Fontalbe DIY

Chateau DIY

We are avid fans of the TV show Chateau DIY. Most Brits in France who have made the decision to buy properties over here must have been, even if only a little bit, influenced by the exploits of Dick and Angel Strawbridge, the original Escape to the Chateau hosts.

Their creativity and enthusiasm for doing up their beautiful French properties was infectious. They made us dream of a slower pace of life, despite not actually having one!

The more recent spin off, Chateau DIY follows a host of couples, with their families and bewildered friends in tow helping out, doing up their large French properties. Some more successfully than others!

Restored Narnia lamppost in the gite garden

Fontalbe DIY

Yesterday felt like an episode of “Fontalbe DIY”!

Peter was building a plinth on the embankment for the eagle that was ‘waiting to land’, Roger Petanque (that’s not his real name!) was laying the foundation for the full sized pétanque court that was to live alongside the bar.

My task was to sand down the Narnia lamppost in the garden and the massive rusty urns that were covered in chipped paint and rust and to paint them black. With every project you learn something new.

Today I discovered Hammerite and how difficult it was to get it off your hands.

My tasks were straight forward and not too complex. By the end of the day they were finished. Peter had built a well-engineered plinth to hold the 250kg cast iron eagle that was to land at the entrance to the property and Roger recruited his friend Graham to help with digging out the pétanque court.

A man with a digger is very popular when it comes to DIY projects and I suspect both Roger, Graham and Graham’s digger will be our friends for life!

The pétanque court was going to prove to be a labour of love for Roger, who runs the Monpazier pétanque club. And Roger proved to be a perfectionist.

I’m always amazed in Chateaux DIY when the hosts are busy finishing off projects as the guests roll up the drive And with a long way still to go on the pétanque court and the eagle still to land, just like on the TV we were running tight on time!

Note to self. Projects need to be done at the end of the holiday season, not the start!

Large eagle statue in the garden
Beautiful ornate urn after restoration

Fontalbe gite icon