Spring is defiantly in the air.

Its been a very long time since I  wrote a blog and so much has happened.

We had a very busy summer in 2014 and welcomed lots of guests and many of them became friends, we shall look forward to welcoming them again this summer and meeting new people too.

Unfortunately at the begging of July I had an accident riding my horse (Boris) which resulted in a broken scapula.  Which was extremely painful, and a huge inconvenience as it was peak time with the Gites, So I had to relay on help with everything.  But we managed and had a very succesful season.

In november I made the decision to send Boris away to a lady called Helen Green near Villarreal,  she specialises in a natural method with horses, and is a fantastic horsewoman, I have learnt so much from her, and I have to say i didn’t think Id ever ride Boris again but after all Helen’s hard work with him I found the courage to get back on.   A picture below is of me riding him for the first time since I fell off in July.

 

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Here is another picture of me working with him doing what we call long lining.

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Boris still has a long way to go as do I but I hope to have him home soon.

 

Also in November,  Andrew and I made the decision to welcome a new puppy in to our lives.  He is now nearly 7 months and is Called Arthur he is a fox red labrador is adorable and extremely intelligent,  Coco and Shamrock have excepted him in to our house hold.  Arthur is looking forward to meeting everyone this summer.

 

Below is a picture when we got him home on the first day.

 

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This was taken at the weekend,  Arthur is growing up so fast.

 

 

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We have had a very mild winter here at Peyrenegre this year,  there is defiantly a feel that spring is in the air as the evenings are starting to draw out, and last week we sore the Cranes flying over, this for us is a sure sign that winter is over and spring is here.

 

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It’s all systems go at Peyrenegre now as the grass is growing so we have been busy in the garden, cutting grass and sorting out the vegetable patch so it’s all ready for planting stuff.  The Gites will be getting opened up again soon after the winter, and I’m looking forward to getting the pool open and with it been heated it means swimming can start early.  This year we will have the sun flowers in the back ground all around us which makes for a fantastic view.

 

 

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The chickens are back laying again after a spell of going through malt, and we have separated our three Gold laced Orpington’s and the cockerel so that in the coming weeks we can start hatching out some chicks.  The ducks have also started laying so we have decided to let them sit on a few duck eggs so that we will also have some ducklings very soon.  It such an exciting part of the year welcoming new life in to the world.

 

We will look forward to welcoming old and new clients this year.

 

We still have some empty weeks to fill so if you would like to come and stay with us in our peace of tranquility then don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Please click on the link below.

 

http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/accommodation/p8014752

 

 

Summer is hopefully on its way.

The time has arrived again for me to sit down and tell you all my news.  Where do I start?!!  Whilst England has been having lots of snow, here in the south-west part of france we have been having lots of rain, however next week they promise us warmer weather and sunshine.  There is a definite feeling of spring in the air, despite all the rain we have had as the plants and bulbs are starting to come to life and pop there heads up.  Andrew has been busy in the poly tunnel planting seeds and its nice to see them growing in to plants.

 

 

we all had a very quite christmas and new year here at Peyrenegre but enjoyed our first one here in our new home.  I managed to get out of preparing the christmas dinner this year as my finger was still broken, so it fell to my mum and Andrew to cook the feast.  The good news is my finger is now mended and I have almost full movement back.  I have also managed to start rinding my horse again.

 

We have been busy over the past few months with the ongoing work and changes that we are making here at Peyrenegre, all improvements that we hope will make people enjoy their holiday experience here even better and be like a home from home.

 

Les Etables and also Les Hirondelles have had extra work surface area put in and also ment that more shelving has been added to make more storage for food ect.

 

 Les Etables.

I have also had the laundry room updated and I am sure it will make a high difference to me and also our guests.

 

 

 

We also made the decision to get rid of the gym room and turn it in to a children’s play room, it has lots of books, board games, a tv to watch dvds on or play on the Wii and also there is a 4 in 1 games set so you can play baby foot, snooker, table tennis and ice hockey.  We have however kept the sauna and also the hot tub as they seem very popular here.  It will mean that should there be a day while you are here on holiday the sun is not shinning the children will have somewhere to escape to and play.  The great thing about it is that its opposite the gites.

 

 

 

Also after expanding the vegetable patch for the growth of more vegetables we had decided to fence the play area to make a secure and safe area for everyone to play in, there will be the swings, badminton and trampoline down there.

 

 

 Work in progress.

 

 

 Play area all finished.

 

 

The stables have finally been finished with some very smart post and rail fencing that we have had put around the block.

 

The post and rail fencing that has gone up around the stables has ment that the chickens now have a larger area as we have expaded them around the back of the stables, they are delighted with there new area.  We also have two new arrivals to our bunch of hens they arrived before christmas and are settling in well.

 The new arrivals.

Work on the swimming pool is finally complete and the new pool surround looks fantastic, it has really opened the space up and will make walking around the pool more comfortable.  No more little stones!!

  The new look at the pool.

Andrew and I grabbing a week away next week to england to visit his parents, a rest well earned.  Before the  busy season starts.  We do still have a few weeks to fill in July so If you want to have a peaceful holiday in france then why not give us a try.  If you fancy a holiday in June then why not take me up on our 10 % offer that we have on.

When we return from england we have found some one that has a breed of chicken that I like so Andrew has said that he will hatch out some fertile eggs for me in his incubator, so yes that means chicks will be arriving at Peyrenegre at the end of May.  We will keep a few of the hens and the ones that are surplus will be sold!

There will also be some ducks arriving at Peyrenegre, andrew has made them a lovely enclosure and duck house tucked away at the end of our garden so you never know there may ducklings about as well.

Anyway ill try and blog again soon

Au revoir for now

 

Happy Christmas to everyone.

I would like to wish everyone a very happy christmas from all of us here at Peyrenegre.

 

We are all set for the big day tomorrow presents all wrapped and under the tree, we are having a goose this year.  I get out of preparing the food for christmas this year as I still have my fingers all strapped up, I go back three weeks on Wednesday when I am hoping that it is mended it will have been a long two months.  I miss been able to ride my horse around the beautiful countryside.  I bet he is enjoying having a holiday!!!

 

The work on the new gite Les Noisetiers is now finished, so I just need to give it a good clean and put all the furniture and china in the gite and hang some new pictures on the walls we have bought.  Pictures will follow in due course!!

 

We have enjoyed warm temperatures for the last two days up tp 16 degrees and clear blue skies, which for December is fantastic, I was even out cooking on the bbq last night.

 

I can’t think of any where id rather be, How so much in my life has changed this year moving here and running my own business.  I am looking forward to next year and meeting new people when they come to stay with us in our tiny little paradise.

 

Happy christmas everyone.

 

From Andrew and Lucy

 

 

 

 

 

Its been awhile since I wrote my first blog. So I thought it was time to fill everyone in one whats been going on at Peyrenegre.

It has been awhile since I wrote by first blog and I feel its time I sat down and tried to write another.  It will however take a few days to do it as I broke my finger last weekend when I was bringing my horse in from the field a gun was fired and he decided to bolt.  Resulting in me spending the evening in Marmande hospital waiting for x-rays and for it to be bandaged up with a splint.  I go back soon to have it checked and I hope it is on the mend, I miss been able to ride and you forget how much you depend on the use of both hands.  So anyway here goes.

So whats been happening since the last of our guests left us in October?

We had the planning permission come through at  the begging of September so we had the Stables put up for the horses so that they could then start to come in at night when the clocks changed.  They are very pleased with there 5 star accommodation and love it.

 

Our new stables.   5 star accommodation.

 

We have also made the decision to revamp the swimming pool area and get rid of all the stones and replace them with pool slabs.  This will open up the space at the pool area and also make it easier walking around the pool and moving your sun loungers.  Work is moving along slowly mainly due to the wet weather we have had.  All that now needs to be done when the weather improves is to lay the slabs.  So no more needing to wear flip-flops around the pool next summer.

 

  Just waiting for the weather to improve and the pool slabs can be laid.

 

Work has began converting the annex in to a third gite, we have decided to name it Les Noisetiers after all the hazelnut trees that surround us.  The gite will be fitted out with an excellent kitchen with lots of cubord space and work surfaces, along with a fridge, freezer and dishwasher and much more.  The new gite also has a lovely wood burning stove in it too for those chilly evenings.

 Work under way on the new kitchen.

 Wood burning stove for chilly evenings.

 

Andrew has decided to expand the vegetable plot so that we have more growing space for next year.  We are hoping to be able to grow enough vegetables so that we can give a vegetable box to our guests on arrival along with our free range eggs.

 Expansion down at the vegetable patch.

 

The weather has started to turn cold and we have had a few nights with frosts which meant it was an opportunity for me to go out on a frosty morning and take some photographs of our beautiful countryside on a frosty morning.

 

 My horse Borris showing off and keeping warm in his new rug.

 

  Stunning views on a cold crisp morning.

 

  Rolling open countryside.

 

Also October gave Andrew and I the opportunity to go back to england and visit his Mum and Dad in Leicestershire.  We had a fantastic week with them and it was a chance for us to have a rest and recharge our batteries after the busy season.  We enjoyed going to chatsworth house for the day and also to see the deer at Calk abbey park.  We also enjoyed filling our suitcases up on things we cant buy here and also horse stuff.

 Chatsworth house  

 

  

 

 

what else do we have planned?  Well we have a few more things planned for over the winter but for now they are a secret and I am sure they will be improvements.  So you will just have to wait for my next blog and come and have a holiday with us next year.

 

With only three weeks to go we are starting to turn our mind to christmas and our first one spent here at Peyrenegre,  and we are looking forward to it.  Peyrenegre feels like home now and we love it.

 

Hope you all enjoy reading my latest news and ill do a blog again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first season here at Peyrenegre is drawing to a close, for 2012.

The season is starting to draw to a close and I now have time to sit down and  write my first ever blog!  A little scary I must confess!!

Andrew and I moved in to Peyrenegre on the 15th may along with my retired parents,  from then on it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us!  We certainly hit the ground running as there were already people here on holiday and lots more guests booked in for the coming months.

We needed to fence the garden for our dogs, and also an area for the chickens and somebody came and put up the fencing for the horses and also a field shelter for them so they could live out for the summer.   This was all done when we had a quite week or two in June!

Our two gypsy cobs. Here they are happily munching away, and very happy in their new home!

Our free range hens. Our chicken run. Whilst you are here you can enjoy lots of free range eggs.

It was very much a case of learning on the job as this is a whole new world for Andrew and I as we have always worked on stud farms in England breeding racehorses.  So you could say a massive life changing move for us from working with horses to people!  We have really enjoyed the season and meeting returning clients here to peyrenegre and also new people from bookings that I have taken since we have been here.  We have loved having you all here and sharing such a beautiful place, that we were lucky enough to find and buy.

It has been fun taking the children down with us to help feed the chickens and look for eggs and also hunt for tomatoes.  We hope next year to have lots of vegetables to that we can also give them to our guests.  Andrew has been busy in the last few weeks planting lots of winter vegetables for us for the winter.

Feeding the hens. Picking tomatoes

Enjoying feeding the hens.                            Collecting tomatoes with us.

 

We have had some very hot weather here in July and August and one day in August it reached 40 degrees, So everyone enjoyed the swimming pool.  There is always lots of fun to be had up at the pool, by everyone!

Jumping inn. The pool is so inviting.

Relaxing in the sun. Relaxing whilst mum enjoys the pool.

We have had some excellent feed back and lovely comments in the guest book, which makes us proud that we have done an excellent job here this season and most importantly we have survived and enjoyed every minute of it.  Especially when I read the feed back that has been put on the trip advisor site.  The feed back said:

5 of 5 starsReviewed 31 August 2012

We have just spent two weeks here in this lovely unspoilt part of France. The gites are beautiful inside, well kited out and felt like home. Very very peaceful with great views across the countryside. Our children ( 3 and 5. ) have had a wonderful time playing in the pool, bouncing on the trampoline, feeding the chickens and horses and hanging out in the hot tub. Lots to do in the surrounding areas including markets to wander around and we had a very memorable evening at the night market in Laparade. Lucy and Andrew couldn’t do enough for us all. Thanks for coming to fetch the girls every day to feed the chickens and patiently coax them to actually feed them out of their hands. Fresh eggs every day and a constant supply of freshly picked fruit and veg brought to our gite. What more could you ask for?

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family

Id like to say thank you to everyone we have met this year and for all your comments and feedback.

We are open all year round so if any body fancies a  few weeks holiday or even a long weekend over the winter then we are here, and you can enjoy the peace and quite and relax by a wood burning stove.

We shall look forward to welcoming you all back to Peyrenegre next summer.

 

 

The times they are a changin’

When we left the UK to come here we always planned to stay here running gites for 10 years to take us up to retirement. We weren’t sure what we would do after that but thought perhaps we would move to another region of France or another country. But when we finally started to think about moving on we realised that there was nowhere we wanted to go to as we love this little village and have made so many friends here. So we sadly put Peyrenègre up for sale and looked for another property in the village.

null The house when we arrived null and now with the terrace added

It’s hard to imagine now what the house looked like when we bought it. There were still cows where the gites are now! We are proud of all we have achieved at Peyrenègre and have so enjoyed sharing this lovely spot with our gite guests. We know that it has been a special place for many of you too and certainly to those who have returned year after year.

null The gite side as a barnnull and now as holiday cottages

We are delighted that the new owners of Peyrenègre are continuing to run the gîtes. Lucy and Andrew have lots of plans and we look forward to seeing them take Peyrenègre into the new chapter of its life.

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So time for something new – well something very old in fact as we have bought an old ruin in the village and plan to restore it to its former glory to be our retirement home.

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Of course this is the artist impression of what it will look – it’s not even habitable at the moment!

Au revoir – keep in touch and if you come back to holiday at Peyrenègre or are passing through the region we hope you’ll drop in for some of that Wilson hospitality. I’m getting a bit emotional now so time to wind things up. I started with a song title so I’ll finish with one- thanks for the memories!

February in SW France

‘What a mild winter we’re having’ I said to Kevin earlier this year and we congratulated ourselves on how the wood stock was holding up well and we hadn’t needed an oil top up. Then as everyone knows a couple of weeks ago we woke up to the worst snow we have had in our 10 years living here. The depth of the snow plus sub zero temperatures which didn’t allow it to thaw made access in and out of Peyrenègre very difficult. The wood soon ran down and we had to have an oil delivery after all. I snuggled down near to a roaring fire and didn’t leave the house for 10 days – managing to use the chance to catch up on lots of little jobs that had been hanging around.

Our neighbour was more adventurous than me and took these lovely shots as she walked to the village for her bread.

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Meanwhile I tried out a recipe for ‘no knead bread’ ……………

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……………. and kept a hat on indoors – not the prettiest images of me but it kept me warm.

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But all things pass and at last the temperatures started to rise, the sun shone and the snow disappeared. I managed to get to the hairdresser at last and the dog had his annual vaccinations which had been cancelled because of the snow. Slowly we all got back to normal life.

So nothing to stop me getting to the airport today as I leave for my spring visit to see the family – can’t wait and when I get back I am sure that Spring will be here to welcome me home.

Here’s to good health!

A friend of mine recently asked me if I was going to go back to the UK when I finally retire to get good health care. Then I read that lots of Brits are returning to the UK as they miss the NHS. The thought had bever crossed my mind as we have been more than satisfied with the health care we receive here.

Take this morning. I had received the letter informing me it was time to have my free breast screen. I made an appointment a week ago for 9.30 a.m. this morning. I arrived at the hospital at 9.25 a.m. Parking can be tricky but I found several spaces right outside – if not I could have gone just across the road to the station car park. In reception there is a drinks machine but no shops, no café, no fast food chains and above all no noise! They have a ticket system so you can sit down in comfort and wait your rturn – there were three numbers in front of mine. By 9.30 I was checked in and on my way to radiology where they took my details again and off to the waiting room. Less than 5 minutes later I was called in and by 9.55 a.m I had had the mammogram and had been examined by the doctor. Another 5 mins for him to look at everything and then he came to give me the result and I was free to go. No waiting for a letter to come ages afterwards.

Everything was thankfully normal but I had an abnormal scan in the UK just before coming here 10 years ago. I had the scan and then later received a letter telling me there was an abnormality and that I would have to return in 3 weeks for a deeper scan. All was fnally well but when I had my first scan here in France the same thing happened. Here you wait until the results have been examined and if there is an abnormality they do the second , deeper scan immediately.

That’s the kind of treatment I am used to here now. Blood results come back quickly, appointment times mostly respected and if not apologies are made and you are kept well informed. I think UK health care staff are briliant but they are being prevented from doing their job by a system that has lost its way in my view.

So no – I won’t be going back to live in the UK for health care reasons – I’m happy and hope to stay healthy where I am.

New Year’s Resolutions

In case you didn’t read my last post I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Here in France we can go on wishing people a Happy New Year all through January. Tomorrow afternoon the Maire will be extending his annual invitation to all the village to join him and the Conseil to wish each other best wishes for 2012. He will give a quick speech about what’s gone on in the village in 2011 and outline plans for 2012. Then we’ll have wine and king’s cake (Galette des Rois) and whoever finds the favour (fève) hidden in the cake will get to wear a crown! The classic French recipe is almond based but here in the sud ouest they prefer a kind of brioche cake. This will be the third time this year that we’ll be eating King’s cake so bang goes one resolution!

Galette briochée Galette des rois frangipane

I don’t suppose I’m alone in starting every year resolved to exercise more – I was hoping to start cycling but after a scary outing with my daughter over Christmas I have decided that I must build up some stamina first and so am back walking, going to yoga and working out with my favourite celebrity DVD once a week. I’ve also started running a gym club for the Club des Ainés (the old folks club) on Monday afternoons so that about fulfills that resolution this year.

woods near Peyrenègre walking around Peyrenègre

Walking really is a pleasure as we step out of the door right into beautiful countryside with gorgeous views.

I am an audio book fan and to help me with more tedious jobs I often have my ipod glued to my ear. Recently I was listening to Stephen Fry’s autobiography in which he recounts a meeting between a long established professor at an English university and a young newcomer to the common room. Putting his arm around the young man’s shoulders he offers this advice – ‘Don’t try to be clever – we’re all clever here – try to be kind’. This seems such good advice that I will adopt it as my 2012 mantra.

So what have you resolved to change, to improve, to continue or to aspire to in 2012? Or like Kevin do you resolve not to make any resolutions? Whatever you are up to in 2012 I wish you every success and happiness – but as everyone says here most of all good health – surtout la santé!