mon coeur de campagne

living a simpler, rural French life

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Where There’s A Will…

The rubbish Charlotte “inherited” in her garden has kept the scrap metal men very happy but after countless trips to the dechetterie we still kept finding more and more.
Forty years plus of fridges, old bikes, sofas, even animal bones and was disgusting. Luckily several friends recommended Will Weeks, who does all kinds of quality landscape work across the Nivernais.


Will is much in demand and works long hours.  He arrived in the dark one evening with the mini pelle on a trailer and parked up ready to come back to start the next day.


He managed to do more in six hours than we could have done in six years.  Will ripped up the brambles and overgrown hedges and found even more junk and dumped building materials.  He stayed in his cab, in the torrential rain, and got the job done. 


The garden is finally clear and a blank canvas.  The next stage of the project will be revealing the beautiful view behind the overgrown trees.  And then next spring the fosse septique,  a big expense which needs saving up for.  But we know a man who can install it and we are on his job list already!!

mini pail



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Renovating in France

Our daughter has bought a very old, run down house which needs lots of work. The good news is that it is next door but one to where we live.  It is a huge project made complicated because there is no budget. C is on benefits as she has severe epilepsy and is unfortunately unable to work. 

Buying the house has given her a new interest and focus. Trying to make her understand that all the work needed is going to take time and lots of saving up is another thing!  

Last week we visited the Maire with our plans to replace the old windows and put new wooden windows in the back of the house. The house is on a corner and doesn’t over-look anyone. We took the plans and photos to show the old wreck,sorry house, as it is now and what it will look like with the new windows.  It’s always a good idea to get to know your Maire and to keep him updated with building plans. From what I can see it’s who you know that counts living in rural France. 

 The secretary started a dossier, helped us fill in the Declaration,and advised us about taking the photos, then the Maire signed it saying that there should be no problems in granting permission. He is happy that we are improving the village eyesore. 

The Secretary stamped several pages. Stamping documents is a “thing” here. I love seeing the satisfaction of the pharmacist, the garagists, the tax officers, etc as they decisively plunge the stamper onto the paper! 

We just have to wait until 15 June and then providing we haven’t received any correspondence from the Bureau, the work begins.

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My Bluebell Bliss 

 The Morvan, Nievre in Burgundy. Unknown and unspoilt except for a few pioneering adventurers and nature lovers. Le Morvan in May is spectacular! Cherry blossom thickly covers the trees with pink fluffy Pom poms. The Hawthorn blossom drapes the hedgerows like white lace. Road sides and woodland are sprinkled with the confetti of wildflowers. The air is filled with the sweet smell of bluebells or Jacinthes Sauvages and the sound of birds singing! A feeling of joy is burgeoning all around and heralding a long, hot summer. 



Bluebell Chemin


Bluebell Chemin


Sun dappled woodland