The bank holidays still take a little bit of getting used to. We frequent the tip far too often on a Monday the holiday closures have caught us out twice. There is no excuse we knew it was a bank holiday for the celebration of Pentecost (Monday 24th May) but by the time the weekend came, we completely forgot!

This week the barn renovation continues with a little bit of landscaping in the woodland, veg planting, and general gardening. It’s the best way to spend the bank holidays. I’m trying to think carefully about how to grow our permaculture garden. Taking note of the plants and wildlife that grow and live well also considering the shade as the sun moves around. I have so much to learn.

The knotweed clearance is working well. Our strategy of digging up the large roots and breaking off the new shoots as they come is working for now. We like to grow vegetables so there can be no poisoning we are learning to live with the new knotweed growth which is reduced by 50% in our second year. We are both very pleased with that reduction. We have yet to try the new shoots in salads and will report back as soon as we taste them.

In the potager our strawberries are growing beautifully we have fresh lettuce and radish every day. Potatoes and onions are showing good signs of growth but our tomatoes are not happy right now. I’ve never seen such a sickly slow-growing set of seedlings. Possibly a fail for this year? It’s worth noting that the tomatoes were late last year with surprise summer hailstorms in between! The crop was splendid in the end and we were feasting well into autumn. We made fantastic winter chutney that has only just run out. So I’ve not given up hope for good tomatoes as yet.

In this week’s vlog, the barn renovation and restoration continues. Clearing down the old straw and making use of the thick clay to create a solid floor binding material for our new entrance hall. We have grand ideas in a modest way. We want to reclaim as much of the material as possible and keep the hand-crafted rustic feel. It’s all in our heads at the moment but we do have some beautiful ideas for the stonework and we can’t wait to share them with you as the renovation progresses.

Our pooches Bertie and Coco are enjoying the sunshine and have been playing outside during the bank holidays now the daily downpour of rain has stopped. Coco the Labrador (Who will be 11 years old in August) looks fabulous and strong for his age but these last couple of weeks we have seen a change in his pace. The vet has concluded that he needs some medication to help regulate his heart rate.

We drove over to Claremont Ferrand as we were advised by our local vet to see a specialist. Using the ultrasound equipment we were able to review Coco’s heart condition. The specialist couldn’t find any sign of damage or lesions to the heart. Like many conditions, this is completely unexplained, not understood, and seems unbelievable for such a fit and healthy boy that we know and love. Coco has been prescribed by the vet some (digitalis, a low dose human preparation) heart regulating tablet to try. I’ll keep you posted on his progress.

That’s all, for now, we have to get back to the barn and complete the roof preparation. We hope you make the most of your bank holidays. You can catch up with us in our video blog. And if you are loving the video projects give us a thumbs up on YouTube? We also have Instagram profiles if you want to keep track of the day-to-day shenanigans. I’ll pop the links at the bottom of this post. For anything else contact us via the comments section or by email

Vlog – #NotesFromLeChassaing

Plant sales at the lake and a day out make a change from going to the tip. In this week’s Vlog

Happy Coco and Bertie enjoying their Bank holiday stroll in the sunshine plus more work on the barn. You can see what’s happening at Le Chassaing in last week’s Vlog

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