Sunday, 4 November 2012


I currently sit in a living room, in November, at 800m alt, whilst it hammers down with rain that has a 1m2 hole in the wall! Why? Today I knocked a hole in it for the flue of your new log burner. Which means that at last we might actually be able to heat our home with wood this week! It will mark the end of a saga worthy of Tolkein, full of waiting and far flung conflict. We ordered our wood and burner way back in July but due to unforeseen circumstances we are only now getting it in. Wood is from just up the road so 2-3 times a week we go up, chainsaw it up and carry it back in our newly acquired citron xsara (a result of the accident in the Landy Grrrrrrrrr) It will take a while but we’ve think we’ve bought enough to last us well into next winter. The installation of the burners will mark a turning point at Chez Powell as we will now be able to make the downsairs of the house look less like a building site and more like a home.

It’s been slow progress here, hence the delay in the post, despite the fact we haven’t stopped. However the eventual B&B rooms are now decorated and “with bed” and we’ve learned how to hand rear baby rabbits. This is because mummy rabbit died a week into their lives and to give them the best chance we’ve bottle fed them. However at such a young age the odds it seems are really stacked against you and despite starting with 10 we now only have 3 living quite happily in the kitchen (Their eventual resting place!) They get infections, drown in milk and just generally struggle with being alive. Hopefully next years litters/mums will fair better.

Playing rugby in France is a different experience a far cry from the physicality I’ve grown used to in Gloucestershire(where training is just as dangerous, if not more so than a game) but there is a lot more support from the town in both numbers and investment. People pay to come and watch and both teams (firsts and reserves) play one after the other with a sizable crowd turning up to watch. I am starting to get used to complex backs move and watching ball get kicked backwards and forwards but I still like to resort to stick it up your jumper and go forwards until you score or someone stops you! Old habits die hard (Oh and Die Hard 5, really?)

Board games and DVD box sets feature heavily in an evening’s entertainment here and we are racking up some heavy scores in Agricola (A farming based very complex game). Buffy the Vampire Slayer is into season 3, so we’re getting dark! It is nice not to have telly (as in “live” or access to iplayer and 4OD). Removes the temptation to just sit and channel hop.

So, here’s to warm evenings, cooking with wood, watching teen horror based comedies and bracing ourselves for “the coldest place on Earth” or “little Russia” as the occupying Germans called la Correze during the war.