We continue to love the French life that we have created here in the South-West of France and continue to be excited about the benefits of living here. We currently do not have any rare breed pigs though that is something that we want to rectify as soon as Jasmine is open for business.
Our chicken numbers took quite a hit earlier this year when our girls got a nighttime visit from what we believe was a pine marten. He killed two of our lovely hens leaving us with only three! The survivors are:
- ’Tubby’ the old dame who was one of our original six.
- ‘Emu’ who is a very cheeky madame with loads of curiosity
- ‘Myrtle’ who is a bit hen-pecked at times but she does enjoy having her food bowl held for her!
I don't want to say they are spoiled but they are regularly allowed into the kitchen to warm up and always get a daily portion of pasta and creme fraiche around midday or earlier if they had their way!
Wisteria Gite has had a steady run of bookings last year with an increase in repeat guests. This is always a pleasure for us because we can catch up and chat with ease in the same way that old friends do.
Jasmine Gite has come on leaps and bounds since the last blog. Externally we now have lockable doors and windows, thick insulated lime/hemp walls, a septic tank, and a large flat patio with a gentle ramp to/from the driveway. Internally there are tiled floors throughout, several toilets, a bedroom with an en-suite wet room for people with reduced mobility. There is also an open plan kitchen/dining room with a cosy lounge that has a very efficient log burning stove, large sofa bed, television, Bluetooth soundbar, and wi-fi.
The kitchen was a conundrum initially as the worktops are square and straight and the 'characterful walls' are most definitely not, but the batons we fixed to the walls prior to the lime/hemp application helped no end. So a framework was built and it now looks amazing though I don't think installing mosaic tiles is ever going to be a favourite job of mine.
Each time a significant goal is reached, especially the electrics and plumbing we get a buzz of excitement that we are nearly there, every improvement has taken Jasmine from being a ball and chain that we weren't really enjoying to a beautiful little cottage that we will be loathed to rent to guests, hopefully, our guests feel the love too.
The 'brown barn' attached to Jasmine now has lockable doors front and rear! How posh is that! This barn will eventually become a games room but it still needs the floor finishing and we aim to complete this work later in the year. We have already started the framework for the upstairs landing and hope to fit the stairs soon. We've watched a Youtube video on how to make stairs yourself, twelve minutes of an expert knocking up a solid, non-squeaking staircase, we'll let you know how we get on in the next blog.
We recently gave Jasmine a small run out when Debbie had a 'significant' birthday, just over thirty friends came, the fire was on and our friends had a chance to look at what we had been doing this last year.
We are expecting our first guest in Jasmine at the end of May, an old friend is visiting to give it a test drive and an honest assessment about what is good and what could be better. We have tried to make Jasmine suitable for people with reduced mobility. Wider doors, spacious wet room, and open plan kitchen/diner. The entrance is nearly complete now with a few minor jobs to tidy the external walls.