowing a gale, never forgetting to be the perfect hostess.  She even provided bacon and egg baps each day, but on the second day they all got a full English breakfast before work started.

In the last couple of days, we have also moved into the 21st Century and finally upgraded our internet to fibre broadband and French TV. After running on ADSL for last couple of months and nearly dying from either boredom or stress from the ‘slower than the old days of dial-up internet in the early 2000’s’, things now do seem to be a lot better, and the average upload for our blog pictures is now taking a few moments rather than a couple of hours.    

Van outside a house

Finally, it has been a sad day and a happy day yesterday (Saturday), we picked up our French Registration plates for the van and packed away the British number plates. Slowly and surely, we are becoming more French. Just a residency card and a French driving licence to sort out and then we are good to stay forever. French bureaucracy is not the fastest and that’s putting it bluntly, however once you understand this, and adapt to the French ‘way’, it becomes far less stressful and annoying. As we have found out in France, it’s all paperwork, paperwork, paperwork and expect to send documents multiple times to achieve your end goal. That’s the French way!!

As is customary in our blog, for now it’s time to hang up the keyboard, sit back, relax and have another cup of tea, as it is January and both of us have gone “Dry January”.

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Every week you get to hear about the antics of what us humans get up to, or not as is the case recently. We thought we would mix it up a little and introduce our three dogs which came on this adventure with us. So, without any further ado, lets meet them………

Bacchus

Bacchus was born on 25th December 2016 (yes he’s a Saint), and moved in with us on 19th February 2017.

Bacchus is an English Working Cocker Spaniel, a gundog breed.  He is an amazing fetcher true to his gundog spirit. Gundogs can either be fetchers (they fetch the game that has been shot for the gamekeeper) or flushers (they spend most of the time with the nose to the ground sniffing out the game with the beaters).

He will run all day long and fetch the ball when it is thrown for him, only trouble is he won’t give it back to you. Looks like we need to get some more training in for this lad. Out of the three dogs Bacchus is the more reserved gentleman. So much that his nickname is “Lord Bacchus” which depicts his gentle, kind, respect nature!! He adores a cuddle and takes prime spot on the sofa, when we let him!!

Hudson

Hudson was born on 18th May 2017 and moved in with us on 4th July 2017. He is Bacchus’s half-brother; they have the same dad and their mums are sisters. Chalk and Cheese comes to mind.

Hudson is also an English Working Cocker Spaniel. He is a hard wired flusher and occasional bird chaser. He will flush all day and is not interested in a ball; he does though love to spend hours on end in the summer flushing/watching the lizards, he’s a very busy dog doing his own thing. He never sleeps during the day, always up and down and always in your face, in your coffee, in your shopping bags, in the cats food given half the chance and even cat flaps! He is truly a special dog as he is very slow in development terms due to getting his stuck whilst his mom gave birth.  But as our special dog, we love him all the same.

Harley

Harley was born on 2nd February 2019 and moved in with us on 5th April 2019.

Harley is also an English Working Cocker Spaniel. He is a flusher and a fetcher…he loves flushing out animals and is mad for a ball, he can fetch a ball all day long. Due to his small stature this dog can move, hence his nickname “midget man”.

Harley is unrelated to Bacchus and Hudson, and is from no pedigree line but comes from actual working stock and you can tell. When we first moved to France, he stalked patiently and reaped the rewards……. a mouse! Harley is a lively little chap but when it’s time to rest and relax with “one eye open”, he can be found with his head right up next to the wood burning stove on the hearth. Thus, earning himself a second nickname “hot dog”.

Feeding Habits

All three of our dogs are raw feed and they love it. Their coats and health are amazing as its all-natural food with no chemicals or preservatives thrown in. However sometime this can be a little testing for the humans in the house especially when its green tripe for breakfast!

What’s with their Names?

Like all perspective parents and new animal owners, the conversation one day got round to puppy names. We went through a long list and this is what we came up with:

Bacchus – Named after a Roman God. Bacchus is the God of agriculture, wine and fertility. Given his nature we think that this fits him perfectly.

Hudson – Hudson got his name from our friend Steve. Steve had just become a Grandad, and his grandson was called Hudson. We liked the name so much that we called our dog it. The simplest of name choices. Don’t worry we’re still friends with Steve.

Harley – He is a little live wire, we decided, Harley after the branded motorbike “Harley Davidson” was appropriate. It’s also in keeping with his two brothers Harvey and Hooper, The three H’s. His brothers were bought by my ex-boss Lisa and that’s another story in itself.

All three dogs are our loyal companions and we would not be without them! Even on days when they can be testing.

So, there you are, you have met the dogs! Maybe the cats might get a mention all of their own.

As is customary in our blog, for now it’s time to hang up the keyboard, sit back, relax and have another bottle of my favourite beer.

We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, if you like what you read and see, gives us a like, follow or tweet!!

More of our blogs can be found on our blog page

Thank you!!

Woman walking her dogs in the snow

2020 has been and gone, and we are into a new year, 2021. Now that 2021 is upon us, we all ask the same questions……Will it be any better than the last year?  Who knows; besides COVID-19, it will be what we all make it to be? Many will be thankful that 2020 is over, and I think we speak for everyone, that we all hope 2021 sees an improvement of the pandemic around the world and a reduction in the lockdown/restrictions being seen everywhere.

Back in 1992, the Queen made a historic speech which described the year as “annus horribilis”, I think that she may have got it wrong and it was actually last year!

The week running up to Christmas was slow, quiet and calm. No rushing around preparing Christmas food for guests, as it was just the two of us.  We had the full Turkey Christmas Dinner, but no Christmas pudding (Yuck!!).  Animals had the raw version of Christmas dinner, turkey, vegetables and a fresh raw egg on top (Christmas Dinner Tartar).

Between Christmas and New Year, we saw no-one, we hunkered down with the fire on everyday….well who wouldn’t when the outside temperatures is between -1℃ and 4℃ , and that’s during the day.  Night time temperatures have been between -2℃ and -5℃. Brrrr!!!

On New Year’s Day our friends Peter and Colin came around for Turkey curry and watched Troy on Netflix.

On 2 January we went for a walk with the dogs around the 5km (3mile) loop. We took in numerous hamlets in the local area, and remembered to take photos this time.

  • Local barn on top of the hill
  • Woman in a field
  • Farmer Field
  • Dogs playing in the field
  • Two Dogs in a Field
  • Stone house in La Roche
  • Brook running through farmers field
  • Brook running through the farmers field
  • Street sign of La Roche
  • Woman walking her dogs
  • Stone Gite
  • Stone with place name painted on
  • Bird of prey sat on a fence post in a farmers field
  • Straight Road
  • Road Sign
  • Woman walking her dogs
  • Husband and Wife smiling for the camera
  • woman pointing at a sign

This morning, 3 January was a complete surprise to us, we woke to pure whiteness outside.  Two weather stations were checked, and rechecked, nope nothing is mentioned about having snow, but yes, surprise, surprise, it snowed last night and for a lot of today.  What more could a cocker spaniel want………snow………snorkelling in snow……………running and slipping in snow………. Yippee. The temperature didn’t get much above 0℃.  We took lots of photos for this blog. As the day wore on, the snow stayed, the sky turned from pinkie white to brilliant blue and the sun showed its face too.  A wonderful end to the day.

  • Snow on the road
  • Snow on the road under the motorway
  • Snow on the road
  • Snow on the road
  • View of the house from the side
  • Snowy House in the woods
  • House in the Snow
  • Woman walking her dogs
  • Farmyard
  • Cows feeding in the snow
  • Wood with snow
  • Woman walking her dogs in the snow
  • Woman in a field
  • snowy dogs
  • Snow on the road
  • Barn in the snow
  • Barn in the snow
  • Dogs playing in the field
  • Woman walking her dogs in the snow
  • Woman walking her dogs
  • Snow on the road
  • Snow on the road
  • Snow on the road

Mandy is busy crocheting away still and I’m now finished our blog until another day.

As is customary in our bloc, for now it’s time to hang up the keyboard, sit back, relax and have another bottle of my favourite beer.

We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, if you like what you read and see, gives us a like, follow or tweet!!

Thank you and Happy New Year!!

Well, time certainly seems to fly especially as we are retired. Some days we literally do not know where the day has gone and what we have done. But you know that’s life and we shall just keep pottering on.

Since our last post, the weather has taken a turn for the worst and has become cold and damp. We have even managed a small yet short flurry of snow. Given all of the rain we have had in December I am surprised that any lay on the ground.

Mandy has opened up a small crafting business and I have spent much of the time learning how to create web pages and run them. In fact, that’s where the time has gone. The business can be found here; www.artisantcorrezienne.fr and is called Correzienne Crafts. She is still in the very early days of the business and is currently sat next to me crocheting a snood so they can go on the online store. So why not go and check it out and also my guest blogging on the history of crochet and macrame!! I never knew I had it in me to blog about such things. We also are on Facebook and Instagram; links can be found on the home page of our site.

On the Covid front, France has now moved into a curfew stage to try and reduce infections. So, the dreaded form has now gone and we can go about our business as normal but must be home and tucked up in bed by 8pm every night! Over the festive period only Christmas eve has the curfew been lifted. New Year will be slightly different than normal, but for us older folk it will be situation normal.

After a little searching and plucking up the courage to have a difficult conversation in French to get registered with a doctor, we have succeeded! That means Mandy is now registered and has got her prescriptions initiated in France and is now in the French health care system! Which given our limited French was no small achievement. It also helped that the doctor spoke English. A massive relief there!

Christmas at Chez Adams was a quiet affair this year and we stayed home and have not visited any one this time. Mandy and Lynda visited the local Christmas market in Uzerche and had a lovely time, especially as Lynda was not due to be home at Christmas due to work commitments.

So I suppose for now that is us caught up and as the communications director of Mandy’s enterprise (unpaid) and this blog writer I must get my finger out and keep you all up dated as to our progress.

As is customary in our blog, for now it’s time to hang up the keyboard, sit back, relax and have another bottle of my favourite beer.

We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, if you like what you read and see, gives us a follow, tweet or like!!

Thank you!

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