Une belle aventure

Our new life in 'Les Vosges'

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With Mirabelles you can also…

…make “La Goutte” which is 55 degree alcohol.
Let’s try it: Thanks Eric 😉


Matches for Rhys and a bouteille de Goutte for us…

With “La Goutte” you can also make a ‘Bruleau’. A selection of fresh red fruits or others that you cook ‘flambé’ with La Goutte and a sugar cube. Serve hot. Nice night cap.


La Goutte is a lovely digestif. Nice also as a drop in a hot drink as it’s full of flavour. It’s also useful to make other alcohol. I added it to make my ‘Ratafia’.

If we’re going to try and make some Goutte. We need a tub. Great I know where we have some but we need to empty them first.

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That was properly disgusting. Those fermented mirabelles must have been in there for 10 years. It stank so much. But we did it. Emptied and cleaned the tubs, ready to be filled with fresh ones.

Let’s go and pick some.


So we did and filled up one tub. We had to keep stirring it for weeks until there was no more gas.

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Our first visitors

We were lucky to have friends from the UK dropped by this August. Katie, Justin and their two kids (from Crowborough) came to visit. They stayed in a hotel in Contrexeville and came for dinner a couple of nights. Their visit was pretty eventful.
Within a couple of minutes of walking through the garden, Justin got stung. Still unsure as to what it was but it seemed pretty painful.
We’re not going to mention every event but Alex fell into the puddle in the cellar, Rhys decided to have a ‘horse poo’ fight with Frankie. Her little teddy got ran over and that was just on the first evening. Hope your first visit hasn’t put you off as we would love to see you again next year guys. 😉


If you wonder, why the broom in the panier. We went to pick some mirabelles.

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Rhys’ Magnificent Cabin – upcycling old planks of wood

At times this summer, Rhys needed something to do so we decided to help him build his own pad in the garden.
He named it himself. He wanted a tree house. However our trees are pretty old and falling (as you can see). So it became a climbing area and a cabin.
No doubt that this area will evolve.

We picked that spot and started clearing the area.

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The climbing area is done.

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Making the prospectors cabin.

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Transporting the wood to the cabin ‘in style’.

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We also made a swing from an old bed.


Sign to go up near the cabin: (part of an old bed as well).


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What will we do with our cellar

The cellar was a proper mess. We have started clearing it. It’s pretty grim (rotten wood, broken glass) but it is starting to look better. We need to set a sump pump in it and remove the oil tanks.
A few people have told us that we’re lucky to have a cellar as not all houses have one. True. Let’s make sure we use it.
Underground bar maybe? 😉

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The Mont

Our is village is called Mont-les-Lamarche as in The Mountain of ‘Lamarche’, which is the larger village down the road.
Here is the Mountain from our garden:

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We took a walk up it from our house.


Coralie and Eric showed us another way up the Mont. We went for a couple of hours’ walk through the forest at the top. Awesome.


We can just about see our house from that side of the Mont.

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Our future kitchen

The chimney in there is pretty damaged and we are still completely unsure as to what we’re going to do with it or what it will look like.
Once the fuel heating system was removed, we had to try and clean the “Bistre” from the tiles. (luckily we have found some more tiles in an other part of the house – so we can replace some).
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We have been told ‘bleach’ should get rid of it. Little by little we have had a go at it.
We also had the big chimney swept and emptied 2 full wheel barrows.

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Next we’re having a ‘tubage’ fitted.

I would also like to mention that Thanks to Christophe’s advice (our ramoneur) we now have 30 Amp instead of 15 and a brand new ‘Dijoncteur’. Merci Christophe!
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