Category Archives: Uncategorized

Update……   Eventually.  

After what has been a hell of a challenging few months and lots of changes in the place….

Time for an update…
The Gite Is active & has a few good bookings confirmed this year, June being fully booked…

But sadly May & July are quiet…   And the Tour De France is local for three days in July… Normandie will be absolutely bouncing wall to wall with Cyclists…

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We have American, Canadian & Australian clients this year, so it seems the word of the Gite is spreading…

And returning clients from the UK too…  As well as some new Clients coming to experience the peaceful way of life & superb weather here in Normandie..


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Lately it’s been all heavy physical work and most of it done only by myself….

The heaviest of that being the Joists put up onto the First Floor of what will eventually be Gite 2…

7meters in length by 225mm by 75mm ….. In pine..

I can thank Royal Navy Leadership Training & problem solving for the ability to get such monster ous joists in place by myself….

The images below are of the Gable end yet to be complete do…  It’s 12M by 7M by two stories….  The size of a semi detached house in the UK…

Yeah…. That IS the wife’s mini in the space that will be Gite 2….   Gives the sense of size…


We hope to have a good few more clients this year, and are looking to achieve the rest of the roof above the joists complete this year too ….

WE would love to have you over here as Clients & Guests to experience the fantastic way of life here…..

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FatBoy Slim > We’ve come a long way baby….

It’s been a bit of a good week weather wise, and with that, we have managed to make the Upper level of the house Watertight, or as near as damn it…. @ 95%….

The a East side is finished, barring the Chimney piece that’s now on order….
The West face, there’s Two full windows fitted & the frame in place for the Sliding Glass of the Third…
BUT because I still need @ 250 Tiles lifted onto the roof, there’s no Glass fitted yet to avoid possible damage etc…
BTW…250 tiles = 1 & 1/4 metric Tonnes.!!!! By hand..!!!

It was this evening I asked myself about how far we’d come … As the changes are gradual, it’s hard to step back & observe..

So I went to the Archives… And… Below is a compare & contrast..:-)

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Momentous Days & Expensive Ones…

Momentous …… Such days are rare indeed, they only happen every 1000th Monday in your lifetime ( if you are lucky ) …

Everything seemed to happen on the same day…!

The Brand New A Frame ( in green oak ) is made & up….
It is now supporting the weight of the roof Truss, the ‘Orrible Breeze Block Wall can come down, but that’s Next Year…

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The Permis de Construire is complete, it gets handed in Monday Morning ..! 🙂
The entire East side of the Roof is ready for tiling. It’s all battened up & waiting…

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The Tiles… > around 7 Metric Tonnes have been lifted & Shifted, up to the ” Premier Etagé ” ready to be drilled & passed out the Window to be screwed individually to the Roof…
That’s 1/2 of the tiles…! Only 1/2… My back & arms ached…

The Windows Were Ordered & are due for collection Wednesday coming, the Fire / WoodBurning Stove was ordered two weeks ago, it’s also due for delivery this week…!
That’s 180Kg of Iron & Glass to go upstairs…!!!
The Windows WILL be every bit as heavy…. Well the Velux not quite so, but the three 2M 15cm x 1M 80cm wide Double Glazed PVC West Side Windows WILL BE…

The Fact that Two of the Dormers are almost ready for the retaining concrete walls to be knocked out & the gap ready for receiving them… They have been Sliced ready for the mallet & chisel job that will be Tuesday / Wednesday WEATHER permitting.?? More like Friday..

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Expensive…. Well they are much more common than their Momentous cousins..:-)

Things are Coming together nicely ……… But
The Three Velux Windows… The Three Large windows, the Stove / Woodburner & the A Frame & the Building Materials & the Tiles for the roof…. The Water Board Fees for Connection are a bit steep & the Electricity board fees will be equally Steep I’m sure… But a necessary evil ….

Expense was expected… But that’s life… And the Future… Our Future..
Darkhorsephotos.co.uk & my Fantastic Wife…


Uber Productive Day….

Where to start….? That was only one of the problems…. !!!

Finally achieved the completion of all of the strimming & garden type work this week , now the heavy stuff begins.

The Permis de Construire is complete, collect it Friday coming. :–) and that’s another huge step taken towards the Red Tape side of things….
The STGS ( water board ) came out last Thursday , Devis inbound for connection to the mains…. That’s gonna be an Ouch €€€€€€€€ wise. 😦

Electricity board for full connection to mains are dragging their Arses, but I do have temp power….:-) so it’s a start…

BUT today was an Uber Productive Day…. Over 1/2 the east roof off ( slates only ) , the other 1/2 & the strapping to do tomorrow whilst waiting on Delivery of all the roof materials & Tiles, As well as the ” Charpentier ” build the new A Frame from exceptionally heavy Green Oak. 9×3 inch beams…

Today , it’s after midnight as I write this, will be a good day……

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A Glorious Saturday in Normandy.

Well, it’s a glorious day here @ Darkhorsephotos…..

Task of the day :- go and shoot some shots of the changes to the house & property, sort out the rest of the sizes for the windows & plan the ordering of them… I.E. The stock numbers & sizes / finishes & set them all up one one sheet so we can just walk in & order easily….
Numbers seem to negate the Language Barrier.:-)

Then :- off to show my nephew some local history… Probably Utah beach with the Pooch.:-) and enjoy a Cidre Bouché before a lazy afternoon in the sunshine watching the sun drop from the “Premier Etagé” of the new place….

Life’s good…

Enjoy it while you can…

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A day of Beaches….. Not just any beaches though . :-)

Well, it’s the weekend…

Been a busy little hector all week, seems like I achieved not much, but got there in the end…
Tomorrow evening I collect my middle nephew from Caen Ferry ( ouistreham ) and then the work level cracks on…..
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But …. In the mean time… There’s a ” rendez-vous ” with Une Charpentier @ 10am local ish… No body is ever on time here…. & then it’s off to the shops & then the beaches….

Yup… Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha & Utah….
The pooch is gonna go daft at SO much sand & space…
And..
I’m gonna go daft at all the history…


Last Planned UK Shoot…

What with being all busy with the big move and all, shooting for myself had become quite a rarity, a really sad bit of news….

But hey ho..
Like the proverbial London bus, you wait around and sure enough Two turn up at once….:-)

The Fantastic Miss Camilla Rose Helley @ Eye For an Image Studio @ Banbury ( Martyn Davies ) who managed to organise this on the Sunday for me, turning it into a group shoot & a break down of four single hours to complete Camilla’s day…
Camilla’s Secrets of Insanity Blog
Here’s a pair from that day…

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And then a bit of Tuition @ Hallam Mill, Stockport…
Many Thanks to the inked Beauty that is Becky Holt for the introduction to Levi….

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Andy.