Early Works.

Once we knew that the house sale was completed (Jan 2022) we had the site cleared of it’s completely overgrown hedges etc & gained lots of square metres.
Then in autumn we had a small wall built to close off the corner as you arrive at the site. It’s a very busy little corner during the school terms!
Then the site hut was delivered & the site “secured”.
After that the heavy machinery arrived & the fun started! We had visited all of the neighbours to warn them that we were starting the building & that access beyond us might at times be difficult. It’s a very narrow road going nowhere but to a few houses & the forest. Obviously we already know them & they were fine.
However, we’ve had an incredibly long & hot summer & autumn, with no storms & no rain & of course it started pouring down for days on end. Suddenly the site looked like a scene from the films Warhorse or 1917. The road was a complete mess, & will be for a while more yet, but it’s drier again now.


Hi Everyone.
What at the time we felt was a great play on words for our trip to India (Indoulou) isn’t really appropriate for a new house building blog. And so the title VADOULOU, courtesy of Theo, was born.
The project started some years ago, involving buying some land, which here in Vaour was a real challenge in itself, selling our house, our architect pal Brian designing a new single storey house just before his family significantly expanded, which meant we had to hand over to different architects just as Covid & the war in Ukraine pushed prices through the roof.
Thankfully it’s coincided with me recovered from my heart issues & having a new hip.
Time to start a real adventure. Starting with a view of the site, just behind the school,the village lavoir & close to the church.

Coming home

Everything went well & we arrived home more or less on schedule. The flight out of London had a short delay but it was heartening to arrive back in Toulouse to warmth & sunshine & a smiling Theo waiting for us. We dumped our bags & made sure that we had hot water etc. & then walked down to Theo & Marietta’s for an apèro & a bite to eat.

We came home & were in bed by 22h30 & both went to sleep straight away. Doug continued in this mode until well into today but I woke up about 1am & had several hours awake. Normally during a long holiday I wake up during the night at least once thinking ‘where am I? but that didn’t happen in the States. However, it happened last night & I had no idea where I was. I remember looking at the bedroom door, thinking how strange that we had gone to sleep leaving a hotel room door open so I carefully shut it. I then struggled to find the bathroom & any light switches & when I did eventually illuminate things was mightily impressed that there was a bidet too! Then I think that I woke up & realised where I was so could open the bedroom door again.

One other bit of excitment today was when I went to hang out some washing, I suspected that we had some bees swarming & settling behind the shutters in the barn. This has happened once before when we have been away.  Luckily this time we caught it early & even luckier was that Bernard the local beekeeper was at home. He came round straight away with a mini hive & all his equipment. Apparently the knack is to recover the queen bee & all the workers will follow. He spent a couple of hours persuading them to enter his hive & then he came back several hours later & is reasonably confident that it has been a successful operation so he has taken them away & is a happy beekeeper with a new swarm.

We are just about unpacked & the washing is done, just the ironing to tackle now. We have no food to speak of but the freezer threw out something tonight to sustain us & tomorrow is a another day. 

It has been a great holiday & once again we are grateful to our travel company, Audley, for their skill & expertise. 

Nearly Home.

What a trip.
Meeting some old friends, some relatively new friends and some new family, as well as 2 forensic engineers and scores of very friendly people.
Stayed in 5star hotels & wonderful B&Bs, visited huge cities to relatively hick towns and seen & heard some great music.
And New Orleans really is a one-off place, with everything available.
The highlight? All of it.
When I get home & get all the photos from the camera to the Apple Mac, I’ll put some of the best on the site.
Until then, thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable.

Photos & update

We had some difficulties with the wifi in the New Orleans hotel. Ironic really as it was the only time we had been asked to pay, however, after a little word they did have the grace to delete the charges. 

I had been trying to post some last photos of New Orleans but without success. We are now back in London in the BA lounge after two easy, uneventful flights. We have to wait now for the Toulouse flight but at least we can do so in relative comfort. So, I will try once again with the photos. 

We left New Orleans with temperatures of 25* & rising & arrived in Chicago to cold & rain. London this morning is damp but clearing & Doug assures me that the forecast for Vaour is good. We are tired but in good form.