Now that we having running water in the house – and hot water no less, we decided it was high time to upgrade our grey water filtration system. Originally, we were granted planning permission after having a study completed of our land which ensured that it was suitable for a ‘Lit De Roseaux’, or reed bed system of filtration. The study outlined the exact measurements, tanks, locations and size of the filtration system. This was out of our reach in terms of cost and so we have essentially made a carbon copy of the system but utilising a different type of tank; namely a cast iron bath tub.
Having the ability to store water seems to create an innate sense of secure satisfaction now that our ferro-cement tanks are finished. Collecting and holding lovely cool, clean and fresh water in a passive way.
International Women’s Day is a demonstration that our modern world fights the good fight daily in terms of equality, anti-discrimination and liberty to transcend gender boundaries. Some areas are making this transition in leaps and bounds whilst others are laggards stuck in their traditional ways with little or no thought towards progression. Thinking about this started a reflection process about our house build and the stereotypes which I unwittingly fought (and still fight) against on a daily basis.
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.
January 2018 has been the wettest January on record in France for 100 years. It’s also the second winter we have spent living in our caravan. What motivates you do even contemplate doing that, I hear you cry.
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.
Anyone close to us will know that for the last couple of years our lives have been dominated by our straw bale house. After the foundations got underway and finished last year, we began building upwards in earnest on July 15th this year. The aim was to have the superstructure of the house completed by winter time.
Always being up for a challenge, we decided to have a crack at creating our own homemade Powerwall using recycled laptop batteries sourced in job lots on eBay.
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.
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.