Dog discovers fire

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After ten years of sitting in the salon; unconnected to flue/roof/stove pipes/chimney, we have a functional wood burning stove.img_20181201_1925581938181319.jpg



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Fast Food.img_20181128_0919531384053820.jpg

We are lucky to know a very knowledgeable guy who picks and sells mushrooms locally. Always super fresh, clean and ready to cook.

These were pan fried with butter and black pepper and piled on toast with Grana Padano grated over the top.

Five ingredients. There is a theory that a five ingredient meal offers a simple but perfect balance. Do debate.




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Thé vert olive

Time to reveal the colour for shutters and cave and garage doors

We picked (Trev had slight input) this shade from the Mixing Machine Man in M. Bricolage, Limoux. Being a colourcoded mix-up, it has the highly unromantic title of “Spectrocolour 422” so, naturally I had to name this elusive shade.

“Thé Vert Olive” fits. It is by Dulux and is from their Titanium Bois range, designed to resist weather extremes.

Supposedly “monocouche” we will put on two coats anyway for durability.

The Trevoracle is impressed by it’s paintability and coverage and the finish is super hard when dry.

Virtually self-levelling too

BTW, the blue footings on the garage door are not a design statement. Trev wanted to undercoat these as they get the worse weather. From a workshop full of paints in every conceivable shade, he picked Gustavian Blue.

Righ hand door footing is being made to match the others. It was pretty rotten. He is using one of the last scraps of wood from the old church/chapel table. One day I’ll do a post on all the stuff that bits of that table have found their way in to.

We have now used virtually every scrap of it. Cave door repair and paint up next.

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Tuiles et Toits II

It’s all happening here.

Today, just two guys have stripped the greater part of the roof and are currently relaying both reclaimed and new tiles and relaying and repointing the ridge.

They are using lime and sand  mortar to bed the tiles (sable/chaux)

So far, I am very impressed.

Brontë is helping enormously, of course.

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Tuiles et toits

May I rant, just a little?

May I?

OK, so you know that we drew a line under the absent ouvriers and moved on?

OK, the stainless steel chimney pipes, chapeau, roof insert and collar were all now on site. The chimney end goes through the tiled roof and has, attached, a large piece of lead flashing that goes under the existing tiles ( these to be taken off, then relaid to form waterproof seal)

This is very clever.

So, the weather has turned back to sunny, slightly warmer and dry for five days at least. Perfect for outside work. Justin is up on the roof, pipes all connected, hole cut for chimney outlet, tiles lifted ready to position outlet assembly and flashing.

Trev is below passing up essential equipment.

We will have a fully installed log burner by lunchtime!


The collar sent with the roof insert/ assembly is not the adjustable 125-180 cm one we ordered to tailor to our 140 cm diameter pipework.

It’s 180 cm, fixed.

Can we get this exchanged ? No, the manufacturer swears we didn’t order the adjustable one, though my invoice shows that we did. No Play Ball.

Can we buy a new collar locally?


Can we get just the right sized collar delivered ASAP ?

No, not before the weather breaks.

A temporary water stop is rigged over the gaping hole in the roof for now whilst we look at our limited options; meanwhile, Justin moves onto job four whilst he is up there anyway, establishing why the roof over the terrace bedroom is leaking again, despite being “fixed” two years ago by the firm that did the original conversion and who put on a supposedly whole new roof on the old barn side three decades ago.

He is not too happy to have to break the bad news to us

We had previously been assured that this roof was actually sound, and that just a few replacement tiles were all that were needed.

It now seems that this was never a complete new roof when the barn conversion was carried out. Underneath the thirty year old tiles and the newer ones patched on later to “fix” it ( and I use that term loosely now ) are the oldest tiles on the house. Older even than the tiles over the tulip room side of the house which are mainly 19thc.

Basically, these barn side undertiles are shot. Crumbling away.

It’s a miracle we weren’t awash after the big storms.

The ridge tiles between the two roofs are also cracked and crumbling in places. Again, we were told these were just fine after some “repair”.

So, basically, most of the terrace room roof needs retiling .

New tiles and lime mortar purchased.

Let’s hope the wood is sound.

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Pimp my hovel

Well, we finally nailed the colours for the outside render and the shutters.

So, taking advantage of the late Autumn sunshine, the Trevoracle started sanding down the flaky doors.


Aren’t those layers of colour beautiful? Yes they are . Shall we just leave this shabby chic design statement like this? No. I want this new paint job to last so we won’t be taking the romantic option here.

What colours did we finally agree on? I flirted with duck egg blue render and cream shutters and window surrounds (looks lovely on a house in Quillan)  Also Roussillon terracotta with cream  or green woodwork.Roussillon-Typical-street

No, too bright for the rue.  Although we have no historial colour palette restrictions to honour, we do have to harmonise with the rest of the street and honour our commitment to makng this place finally look like a cute old village house  . So we have chosen.

Watch this space.

Meanwhile I was highly amused by this product. I am evading housework. Not because I’m naturally mucky, I’m not, but three jobs and the revival of the building work is a tad hardgoing. I have cobwebs.

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