Jim and I have spent two exciting and busy summers at the Moulin du Cout. 7-8 months in both years. We have have many visitors and some workawayers. We have busied ourselves in the house and the domaine, painting, repairing, making things and creating some changes. There is still much to do. 
We have also involved ourselves with our French neighbours as far as our lack of French will allow and made some British friends who live nearby. We have taken many trips out into the country as far south as Albi, Carcassonne and Auch, seen the Millau bridge and visited many Foires and Vides Grenier. We have had a great time and hope to repeat the experience for a shorter time next year.
However, Matthew intends to put the Moulin back on the market next spring so our days spent there may be numbered. Although we shall be sad not to be able to visit in the future we understand and approve the reasons for selling and hope that it is successful. At least we shall be able to make the other holiday arrangements that we have had in mind for some time.
The following blog shows some of the changes we have made to the house and domaine over the years and tells of some of our exploits and interests.

Work in the house
Most of the inside of the house and the gite has now been painted white, either by myself or Matthew and it is a great improvement. However my plan to get workawayers to prepare and revarnish the outside woodwork largely came to naught. Mostly because during their stay the weather was fine and they all preferred to work outside in the domaine and, let's face it, it was an unattractive job. Perhaps next year. 
The living room
Part of the kitchen
I have now made five quilts for the beds - one more to do if I have the time.
Quilt made for the main bedroom
Quilt made for a single bed in the gite
The bottling of fruit, the pickling of walnuts and jam making have all been done with success and I still wish that we could have gone ahead with a plan to get a few chickens but we knew that we would have a problem with foxes and Rufus.

Some construction work has taken place outside. A pergola was quickly constructed this Easter which looked good when decorated with bunting for Peter's party. It now has a grapevine  and kiwi fruit growing up it.

Jim has almost completed the extended terrace which has been formed by knocking down the wall alongside the steps and building out over the fosse septique. This latter can be accessed when necessary by a large trapdoor in the decking.

Work was also started in October by Jim and Matthew to construct a Japanese Anagama kiln. Unfortunately lack of time and heavy rain prevented this getting finished and it will have to wait until next year.

With help from Jim, Tony, one of our visitors, mended the roof over the mill using replacement tiles. A job that badly needed doing.

We have planted several fruit trees in one of the fields - now termed the orchard, naturally, and the gite border has been reconstructed. A few trees have been felled, either to provide timber for other projects or because they were growing in the wrong place.

Considerable work has gone on in the original vegetable garden to restore it to production and we have benefitted from this effort in fresh produce and exercise.

The nature walk from the house to Peter's Place has been kept open and a further path opened up across the crags although this still needs more work to make it safer for the less agile. Fencing has been erected in many places to keep animals in/out or for safety reasons by the river and the seat at Peter's Place.

Our experience, this last year, with workawayers (young people who give of their time and effort in return for board and lodging) has been both enlightening and helpful. It has been good to have young willing hands to do some of the heavier work and we have enjoyed their company and conversation. Thank you Ben, Yan, Bart, Amelia and Dan. If we return next year I shall hope to have more.

Anyone stumbling across this blog who feels they may be interested in a possible purchase or, at least, would like more details or a viewing can contact me by email: readingdog@me.com. and I will get back to them.

The gite will continue to be for rent during the months of April, May, June and July 2012 unless family or friends are using it. Again, email me for information and availability.

No comments: