8 March 2015



Barrie Fairhead passed away yesterday, 7th March.

It was a chance meeting in the village square with Barrie in August 2007 that spurred us on to buying the little house in Le Grand-Pressigny.  We were dithering and he encouraged and supported us through the buying process and the early years.  If we hadn’t met, the moment would have passed and we might not be living in this lovely part of France now.

Barrie was a great character and a good friend, a warm hearted Yorkshireman and he loved his life in France.  Our lives were enriched by knowing him and we will miss him.

4 March 2015



Getting the old kitchen out was a big job.  Having emptied all the cupboards and set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere in the house it needed a lot of effort and a good thump with a big hammer to remove the rest of the units.


The previous owners of the house had told us that it took five big blokes to carry in the large expanse of granite worktop on one side of the kitchen.  Common sense told us that it would probably also take five big blokes to get it out again – if it was to come out in one piece at any rate.

Having carefully prised it away from the plasterboard covering the walls, the time came to heave and grunt and get it out of the front door and into the back of a large van.


The worktop survived and everyone looked very pleased with themselves.  A very tricky job done successfully.


After that the rest came out much more easily and we were left with pretty much an empty space.

kitchen5 kitchen6

I’m pleased to say that nothing is going to be wasted.  The granite worktops, sink and the old cooker have gone to one new home and some of the units are in the barn waiting to be collected by their new owner.  We are keeping a few of the wall cupboards to re-use ourselves when we remodel the utility room later in the year.


We have set up a temporary kitchen in the dining room.  Our old spare cooker stands in the doorway that we never use and is working fine.  We have put a skeleton selection of pots, pans, cutlery and crockery on the top of the sideboard and any other available surface so we can prepare proper meals.  The appeal of eating out for several weeks is great, but from past experience we would probably get thoroughly fed up with it after a few days.


The only awkward part is that our water supply is in the utility room at the other end of the house.  When I have to walk the length of three rooms and back again to fill then boil a kettle I try to remind myself that the other option was using a series of bowls and buckets, so this is much better.  Almost luxury in fact!

Of course the other awkward part is that the sink in the utility room is directly under Daisy’s (temporary) cat flap.  So far we have managed to avoid a clash of activities but I dare say it can only be a matter of time!

1 March 2015


Lulu meets Daisy

It was a big year for all of us last year.  We moved house in England and in France and Lulu coped with it all really well.  She had hardly settled in at our new French house when a small interloper arrived.  Daisy the kitten.

Lulu meets Daisy4 Lulu meets Daisy5 Lulu meets Daisy6

I have had a cat and a dog in the same household before (many decades ago) but the cat was there first and they got on well together.  Friends who have introduced a cat to a house where the dog lived there first have not fared so well and they don’t get on at all.

Consequently I was nervous about bringing a kitten into Lulu’s new home, but wondered if the fact that she had not yet firmly established her territory might make things easier.  In any case, the cat was needed to deal with the huge population of mice so we had no choice.

Lulu meets Daisy8

It turned out to be a fairly painless process in the end.  We had to put a bit of time and effort into it but it worked out fine. 

Lulu meets Daisy9f