So far 2020 has been a real eye opener, hasn’t it? With our usual jaunt in the Pyrenees working for Collett’s Mountain Holidays cancelled due to the COVID19 crisis, we took the opportunity (as soon as lockdown would let us), to set off on some new paths high up in the French Pyrenees.
Progress on the house was somewhat slowed over the summer by the heat of the day, which lasted literally the entire day, from 11am-8pm throughout July and August. However, steady progress was made on the interior of the straw bale house.
Delving into the true essence of the people who are born, live and work in the mountains.
With winter well and truly behind us, I find that now is the time to reflect upon some of the successes, failures and surprises which the winter and spring had in store for us and our straw bale house.
Shakespeare knew where it was at; windows really are making all the difference to the house. It’s starting to feel like an indoor space now. Surprisingly we found the windows super easy and satisfying once we had all the right components.
An account of the ups and downs, ins and outs of using lime render on our straw bale house.
For the past month or so our lives have been consumed with making lime putty. Processing quicklime and turning it into lime putty, ready to be mixed with sand just before it goes onto the walls of our straw bale house as render/plaster.
Although our round trip to South Korea and Japan was a little while ago, I’ve rounded up some of our best (and worst) memories of the trip and put them down in writing. Since returning to Europe, many friends, friends of friends and even complete strangers have asked us for help or advice in planning a trip on the most infamous of all train journeys through Russia.
Since our move to France, the most commonly asked question is “How are you making money/a living/ends meet?”. For all those budding homesteaders or people wishing to live their dream but who are worried about their modus operandi abroad, I thought I would share our experiences of not only making ends meet but actually saving to build a house.
It was spring 2016, and into the vast world of growing veggies we plunged….
Tyres and gravel have been a consistent theme at Les Vignes Basses over the last few weeks. With a lot of help from our friends, many bad backs and copious amounts of alcofrol (surprisingly, it has come out level!), we have completed the rammed tyre foundations and the structural box beam.