You are never too old to learn a new skill and since we have been here at The Farmhouse, we have learnt so much …about so much! We have rummaged around and revived old skills and taken steps forward and learnt new ones. Our change in occupation has meant that the things we once did every day, are still useful, but we have added to that knowledge and honed in a different skill set. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

For Rob, January has been about wall building and it will probably be the same in February to a certain extent. We are aiming to create a walled courtyard on the “La Vue” side of the house. Where the barrels once stood, we now have a wall. It doesn’t keep Emmie enclosed, far from it, with a quick leap she is on the wall and prancing along it in “show girl” style. For me January has been about marketing, websites, photos and online travel agents (OTA’s ; there is a new acronym I never thought I’d know). I have probably had the warmer job this January and I am not going to complain.

We have been continuing with our projects and have now ordered a pergola for the south terrace. At over six metres long the big table will easily sit underneath. This will be directly accessed from the summer kitchen. This terrace is south facing, it can be hot, very hot because in summer it gets the full power of the sun. I think the pergola will be just perfect, enabling those long lunches in a shady spot. I am now looking for the plants that we can grow over it, thus creating that perfect French eating area on the outside terrace.

In putting shade in, in the form of the pergola, we have taken some shade away. We have a huge lime tree in the garden which has become more and more open and sprawly. It is a beautiful tree and it takes centre stage in the south garden. The concern has been the combination of the tree in full leaf and a windy day! The other problem has been the shade it casts on the swimming pool ( I know this is a first world problem!). In late summer as the sun begins to drop lower in the sky, the pool can lose its sunlight by early evening. After a hard day working this has often been the time when we get to enjoy the pool and then it’s in shade!

On Tuesday Matt, who is an arborist, came to give the lime tree a haircut. It was a big job and a really impressive platform lifter was involved. You can’t help but be in awe of these machines and the engineers that make it all possible. We are grateful too for other people’s skills, whether it be the arborist or the engineer, it all comes together to get the job done.

The wall at “La Vue” beginning to take shape.

The wall at “La Vue” beginning to take shape.

An early morning walk with Emmie. The sun is just coming up and the big lime tree is silhouetted against the morning sky.

An early morning walk with Emmie. The sun is just coming up and the big lime tree is silhouetted against the morning sky.

Lots of cake has been made and consumed this month!

Lots of cake has been made and consumed this month!

Cooking chilli on the wood burning stove from scratch! An experiment that felt such an achievement. A winter theme seems to have been cooking “off piste”. Can’t wait to get the pizza oven.

Cooking chilli on the wood burning stove from scratch! An experiment that felt such an achievement. A winter theme seems to have been cooking “off piste”. Can’t wait to get the pizza oven.

Time for a hair cut.

Time for a hair cut.

Action Stations.

Action Stations.

Lovely, we were really pleased with the result.

Lovely, we were really pleased with the result.

A tree on the edge of the copse, one just waiting for a tree swing?

A tree on the edge of the copse, one just waiting for a tree swing?


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