Une belle aventure

Our new life in 'Les Vosges'

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A lesson in the art of distilling

Last tuesday we spent some time with Gerard. He showed us the ropes. Ready for next year when we will be doing it ourselves!
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Let the Xmas Season starts

The Xmas season starts here with the St Nicholas celebration at the beginning of December.

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We went down to Lamarche and followed the St Nicholas and Pere fouetard through the village. While St Nicholas threw sweets at the kids, the Pere Fouetard was handing out bamboo canes.
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They then put on a show in the ‘Salle des fetes’ and gave the kids a chocolat brioche and a bag of sweets.
The decorations went up in our village and in the neighbouring villages.
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And the lavoirs look lovely too.
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We’ve got our own star outside our house.
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So we got our decorations up too in the mobile home and in the house.
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We went for another St Nicholas Celebration and the kids made some ‘bonhomme en bonbon’.
Rhys also got chosen to go and help the singer.
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The weather has turned cold and at the moment we just hope that our water installation will hold!
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Matt photographed some sunrise.
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I took Saf to her first Lotto. (’til 1am in the morning…) and she loved it. I, on the other hand was pretty bored. It was interesting to see how it worked and who goes there. People are true Bingo fanatic but I don’t think I could ever take it so seriously. Still those local events attract around 400 people. Quite impressive.
Coco’s lovely Xmas decoration.
Coco also showed me the Source in Vittel, where you can freely fill up your bottles.
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We got into the Xmas spirit with the ‘vin chaud’, the mistletoe from the garden, the kids xmas fair (which is only made of craft objects the kids and the teachers have made; what a lovely event)  and Saffron’s dance show.
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I found it really refreshing that it was all just xmas decoration made at the school. Like most parents, I bought mostly Saf & Rhys’s decorations. Nice souvenirs.
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Saf’s dance show, along with a country dance show and a marche de Noel, with more upcycled lovely stuff. Matt & I had a go at line dancing at the end. 😉
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Le pere Noel came to the village hall in Mont (well yes all the kids knew it was actually our lovely Hubert. lol). We drank a lot of ‘vin chaud’ and ate some waffles made by the lovely ladies.
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And Father Xmas is everywhere.
Here he is with his elf!
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So Merry Xmas everyone and Happy New Year!
xmas card

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We painted the beams

So THE wall is done. It is quite a task and Matt keeps winding me up by saying he’s going to start another one. I am not ready just yet….It kind of took us nearly 3 weeks on and off to get it done.
But before we could paint we had to clean them again and scrape them….
We said goodbye to ‘Bambi’.
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Painting in style. In fact that photo was taken because Matt can not understand how I always manage to get paint everywhere and why my paint brush ends up full of paint!?
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Matt trying to overcome his fear of heights. Doing well, doing well….
So we’re slowly getting there.
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Our kitchen now and how it looked when we moved in.
So we now need to get some equipment:
And bingo we spotted this at the ‘Magasin Vert’.
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Scrubs up nicely.
Now for cabinets: A 5 hours round-trip.
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I even fit inside.
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Matt found this old bar-bistrot on Le Bon Coin. We’ll have a go at restoring it next year and make it into our kitchen.

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Learning new skills

The walls were ready to be rendered. So let the rendering starts.
We wetted the walls, applied the render, smoothed it, smoothed it even more and cleaned the stones.
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Our work was interrupted by a trip to A&E in Vittel….Matt got some ‘chaux’ in his eye. Ouch!
Lunch at work!
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Before and after a first round of smoothing the render.

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Nice to be working in the warmth with the Vogelzang.
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Matt making fun of my hard work! (he gets bored with long tasks…)
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Matt doesn’t mind cooking on the Vogelzang! Result.

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The Carpenters have started their work

First they brought the beams, then their scaffolding.

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They started working. They work pretty hard. They join us with their packed french lunches for lunch.
4 lovely chaps that we’ll no problem having round again in the New Year. They’re on hols for 2 weeks.
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Replacing the old beams….what was left of them…
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We tackled our boundary ….might involve burning some stuff…

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So let’s pull all those trees and…..well burn it.
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While we also clear the clay and discover more treasures.
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While Rhys plays with his mate.
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With some help from our favourite neighbours.

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And let’s spot a little neighbour while making the fire.
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And it burnt for quite some time.
We decided to upcycle our radiator pipes into our boundary fencing.
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Matt also started clearing the field….by all weather…

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