Jill and I came to France some 12 years ago and bought an old winery here in SW France not far from the historic cities of Carcassonne and Mirepoix.. Since then we have converted much of it into what was until a few years ago a Chambre D'Hôte untill we retired in 2013. Since then we have renovated the old vineyard workers house which is now let as a gite.
Jill's something of a recycler and artist and I am the hired help thought when not doing that I'm singing renaissance music with a local choir. If I'm in the local bar though it will be some thing more popular, what though depends on how many very cheap beers I sunk and who else is there!
We both used to be distance runners (marathons and half marathons) but now content ourselves with cycling and, in my case, also walking the high Pyrenees.
Hope you like dogs as we have 4, though 3 of them are small but Lilly is a Berger des Pyrenees. Oh and of course the cat!
Bricolage et projets de construction
The Haute Vallee of the Aude is famous for being the only place in Europe to be subjected to a Crusade to remove the Cathars. There are a lot of local and famous castles here, the most famous of course being 'La Cité' in Carcassonne which was restored in the last century and is simply huge. Its still lived in and full of shops and cafes. Not far away there are several interesting gorges and large caves.
Then there's Limoux a vibrant, small and rapidly becoming more up market with lots of bars and cafes. From the late spring through to late autumn there's normally something going on. The local wine is Blanquette and Cremant de Limoux and is the oldest fizz in the world. It was invented here some 130 years before Champagne and the famous Dom Pérignon. The quality of the wines generally are now very high and visitors are welcome to try them at the many vineyards here.
And don't forget there's plenty of opportunity to speak French or if you want to Spanish or the local language Occitan.
Hi summer is over and hence we are finished with garden and outside work relating to things that grow! Well almost!
So now we are moving onto some renovation work in our village house.
So what sort of help do we need?
It’s varied but to start:
1. There is some clearance work to do with respect to stonework removed from walls when we installed new windows. Not to arduous but needs to be cleared so we can get at the rear of the building. Most of the stone will be kept to build a wall in the garden so it’s more to do with sorting and moving with some disposal into the trailer.
2. Then some demolition work to remove part of an old building constructed in hollow red brick very common down here in the sunny south. All the demolished brick work will go straight into the trailer and be dumped at our local recycling site.
3. Once that’s done its inside to start on interior renovations, this could include installing stud walling and putting plaster boarding up.
4. At the same time some help to pull electric cabling, plastic water piping etc. into place behind the stud walls and under floors. The technical bit will be undertaken by me, unless you have the requisite skill, I just need some help installing it all.
So if you want to come down and help and explore this area before winter sets in, and its still sunny though cooler, please contact us.
We were formally a chambre d'hôte with all rooms having en suite facilities. We also have a studio situated in the garden with its own facilities and now a renovated 2 bedroom gite. So you're spoils for choice. For those staying with us we will of course feed you and ensure that you have time to explore, depending on time, we normally take volunteers on an excursion to see some of the country side.
If its warm enough there's the pool to swim in but we normally close it in October, too cold by then!
We are situated in the countryside but only some 15 minutes from Limoux by car. We have cycles here which can be used to get you there or to our local village which is just 2.5km from here. The village has only the bar which is open on Thursday and Friday evenings for the best chips in the region and very cheap drinks. the Britts here get there early evening and the French arrive after supper.
A bit further away are Carcassonne, with the world heritage sites of the medieval "La Cite", the Canal du Midi and Mirepoix with its beautiful over hanging houses.
Thoughout the year there's always something happening in the towns and villages and we have lots of other literature on sites and places around the countryside.
For horse lovers we are surrounded by riding opportunities, rolling hills and forests. Whilst we don't have horses we ride and there are stables close by, and they are cheap. Or borrow one of our bikes and explore the trails on two wheels.
A little further a field there are giant caves and gorges to visit.
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