The tree that came down in a storm a couple of weeks ago had to be cut up and moved into the barn. This left a large hole in the hedge, which was mainly made up of brambles. There are a few other shrubs here, that were hidden, and were gradually being strangled by the long spiky tentacles of this prickly shrub. There was no doubt about it, these thorny stems had to go. This had been a job I had been longing to get done as the bramble wall must have been eight feet high and probably eight feet deep, not to mention twenty feet long. We didn't know what it concealed but we knew the view would be great, opening up another sundowner spot in the garden.

With the arrival of the grounds maintenance team on Wednesday, welcome Cheryl and Steve, and equipped with all things motorised that have a pull cord start, the air was soon filled with the rumblings of hedge cutters and chain saws as the tree was moved and the hedge slowly disappeared. From our new vantage point we were able to look into the distance and I wondered how this view would change as the leaves appear. Hoping for a long uninterrupted view, I must admit to mentally cutting down several trees, miles into the distance.

Standing on our new sundowner spot looking down into the "Spinny", for that's what this group of trees and shrubs will now be called, I was pleased to realise that the strong suckering roots of the bramble had made their way into this area and felt content that there would still be a habitat for the wild life. Thank you Geoff for telling me that the bird in Tuesday's photo was a Long Tailed Tit, we watched three pairs this week around our feeding area. I have been filling bird feeders with seed and I have noticed that the bird cake is a particularly popular treat. A couple of weeks ago we had a robin as a very frequent visitor, but I haven't seen him lately. The jay's, magpies and hawks, duck and dive and I was amazed to see a heron near the road on my way to Fumel.

The Farmhouse is bursting with activity, we hear the dulcet tones of kango hammers as the plumbers and electricians find their routes around and through the walls, to fit all things pipe and cable. The brassware has been sourced and has arrived ready for Lauzerte bathroom and floors have been levelled ready for the oak flooring. We have always said that they would be finished by the middle of April and there were no tuts or shakes of the head when this was mentioned this week. I'd say we are on track!

The bramble blitz. You can see where the tree has fallen on the right hand side. 24/02/16

The work continues. 25/02/16

The bramble hedge has gone,  piles of bramble to get rid of. 26/02/16