Une belle aventure

Our new life in 'Les Vosges'

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Bye Bye Little Home on wheels

In September we said Goodbye to our mobile home. We debated for a while whether we should keep it and put it in the field, or convert it into a shower block but basically when someone asked us if it was for sale, we thought best to sell it as it was already deteriorating fast.
So fairwell little home, you served your purpose!


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With all that snow: keeping warm is always on our mind

Our chimney doesn’t produce a lot of heat at the moment. So we tried putting Matt’s patio heater in it. Kind of worked but we had to keep it close to get the most heat and the best bit about a chimney is to be able to see the flames….


The Wallace Brick helped us built a successful fire. (I am still learning…)


Matt realised that our mobilehome gaz fire heater wasn’t working efficiently and gave it a good clean. We might save a few € on our electricity bill now.

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We received our hot air system for the house, which we’ll fit later on.
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Matt has been finding more treasures to restore. Thank you Eric! I think Matt is secretly planning to become a wood burner master-dude!!

And our latest purchase: portable wood burner for our tents. (see belltent.co.uk for more details)
Matt thinks it’s going to come in handy when we go ‘wood cutting’…. As it happened we have just picked up our allotment…


Christmas holidays: freezing fog; sub-zero temperature & still living in a mobilehome

Just a quick overview of our December’s Holiday in Les Vosges.
Since the kids actually chose their Christmas presents in Leclerc as they are now aware that ‘Le Père Noel’ does not exist, we didn’t see fit to wrap them up and put them at the bottom of the tree.
Instead we did a treasure hunt on Christmas Eve.
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Rhys had chosen something that wouldn’t have even fitted in our old home in Pembury!
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Saf chose a sewing machine. Unfortunately it broke on Day 2.
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Matt spent some time trying to repair it but without any luck. I must now try to find a ‘Repair Café’. An amazing idea where volunteers help people repairing their stuff.

So we found other activities to do and had a go at making candles.
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* This is for Karen & Nick’s daughter: Amber Rose 😉
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Then the snow arrived!!!
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And then began Saf’s snowman building’s obession…
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Nice hat, Matt! 😉
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The kids had a go on Matt’s snowboard…in our garden.
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And went sledging in the village.
The kids made another snowman with some friends. (This one has to be one of the best ever!!)
We went to Eric & Coco for a very ‘chillax New Year’Eve celebration’. We played Mr Bean in a franglais kind of manner and after a few glasses of vino, Matt showed them a few of his tricks. (his cork trick being is favourite).
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I took a walk in our field and photographed some of the animal tracks. It looks like it’s a pretty busy place at night. Something else to create later; a kind of hide to watch the animals during the night.
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The the weather turned and we experienced -12 celcius, blizzard and freezing fog and their consequences…. No more water….
So we improvised for a few days to the kids delight.
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We tried to unfreeze the pipes under the mobilehome….No luck there.
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I left a bottle of water in the mobilehome kitchen…
And I don’t mention the oil or the Nutella (which we still have to melt in the microwave).
I forgot my plants….(what kind of gardener am I!!) This is not a good sign for later. (Must do better!!)
So we heated water and had baths in a large plastic tub. 😉 like in the olden’ days.
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Frost on the window. Nothing special about that. Hang on frost on the inside of the window…okay that’s a little cold.
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The lake in Bourbonne-les-Bains was frozen.
We made bread and cakes…
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We played Cluedo and played Cluedo again and again and then hid the game. 😉 lol
Matt found some large pieces of wood to keep us warm.
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The kids were introduced to french films like Asterix & Obelix, Le gendarme a St Tropez and I finally got to watch ‘Bienvenue chez les ch’ti’, which we all loved.
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The forecast was fab for New Year’s day so headed to the slopes for an afternoon of skiing. What a treat. It was brilliant.
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Last time up in the chairlift for a descent at dusk.
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We went to the ‘Pot du Maire’ and were given a plant. What a great idea as I have a few spare pots….Must try and keep this one alive.

The rest of the holiday and in January, we made more snowmen, had some quad trips and did some glass painting and enjoyed the lovely surrounding.
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Some of the photographs Matt took in the mornings. The light is just fantastic. It looks pretty eerie at times.
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A few improvements in the Bungalow and in the House

We’re pretty happy with our dry toilet. Even emptying it in the rain is ‘kind of’ okay. We just needed a little fan to keep it fresh. IMG_4966 IMG_4970 IMG_4968 IMG_4971 IMG_4967
Our tap broke in ‘le bungaow’ so Matt had to change it. He had a lot of fun adapting french stuff to english plumbing…  IMG_2222
We changed the windows but had a set back. We measured the second window wrongly….arrrggg. Really annoying when the D.I.Y store is an hour’s drive away…Nevermind it’s all a learning curve. We had to take the radiator off as well. By the way we are selling them if anyone is interested by some ‘vintage french radiators’ 😉 (they are blinkin’ heavy!) IMG_5008 IMG_5012 IMG_2271 IMG_2283 IMG_2282 IMG_2320 IMG_2321 IMG_2351

One done.

Not a product placement just a little ‘hi’ to my old bosses to say ‘cheers’ for the tool! 😉 IMG_2285 IMG_2400 IMG_2399 IMG_5042

We love this old sink but we probably won’t use it as a sink, we’ll use it as a seat. IMG_5110
And ‘Sharon’ (Matts stone) has found a new purpose, a sink plug…..
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I carried on scraping the walls in the ‘future’ lounge. 4 layers of wallpaper and glue holding on polystyrene insulation. IMG_4964 IMG_4963
I had some help from our favourite neighbours. Even Matt helped for a bit……literally seconds…. IMG_5106 IMG_5107
Finally it’s pretty much getting there….
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I cleared some of the cellar steps as they are deadly slippery.
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The steps we when arrived:
We dug a little more in the cellar. We need to fit a sump pump in there.
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Nice clear hole. And photo taken a few hours ago. Arrrrgggg.
I know what I’ll be doing when the rain stops!
Little faces are everywhere!;) A sad looking electrical plug.
We also found this while clearing. An ancient back scraper? Or maybe a tool to help pick up apples and pears. IMG_4991

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Life in ‘Le Bungalow’

Back in the UK, I used to watch ‘My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding’ sometimes and on those programmes the girls always seem to be cleaning their caravans. I remember thinking “why on earth are they always cleaning it’s not that big.”
And here I am cleaning “Le Bungalow” all the time. I am either wiping something or sweeping. I guess it’s the smaller the place you live in, the more you can see the mess….

Thanks Lydia for the gloves. 😉

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Our Dry Toilet

We always spoke about making a dry toilet, even more so because that’s what we’re planning to implement for the campers. We had to trial our idea.

First we had to get rid of the old toilet in ‘Le Bungalow’.
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We are going to upcycle it into a flower pot.

Then measure, cut, varnish and fit.
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We decided to use a wee separator.

We have been using it for over a month now. The kids prefer it to the one in the house. I empty the number 2 once a week. We use wood chips and I empty it into our compost area. Matt empties the wee once or twice a week. It’s not that taxing.
So a pretty successful thing so far.