Sunday, 31 January 2016

What to do on a wet Sunday morning?

It was a wet and miserable morning so we did what loads do over here on a Sunday morning and took ourselves out for a drive to a Vide Grenier otherwise known as a car boot sale in the UK or a Flea market in the USA.

In the Summer these are mostly held outdoors

but of course this time of year mostly in sports halls etc. The one nice thing I like about them is that nearly everything is being sold by private individuals not traders and as such there are always some bargains to be had.

This morning Avril bought a very nice brand new ovenware dish for 50 cents! What a bargain.

Me? Well I spent a little more :) A full set of golf clubs ( 13 ) in a golf bag complete with a cover for 25 euros.
I don't play golf that often and could never justify buying a new set but this will do me just fine for the 5 or 6 times I do go and play in the Summer.

I don't know a lot about golf but included in the set was a 10 degree Callaway "Big Bertha" Titanium War Bird driver that must have been worth the 25 euros on it's own so I'm very happy.

Monday, 25 January 2016

The ease of doing things

I went out fairly early today to pick up some of the decking boards from a builders merchant. Before I went I spent at least an hour the night before looking online as to where I could buy them, which brings me on to pretty much the only thing I miss about not living in the UK.

The ease of doing things

Back in the UK I could have gone to anyone of maybe up to 20 different places within a 20 minute drive to pick them up, here in France it is a lot different. None of the outlets in our nearest town had what I wanted in stock and eventually I found them in a merchant some 40 minute drive away.
Back in the UK I would have just picked up the phone and had them delivered, here, even though the builders merchant is a large outlet they don't deliver at all. They will hire you a truck at maybe 80-100 euros if it is available but other than that you have to collect.
Anyway it was a nice morning drive and one of the advantages of living here is the lack of traffic, in forty minutes of driving there I doubt that I saw more than a dozen vehicles!

My little Citroen C1 is maybe not the ideal vehicle for transporting lengths of decking boards but all at home now ready to be laid.

On reflection it was a pleasant drive through some lovely countryside with hardly any traffic to speak of,  so which would I prefer living here or back in the UK? ...........................................I think you all know the answer to that.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A bit more progress

We have had a couple of days of dry weather which has enabled me to get on with the decking, I have decided that the octagonal end section will be stepped up from the other decking to give it more prominence.

The first job was to construct the framing which I did on a level piece of ground outside of my garage.

What I hadn't bargained on was how big and unwieldy it would be when it was finished, at one point I considered rolling it like a giant wheel down to the bottom of my field but decided that it would have all probably fallen to pieces by the time I got it there, so i Improvised some supports on a wheelbarrow and managed after about 20 minutes to get it in place.


It wasn't easy being on my own to either get it down there and put it into position but it all ended up well.
Here is a link to my Youtube video of it.

 In position

Once I got it in position and held with a couple of temporary cramps I could start screwing it to the existing  decking and then make a start on putting in the supports.
Standing on top of it gives a really lovely view over the stream and the trees around it and I can already imagine myself relaxing there with a glass or two of wine on a warm summer evening

Friday, 15 January 2016

Making a start

I have had enough of cutting trees and clearing undergrowth for a while so have made start on the decking area at the top of the slope down to the stream.

Although the structure was pretty stable I have added cross braces in both directions to make sure there is no movement. The bases at the bottom of the posts are made of heavy duty plastic and are in two pieces with a screwed insert allowing adjustment of height.

I have now decided to modify the decking, originally I had it in mind to encircle the group of trees directly in front of the end but I now realise this will probably make it all to large. In addition I would have to attach the decking to the trees. I noticed in heavy winds there is some movement in the trees which would have put a strain on the decking structure.

I am going to extend the end with an octagonal section and stop it just short of the trees. After coming up with this idea I had a look online to see if there was anything similar and came up with a couple of photos nearly exactly what I have in mind.

photos cpopyright

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A new project for the New Year

I always like to have some project or another underway at any one time and now we are into 2016 here is the start of my latest one.

I have a lovely area at the bottom of my field below my garden that drops away to a lovely stream

It is my intention to form a decking area/viewing platform that will run horizontal from the top of the bank on the right hand side to a point around 2-3 foot above the stump in the middle of the picture and encircling the trees with a summer house at the top right.

It's a bit difficult to describe exactly and to be honest I don't know what the final job will look like until it gets under way but first things first and I have to clear a few of the trees away first.

I'm actually doing in effect several jobs at once, all the wood I am logging and splitting for the wood burner I already have enough put by until the winter of 2017/18 so this lot will be used for the winter after that. All of the twiggy bits behind will be shredded for mulch for my back to Eden garden

Stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

I'm back!

I cannot believe how long ago it was that I posted on here, I really don't know what the problem was but I seemed to be running out of ideas and once you have to force yourself to write it's no fun anymore.

Well it's Jan 2016 and I'm going to resurrect this blog and see if I can't keep it going this time, I used to have followers on here, I don't blame any of you if you have just disappeared but any who are out there, a word of encouragement would certainly be helpful.

This is short as it is just something to start me off.

How about this that I found in the garden today!

Can you believe it? Asparagus in January, whatever is happening to our weather.

It feels good to be back :)