Category Archives: Restoration

Barn Door Restoration

Waste not, want not. Barn door restoration. The door to my cottage was a beautiful old oak one with a rustic aged paint finish. It must have been welcoming people for at least 100 years. It had the original four window panes with a storm shutter, historic for the cottages and farm houses of the Morvan. But it had to go, it was not practical without double glazed glass to keep out the Morvan wind and rain. There is an unkind saying in the vineyards of the Cote d'Or. “From the Morvan come neither good wind nor good people.” This is due to the west wind from the Morvan, it brought Read more!

Small House Living

Living in a small space is challenging  when you own so much stuff! I moved from a four bedroom detached house to a very small caravan in the middle of the French countryside. This was a temporary living arrangement until I could restore the small cottage on my property. It's not the first time I have lived in such a small space. When I lived in Japan in Seventies, I stayed in a very small apartment with one of those all-in-one bathroom pods. Space has always been a premium in Tokyo and the Japanese perfected the art of living in small spaces. I was  very young and didn't have a lot of processions Read more!

15 Safety tips for a single girl .

15  Safety tips  for a single girl surviving a home renovation project. Working on my house and garden in France I am often on my own, up ladders, building walls, sanding and painting. So these are my health and safety tips. Just about everything in an old house can seriously injure or even kill you.  A few of them you might have not even thought about, like mold spores, toxic dust, asbestos, lead paint, and even the local wild life. More obvious dangers like faulty electrical wiring, unstable walls, unsafe ladders or  just tripping over, can land you in the hospital. I broke Read more!

There’s no such word as can’t!

There's no such word as can't!  I grew up with these words ringing in my ears, whenever I was about to quit some activity. It had been my mother's favorite saying during my youth. After being told "You willl never finish that house" by my departing partner. This merely just provided me with more determination to continue. You have three choices in life: give up, give in or give it all you've got. In a recent survey of women aged between 40-60, 78%  said fear prevented them pursuing their dreams. Well, I'm not one of them. It's not going to be easy and there are many Read more!

Cottage Restoration

When I purchased my mid-life project here in France. The idea was  to live mortgage free, one-day. I needed something that was cheap, but had potential. This house was cheap £29,000 and it had the advantage of a small cottage next to the big house. My neighbors said at one time this had been the local magasin (store), selling local produce and had been an important part of village life. Before I could start, the garden in front of the cottage  needed clearing of 10 foot high Japanese Knotweed. After it was dug out, I would kill off  any new shoots with my weed killer filled syringe. I became  Read more!