Blizzards, building work, horses & pigs!

Apologies for not doing a blog post for a while. Time often only allows a quick photo drop on Instagram in between jobs, but it's time to catch up! So, in a nutshell;

We're having quite a cold December; winter usually doesn't seem to hit until January but we're seeing some snow and ice right now which is a nice change, but there is more work in keeping the house warm, everyone's water from freezing and making sure all the animals are getting enough to eat.

Building-wise, we have done some work in our future upstairs; filled in random gaps, built 2 new fire places and have started on walls to our ensuite bathroom (never had one of those; huge excitement!). It all looks a complete mess at the moment so photos to come when it's finished!

We are hoping to finish our bedroom and bathroom this winter, put in an interior staircase joining the 2 apartments and put in a new bathroom downstairs (as the stairs will go where our existing bathroom is). We will see what we manage to get done by the Spring. We will live in Gite Canigou for 3 months while we do all that, but obviously we need to be renting Gite Canigou out again by April so will just get as far as we can. It feels so good to finally be doing some work on our own living area.

Gite Carlit (the top floor 2 bedroom gite) is coming along; walls are in except for plastering and kitchen tops are being cast. The terraces and railings are done outside. The ceiling is insulated and panelled with our own chestnut; we just need to finish the bathrooms, kitchen and fire place and put a couple of sky lights in and then it's just lights & furniture. Nige will be making the beds, doors and kitchen & bathroom cabinets. We have some wood drying in the solar kiln, but he will need some more which has to be dragged out of the forest and sawn first. It sounds a lot but it's really almost finished; It's going to be fabulous!

Bookings keep rolling in; lots of weekends in the 1 bedroom gites. We have a booking at Christmas and are fully booked for New Year so it's all really encouraging, especially for year 1!

Other news is; our forest dwelling friends, Yan & Lucia, have 2 new companions and they came up to introduce them this morning. Azur & Clara, Norwegian Fjord horses! Beautiful animals, and ideal for riding and pulling carts or wood out of the forest etc; maybe we should get something like this one day! In the mean time, we can ride and enjoy these 2 instead.

Also, today we tried to pick up a couple of female pigs; really just to help with clearing land for the moment. They would eat our nettles and brambles and dig over the bracken & fertilise the soil. However, they need more human interaction; We didn't manage to get them in the trailer so we left the trailer there and will go and fetch them once they are in. They are commercial pigs bred with wild boar, so they will be good and hardy up here. Their shelter is ready, I think they will be happy, with lots to eat; Who knows, they might well be visited by a handsome wild boar!