All work & no play….?

A very popular proverb.??? Or a reality.?

After managing to hit several key deadlines & achieved lots of work, along with one very bored pooch and the desperate need for at least a weekend off, I took the weekend off.



As you can see , awesome changes… Early Sept 2013 > Late Feb 2014…


The fact I hadn’t gotten out and about with a camera ( apart from the iPhone one ) for absolutely weeks was annoying me… The above shot being iPhoneography…:-).
Best camera to use is the one you have to hand… And it was long overdue that the Workhorse camera went out & about…
The above shot was taken 200 yards from the front door on a Walkies with pooch…

Well, it was Superb weather all week & this weekend is due to be awesome too… So WE downed tools on Saturday afternoon, returned the ceiling plasterboard Lift to the Sparky, which I was lucky he left with me, or more likely he wanted the lights fitted so he could finish & get the ” Consuiel ” inspector organised to certify the work so he could be paid…:-)

There WAS only one place to head to on a glorious Saturday afternoon for a wander & chill out with the pooch…
UTAH Beach… 17 miles from the house…


And a bottle of local cider & long tall bowl of cold water for pooch were very welcome after a three hour romp along the open sandy beach…





Been a long overdue blog update too…
Will be really good to get visitors over this year… !!

Been a long long time….

Well, where do you start after such a long time of not blogging..?
Somewhere near the beginning would be ideal I thought, but that seems such a long way back. About a week ago I kinda hit a rough patch….

Combination of things I guess, loneliness, no communication from the Wife, in fact with only the dog for company the Spoken word was beginning to be a one sided conversation….. Language barriers although I am getting better slowly, an unhappy Sparky / Plumber from being a tad underpaid at the end of the month, the prospect of at least two weeks without any running water , hot or cold…. Which has now rolled on to five weeks… No washing for me, unless it’s in a bucket & the kettle has been in the Full Power State for 5mins…. And only a working toilet as the good thing…!!!!

The bills were mounting up, the water , the elec, Food for me & pooch, satellite fitting ( Internet An ESSENTIAL ) , car tax due, trade accounts due, both here and in the UK, Certificate for the Fosse to comply with Regs, the ” Terracier ” needed paying for the digging in of the waterline to the house & for the completion of the sewerage line out to the Fosse touts Eau……….
It would have been something like 50 meters of digging Wet Clay soil at two feet deep by a foot wide by Hand otherwise…. Not something my back would thank me for…!!!

Car tax, not something you pay in France, but since the car doesn’t have a Certificate Contrôlée ( French MoT ) and isn’t ready for one yet, but it does still have a Valid UK one…. it’s easier to stump up the 6months roadtax and solve the problem rather than dig a new one just now…

Indeed folks, the budget was tighter than the zulu hatches on a war canoe in a force nine in the mid Atlantic…!!!
Been there done that, threw up, violently, it’s the HELL of all diseases… Seasickness.

Anyway, I was somewhat down in the dumps about the state of things and the fact the place wasn’t arriving quite as quickly as hoped… And there has been a hell of a lot of finance put into what’s been achieved with the help that has been here. It’s been over a full month on my own, possibly what triggered the malaise….?

In order to occupy my thoughts I set about a back up of both the phone & the Pad…. There were images galore to sort out & remove to free up space …
Images to look back at and judge how far We had come in what is a relatively short four months… !!!

RETROSPECTIVE, a look back at where you have come from and the path you have taken to arrive where you are now.
A very apt word. Applicable to everybody….
What would your Retrospective be & what will it teach you.??




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..:-)



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…


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…


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..


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.. & 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……






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…


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…..
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…
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…



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





Updates…. Relocating to North West France. :-)

Well, where to begin… ?

It’s been a bit of a long road, a Trek indeed, BUT Finally we have a starting point.

On Friday 6th September, in a small office in St Jean de Daye, @ 50 miles South of Cherbourg, on the Cotentin Peninsula, WE signed for the new Property.

A set of three ” baitment ” buildings.
Agricultural Buildings that are some 30+ meters in length EACH, and two are East West Facing.

One will be a House & the other the Studio, the other, an open plan Barn, will be used as dry storage for over wintering Caravans / mobile homes ( hopefully ) …..

It’s a long road… And not quite gonna be an easy road… But it’s a Worth While Road.


Inspirational work, Thorsten Jankowski.
2009 Video @ 25 frames a second.