Category: Summer 2024

Dad’s Trip to The Barn and then on to The Dordogne.

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We have had mixed weather since getting back to the barn after our UK trip but felt very lucky that we had weather windows to tame the jungle a wee bit before Dad’s arrival and the weather gods decided to be kind to us.

We collected Dad from Carcassone late afternoon and as we got back to the barn the skies cleared and the the mountains came into sight and continued to do so for Dad’s visit until we left for the Dordogne in the mizzle! So it was perfect timing.

We had a very leisurely few days at the barn, breakfasts on the terrace, Dad in his ski chair after that reading, taking in the views and strolls around the garden, long salad lunches with a few roses  before siesta for Dad and we pottered on. Then it was the nightly games, aperos, and good food and chat. Boggle pre dinner (always reminds me of family hols with Mum and her own creative scoring style for her good words! )and then crib after dinner.

Dad ventured into the outdoor shower which seemed to go down well, don’t think Dad will miss the steep stairs though!

Had some good wildlife spotting in the evenings too with deer and foxes appearing.

We then headed to the Dordogne an area Dad had wanted to visit for quite a while. We had not visited the area before either so new ventures for us all. It was a 4 hour ish drive there in the rain but by lunchtime the sun was vaguely out for a picnic outside before finishing off our trip to Le Roque-Gageac. We had booked a wonderful Air B&B. Luckily Al was at the helm as the road was so so narrow literally mm’s each side to squeeze Poppy through each day! We were quite happy that it was not our old beloved Billy!  

A great place to base ourselves from with a separate en suite annex for Dad and a lovely terrace with views and hot air balloons going by each evening.

We decided one meal out a day was quite sufficient so we mixed and matched lunches and dinners in/out which worked very well.

We were in the middle of foie gras area so meals out usually had at least one of us choosing that as an option. We generally chose 3 different dishes and then we could all sample the various local delicacies. We stumbled across some excellent restos and Dad chose some wonderful wines to go with them as well as a good selection back at the apartment for our aperos in the evening.

We generally had a morning seeing something before a long lunch and then leisurely afternoon. Al and I found the boules pitch so enjoyed that a few times. We visited Sarlaat, Vezere country, wonderful gardens and a stunning water garden with an abundance of colour and so beautifully done. Le Roque Gageac in itself was a lovely little village cut into the hillside full of charm and character

Again we were lucky with the weather and enjoyed sunshine days and temps dropping a wee bit at night.

The Dordogne is beautiful and a lot of wealth about with all the buildings beautifully restored. We really enjoyed it although a week later and I think the area would be inundated with tourists and quite a different feeling and experience.

We dropped Dad in Bergerac to take the train onwards to Paris and then Yorkshire and we headed off to see 2 lots of Dutch friends from the village.

We had a lovely lunch with Olaf and Sylvia who split time between Holland, Salau and the Dordogne and we finally got to see their house and the wonders they have done to it. Looks amazing.

Then on to see Rene and Anouk great friends who used to own the Auberge in the village and have now taken on a new camping venture in The Lot area. A truly magical, special campsite very unique and beautiful. They were doing Table D’Hote that night so we joined the other guests for dinner and caught up with Rene and Anouk whilst the rain lashed down and the thunder roared! It was impressive!

We then headed back to the barn the next morning after a leisurely start and brekky with them.

A great trip.

Thanks a million Dad for coming to stay so pleased the weather was good, you got to see the Pyrenees at their best and lso for exploring the Dordogne and Vezere area with us. What a fun time.

Categories: Summer 2024, The Project

The mouse challenge

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Before heading to Sicilly for a relaxing holiday we spent a few days at the barn to unload the van and plant the garden up. This year is one of those when the mouse population soars, then they get some disease, then the population decreases again. This is, apparently normal every 5-7 years.

As per normal, we had slightly overloaded our van leaving Chamonix so had arranged to borrow the van from the Auberge in the village to decant loads into to ferry our stuff up the piste. This is where we got the mouse news. Not only have the guys at the Auberge got holes in all their clothing, they told us that all the cats in the village are fat and bored. Bored of the same diet and also playing tennis with mice.

We were lucky. Yes there was some mouse activity inside the barn but we caught two and dispatched them both. We cleaned everything and sought their entry point. A hole was found in the floorboards upstairs and duly plugged. Bingo. We got off very lightly.

Off to Sicilly with a van full of toys.

On our return we found more activity indoors. All activity had ceased on our arrival but there were several dead critters to clear up. It would appear we trapped some inside the barn, maybe in an undiscovered nest. A second round of cleansing the barn and searching for a nest. The critters had raided the first aid store in the bathroom and made a lovely nest from bandages and dressings. Since then all quiet on the mouse front. Boom.

Since then we have been cutting grass, weeding and walking our local walks from the door.

Categories: Summer 2024 Tags: Tags: ,