Manny's Blog

Sharing our French adventure as we live and work and renovate our forever home in the Haute Loire.
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A new home for us – a new home for the blog!

Thanks Harry Atkins for my glorious new blog site! All the old blogs have been transferred here – I was approaching the limit of the  media I could upload on my WordPress site, so Harry kindly made me a new home, where I can also upload videos! (Beyond my pay-grade on the other site!!) I’m very excited to welcome you to!

A glimpse of Autumn

The long, late summer evenings flicked like a switch last Sunday – we were too hot in the shade during the day, and then that night brought Autumn winds and squally showers. Last Sunday was however a momentous landmark for me and Joe… we had a lovely visit from our good friends Saul and Kim, we had a great plancha meal together, and sat by the fire until the early hours, under the most magnificent moon – then they spent the night in their campervan… and Joe and I spent our first ever night in our new bedroom! Snug and warm and blissfully unaware of the storm raging outside, (Saul and Kim – not so much!) until we saw the gazebo a-kimbo the following morning.

well it’s a wonderful night for a moondance…
First night…

We’re leaping and bounding towards our goal of moving in properly, and not a day passes now without thrilling (for us!) changes as we transform the house from building site to  our forever-home!

Here’s the latest…

Plasterboarding progress

We’ve been plasterboarding all over the place – I’ve carried on with the ceiling and even given it an undercoat before we took up the temporary floor to re-open up the stairwell. Have to say, even with just an undercoat, the result is really satisfying:

pasted and jointed…
windows in the spine wall…
a real taste of what it’s going to look like!
A few more bays to do though!

Staircases and stairwells

I popped back to the UK at the beginning of September for a few days to see Mum (lovely, precious time together), and when I came back Joe had finished the staircase to the mezzanine! No more climbing the ladder every time we need to get up or down… bloomin’ luxury! 

Beautiful staircase painstakingly made from the old reclaimed floorboards from the barn.
The chunky metal handrails and the stylish posts
The beginning…
Before the treads went down!
posts for the railings

With the ceiling over the stairwell undercoated, we were able to finally close up the downstairs bedroom ceiling, and re-open the sitting room stairwell. No small feat, as we had to remove those two big temporary beams we’d put in to support the floor –

Up with the floor…
From top to bottom!
And out with the beams!

Another flushing loo

New downstairs loo – our first attempt at laying loze – love the way they look!

The arrival of the accumulation tank, and the installation of the heating!

So this week we’ve had Michael, our heating engineer from Enershop  staying with us and installing the boiler, accumulation tank, and the solar panels. Basically this was the final big financial hurdle we needed to cross before we could move in… we’re so close now, I can hardly believe it after nearly two years of pretty well non-stop renovation!  The boiler and tank arrived in advance, and Max revealed competition winning tractor-skills to take first the boiler, and then the 2000 litre, enormous tank from the trailer to the house, and somehow fit both through the doors:

And here she is, upright and in position!
Michael getting the solar panels in place and connected up.
And it’s all up and running!


With the pool packed away, we took advantage of the clear skies and the clear ground in front of the house to change the direction of the guttering, and send it into the rainwater drainage at the side of the house. Our faithful tower did us proud yet again!

Easy access
fixing the end-plate


With a wood burning boiler we clearly need a wood-store… so Joe built us one!

Posts reclaimed from the mangers in the cowshed
The old tiles from the piggery roof
Arty and Cass 
In fact we had a quite a team last Sunday!
Better order some more wood!

New door!

We’re thrilled with the new door to the workshop where the window used to be – 

The bathroom

My main project over the last few weeks has been getting the bathroom tiled and ready for use. I started by pasting and jointing and waterproofing the walls, and then got tiling – I love the look of the metro tiles we’ve chosen…and I still love tiling!

Time to get grouting!

A few little tour videos

As promised, here are a few little videos from the weekend to bring you right up-to-date. Thank you so much for reading and sharing this great adventure with us – Bye for now x

The bathroom
The heating!

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  1. Patricia Paul says:

    Amazing, amazing, amazing!!!! It’s going to be fabulous! x

  2. Janet Atkins says:

    All beginning to take place now and this blog really gives the impression of how great it will be. We can see that the moving in will soon be here and how lovely it must have been to sleep there. Well done both of you and all the helpers.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Wow Manny!!!
    It’s going to be fab U Lous!!

    Lots of love to you all xxx

    1. Manny says:

      Thanks Ronnie – come and see us anytime!

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