Saturday 13 January 2024


 January 2024 marks the point at which my health deteriorates and we decide to prepare to sell our

This has been a 20 year project which we never envisioned would be so satisfying and full fun and learning.  The planning has been detailed an stimulating, to learn new skills, working with local artisans and even communicating with poor languages skills, but with sketches, cooperation and trust has been great to end up with the wonderful

As I now enter my final days I look back at so many wonderful days in LA Creuse and som many good friends there and the help we have provided each other and say to others who might be contemplating embarking on a similar adventure... `do, without hesitation, ``but planning is key... execution at every step is essential and loads of passion.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Summer 2023 Visit - June - September 2023

Summer 2023 Gardens Task List

Here are the various garden tasks I hope to have completed during the summer visit, inaddition to the La Studion Tasks litsted below.

7-15th  June 2023 

La Studio Task List
The June trip will be a short one for just a week, as the Schengen Restrictions now limits the days I have left and then I will be there for 6 weeks in August/September.

However, the work on La Studio is nearing completion and here below are the tasks remaining and planned over the next 4 months.

Thursday 8th  June 2023 - Guttering Fix

Arrived yesterday after a great drive through the night and got the grass trimmed in both gardens to make it manageable!.

As planned, succeeded in getting another coat of Fine Plaster to the insulation board joints to level the walls and ceilings in both upstairs rooms. Before starting I used the spirit level to check each section and must I done a better job than I thought last time, so it proved less work than I expected.
Used about 2/3rds of the 25kg tub, so early next week should be able to get a final thin coat to allow to dry and then sand when I return in August.

Also did a test run of fine mesh on 1/3rd of the front top wall behand the guttering and along the beam under the tiles to restrict rodents access.  It worked, so will complete in the front and rear during the summer.

Friday 9th  June 2023 - Front Window Shutter

Succeeded in getting the Front Window Shutter made and hung today. Already had all the lengths needed cut in the UK as needed, so that I coudl fit in the car. I glued the T&G lengths and then fixed the new brace hinges.  However, whilst I had tested one of the new hinges against the original old top hinge pin, I then discovered the bottom pin was slightly too fat!  I managed to eventually increased the bottom female hinge to fit and needed to do a little adjustment to the cedar, but got is fitted.  I bit more adjustment will be needed, but looking ok and is really light compared to using exotic wood or oak.

Front Window Shutter
Open View

Also measured the Front Door Shutter and glued the lengths of cedar to leave overnight and will repeat the fitting exercise over the weekend, before doing the rear French Doors next week.

Saturday 10th June 2023 - Front Door Shutter

Front Doors Installed
The glue had dried nicely, so continued to assemble the Front Door Shutter this morning and with a few adjustments got it fitted and a door closure instsalled as well.

 So they both open onto the central wall and overlap.  Few minor adjustments are needed and a form of securing once both are open is needed!

Looking good and will go Sliver Grey in the sun and not need any treatment and a very lite.

Sunday 11th June 2023  La Maison Rear Shutter

Made an early start, before doing a tidy up of the garden and assembled & glued together the cedar lengths for the rear French Doors of La Studio and the rear La Masion Door. So now all ready to be able to complete and hang both tomorrow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Monday 12th June 2023 

Maison Rear Shutter
Another early start due to the heat and got the La Maison Rear Door Shutter made.  Well, it is actuall two shutters 2 and 4 Cedar Lengths to allow both to fold back and avoid the down pipes and remain within the roof corner.

Still a little adjustments to complete once the hinges are secure, but not much work today now and might leave it until August so that I can do some more in the gardens the next 2 days before my return to the UK.

Wednesday 14th June 2023 - Garden Tidy

Have tidied up in both gardens and they are looking good.  Have decided to invest in a Sthil iMOW robot lawnmower for La Grange and took this short video of La Grange Jardin to show BR-Pro for the installation to be able to get the grass cut all year round when not there! Google helped me accurately calculate that it was are area of nearly 800sqm.


9th AUGUST to 15th SEPTEMBER 2023

My Summer Trip is now planned and here is the provisional task list that should be schieved and see the completion of La Studio :

Saturday 1 April 2023

Late Spring April-May 2023

Having planned my next visit for 30days late April and May 2023, the following are the key tasks still to complete and I think these can be accomplished during the next visit.

This would then mean the project is complete, or very nearly!

Having now worked out a task plan for the visit, I suspect there will not be enough time to complete the creation of the Cedar Shutters during this visit, but we shall see how things go.

Monday 24th April 2023 - Electric Run Tests

Started to sand the West Side Downstairs, but more filling is needed, so decided to complete the testing of all the electics.  Tested all the lights again and then all the plug Sockets and Heat Mat runs.  All checked out and working fine all over, so ready to tackle connection to the Fuse Box this week, once I have completed more research and checks on what to do.

Tuesday 25th April 2023 - Fuse Box Connection and Test

La Studio Fuse Box
Planning pays off again!  I managed to get all the cable connections for Lights and Sockets to the Fuse Box today.  I checked the connections online and in La Maison first to verify what I had thoughts was the approach.  After each fuse connection I switched La Maison fuse on and then La Studio, followed by the device fuse and then tested each.  Success and relief that it went so well.

Just need to fix the Heat Mat Thermostates up and downstairs tomorrow and wire up each and connect. Then some adjustment is needed to fit the outer cover and plasterboard to cover the cable feeds in the corner>

Friday 28th April 2023 - Boarding Fuse Box

Again, an successfully tested, although not set up.  I only bought the low cost manual version for La Studio and might need to do a little location adjustment to the one upstairs, as there is not space to secure the screw underneath with the main beam in the way!

Upstairs Thermostat

Downstairs Thermostat

Thursday 27th April 2023 - Fuse Box Completion

Today was straightforward, once I had tidied up some of the cables and tested all the connections again.  I then filled in with some more Insulated Plasterboard in the vertical corner and tomorrow will do the upper sections and have a go at fitting the Fuse Box Door, but is is confusing me at the moment.

Friday 28th April 2023 - Boarding Fuse Box

Again, an easy task finishign the boarding around the fuse box and giving the area a first Plaster Coat, having used Gedimat Adhesive Plaster to secure the Insulation Board.  Will sand a give another coat next week.

Also, adjusted the guttering and sealed all the joints I soldered before.

STRONG Post Support
Tuesday 2nd May 2023 - Balustrade Tidy Up

Easy day to tidy up the Balustrade beams and foot supports today.  Sorted the metal pins at the bottom and ready to fit the Oak Dowels in each tomorrow.  Sanded and cleaned the filling for the wall post and the galvanised rails.

Cleaned upstairs and downstairs to make it look less like a work site and will post picture of the finished result.

Wednesday 3rd May 2023 - Oak Dowel Pin Covers

Balustrade Oak Pegs

Another good day, and firstly got the dowels cut and installed to tidy up the Balustrade as shown opposite.  I also did some tidy up work on the internal main doors and window surrounds to cover the gaps left by SAS Adams when fitted.  I am going to order 8 metres of Oak to finish some of the Insulation Board around some of the windows to make a nice finish.

Thursday 4th May 2023 - various small jobs

Went in search of getting smal oak battens 18x 55, but failed to find, so will have to venture to Leroy Merlin in Limoges tomorrow to finish some edges of plasterboard neatly next week.

I did get some door restrainers for the front & french doors and fixed them in place. I have also decided to try to get a 2.5m metal brace for the main beam in the Downstairs East Side room to enable me to cut the beam and create a little more headroom, if possible.  Hopefully, Serru'Metal will be able to make two braces for both sides of the beam to be bolted together to provide the added strength!

Sunday 7th May 2023 - Oak Window Framing

Having collected the oak batons I needed from Leroy Merlin on Friday, I did some garden tasks yesterday and today just cut the batons to create a frame for the windows to finsh the insulated plasterboard edges.  Will secure them tomorrow and fill the gaps to finish.  Should create a good look, if all goes to plan!

Upstairs East Window
Downstairs East Window
Upstairs East Glased Panel

I also figured out how to connect the Fuse Box Door and have created a thin framing for around the box that I will paint white to match the wall.

Monday 8th May 2023 - Oak Window Framing Fix

Got all the Internal Oak Window Framing fixed to tidy up the plasterboard edges.

Front Window Upper

Front Door Upper

East Hayloft Frame

East Glased Frame

Tuesdy 9th May 2023 - Various Odd Job Tidy Up

Decided to use the spare Oak to create an Inner Frame to the Hayloft and  Downstairs East Front Window to hide the gaps of the existing old Oak Supports.  Has turned out really good and created a good finish.

Also, used the last of the Gedimat Adhesive Mortier to finish the wall edges where the insulated plasterboard meets the exposed stone. Tomorrow I will do a fine plaster coat over these areas.

Having checked the measurements, I haved ecided to use the old front door rain cover that I saved and install it over the La Studio Front Door tomorrow.

Wednesday 10th May 2023 - Plaster Edges & Rain Cover

Used up the last of the Fine Plaster to finish the boarding edges by the central rendered exposed stone wall.

Cleaned up and checked all ok with the Door Rain Cover and fixed above the front door of La Studio as shown. Really pleased with the result, recycling the unit and the rain today enabled me to verify the effectiveness!

Cover over Front Door

Cover Protection


Thursday 11th May 2023 - East Side Window Frame & Ledge

In between rain showers I manged to use some quick dry cement to tidy up the internal window ledges of the little glased and hayloft window today and create both an internal and extenal Oak Frame for the little glased window.  Tomorrow I will seal and fix this window framing to make weather proof and paint the external frame.

Hayloft Window Ledge

External Glased 

Friday 12th May 2023 - East Side Window Frame & Ledge

External East Glased Window
In between the rain shower storms this morning, I managed to fix the external frame of the East Glased Window, seal it and give one coat of paint.  Having fixed the internal frame as well, I just need to finish off tomorrow and all is done for this visit.  

Next week the focus will be on the garden and hedges.  

Now the only major task left is the job of apply more finishing plaster to the ceiling upstairs and then sanding and painting, but that will be for the Summer Visit.


Sunday 26 February 2023

La Studio - SPRING 2023

Sunday 26th February 2023

Getting ready for my next trip over on 7th March and have prepared the task list for the visit, as below if all goes well and my timings are correct!

Wednesday 8th March 2023

Arrived as planned yesterday after a good journey and

 prepared the 18 LED Downlights for Downstairs to save time today.

Had a good day connecting the new units and checking each one, that fits perfectly into the spaces and now allows the other units to be installed upstairs tomorrow, where the ceiling void is larger. So hopefully tomorrow should be
straight forward and all completed.

West Back
East Side
West Middle

West Front

Thursday 9th March 2023

Have a good day and succeeded to get all the upstairs Downlights installed both sides, tested and working.  Very pleased with the bright result.

East to West View
East Side
West Side

West Front example

As a finished the lights ahead of schedule I started the fitting of the downstairs Sockets and succeeded in getting another 6 installed, making 10, with just one to complete tomorrow before upstairs. Again it is so clear the the repetition builds experience and finding a way a routine the makes the task easier!

Friday 10th March 2023

Got the last downstairs Socket wired and installed and managed to get all the Downstairs PB Joints a final skim, hopefully!  Went on to complete then final PB Joints on the Upstairs East Side and most of the West Side, but the plaster mix ran out, so just a little to do next week when I got another tub and once dried can sand everywhere and touch up as needed before a white emulsion coat. 

Saturday 11th March 2023

West Light Well
It was raining today, so garden work had to wait and I completed the installstion of all the Sockets upstairs this morning and then managed to fixed the Glass Panel across the open wall on the West Side Rear Wall, where the French Doors cross to create the Light Well up there.

The fixings are great and it was easy to secure to the wall and support the panel safely. Very pleased.

Monday 13th March 2023

No rain today and it reached 15 degrees, with little wind.  Succeeeded in getting both Gable Ends East and West ready today, as on close imspection I didn't need to fill too many holes with stone and all done by mid day.  So now ready to start the rendering tomorrow and expect to complete this by end of the week!

Tuesday 14th March 2023

After a windy and rain last night, the forecast was for more rain at midday, so I only mixed a single 30kg bag of Enduit today, as because I was feeling a little tired!  However, managed to get 3.5sqm coverage on the lower East Gable End Wall. Brushed off the excess and cleaned up the exposed stone to leave a good, albeit rough finish as the front and rear walls.  With luck might get the rest of the lower wall section done tomorrow!

As forecast the rain started at 2:00pm..Good Job I took notice!

Wednesday 15th March 2023

East Gable End

A hot a sunny day today, but made good progress on the rendering before the sun came around and succeeded in completing another 3.5metres of the lower East Gable Wall and should now complete the final 1/3 section tomorrow.

I clearly go my 2 days task plan wrong, but by working on Saturday, should now complete the East Side on Monday and the West Side by end of next week, if all goes well.

Thursday 16th March 2023

Another good day, although it had gotten up to 22c by the time I finished at 1:00pm!  Got all the lower section of the East Gable End Wall completed, using another 3.5sqm to final section, so pleased with the coverage I am getting from each bag.  I should use another two bags for this end, making 5 each side and 10 in total, which will leave we some to do touch ups and fillings.

Also errected the tower ready for tomorrow and Saturday to complete the upper section, before moving to the West Side next week.

Tower Errected

Lower East Complete

Friday 17th March 2023

Slightly cooler today, overcast and breezy.  Mixed the Endut with a little less water today and got all the mid section completed, up to the start of the roof section and top of the hayloft window.  This now just leaves the up Gable Roof Section, which is an area of just under 2sqm, so should need just over a 1/2 bag tomorrow to complet this wall!

Whist the tower is up on this side, I plan to install the Galvinised Protection Strips on both the end roof struts that take all the weathering and treat the main expose top beam.

Middle Section 

Tower Re-positioned

Saturday 18th March 2023

Had an early start and got the work done before the rain early afternoon. All the East Side Gable Wall is now rendered and looking good.  The wire brushing of the surronding stone that leaves the joint gaps is very satisfying and leaves a nice finish, once a final bristle brush softens the dimples left by the wiring.

Also did a test length of the Galvanised Strip to the rear roof beam, once I had bent over to fit the width.

Cleaned up and moved the tower aside, ready for moving to the West Side next week, but not before doing a bit of pruning to the Walnut Tree.

Upper Section Complete

East Gable End

Monday 20th March 2023

Another early start and made good progress, getting the bottom 3.5sgm of the West Wall completed by midday and then completing the final brush later.  I checked the number of bags of Enduit I had left and continuing at the coverage rate I should have a spare to complete touch up tasks and covering the ground level stone and eave overhang as well.  Great!

As I had some time, I started and actually completed the errection of the No6 Post Box Breeze Blocks, with a little finishing to do and then the top stone and skiming of the blocks before painting, which mightg need to wait untill the next visit.

Lower South West Wall
No6 Post Box

Tuesday 21st March 2023

Managed to complete another 3.5sqm of the lower West Wall today, in an amazing 2 hours!.  Having let the render dry and brushed the stone and joints I finished by midday.  This left me time to get a top for the Post Box from Gedimat and do some cement filling, that I will finish tomorrow, ready for a smooth render covering and painting with Grey Masonary Paint to finish.

Lower West 2nd third

Post Box TOP

Wednesday 22nd March 2023

West Lower Section
Another good day and completed the final 3.5sqm of the West Lower Section, as shown and have now errected the tower to start the upper section tomorrow.

Thursday 23rd March 2023

West Central Top
No detered by a light early shower I completed the West Top Section today.  This is about 4.5 sqm in total and I used a spare part bag to complete the coverage. So tomorrow, the 3.5sqm side sections will be completed and that will leave a spare bag of Enduni to do some touch ups etc.  Really pleased I will have enough and the orginal assessment of the coverage/usage needed!

Friday 24th March 2023

Glad I decided to ignore the rain forecast and proceed to finish the West Wall today! Managed to complete both bits ether side of the upper central section & the 4sqm with one bag of Enduni, including the strips under the end roof supports. 

Dismantled the tower and cleared up, so now just need to fix the Galvanised strip on both roof ends, to protect the wooden beam and finish the look

Rendered West Side

Rendered La Studio

Saturday 25th March 2023

East Gable End
A lite day and just finished formatting and cutting the Galvanised lengths and fixed to the East Side, which worked out well, once I got some new nails and drilled through to the wood edge  The exposed oak gets weathered and with age becomes like steel, so pre drilling is essentail.  

Will do the West Gable End tomorrow to finish.

West Gable End
Sunday 26th March 2023

Just did the West Side today fitting the Galvanised lengths to the edges of the roof to finish everything for this visit.  Although I haven't got everything completed on my task List for this visit, I am pleased with the progress and how it is all progressing and can see the end in view!

So now just need to tidy and touch up both outside and inside, as well as connect the electrics to the Fuse box during my next 30 day visit end April/May.