Moving on – miniature donkeys and compost toilet envy.

Hello and welcome to the latest blog on the Olivia Rose Diaries on January 8th 2022. It’s the first blog of the new year and we have put our travelling shoes on.

We spent Christmas and the New Year at our housesit near Bergerac in the Dordogne, much of it in rainy weather. Thankfully, the sun shone for the last few days of our visit and we managed to get out and explore, both on our bikes and by car.

Below are a few shots of the places we visited.

I love statues. I found this gentleman sitting on a wall in a back street in Sarlat.
A covered market in Sarlat. Look at the size of those doors.
The turrets of La Roque-Gageac on the banks of the Dordogne.
If you look carefully you can see a staircase leading  up the side of the cliff to an old fort. I spoke to the lady in the ticket office and she said that last year the river rose to the point where the people who lived in the houses you can see here could only get out by boat.
This was taken up at the fort looking down on to the Dordogne.
Winding our way back down to the river we came across an exotic garden. This is a banana tree walk.
And here are the bananas.
I couldn’t resist including this picture of the kittens at the housesit – Harry and Mimi.

From Bergerac we travelled north to Gannay sur Loire, to where our boat Olivia Rose is spending the winter. We had an appointment to discuss some future work that needs doing. We decided to break the journey at an Air BnB south of Limoges and struck lucky by finding a small wooden cabin which, in some ways, was similar to Le Shack.

Our rustic wooden cabin on an eco smallholding.
This is one of their miniature donkeys.

In some ways this cabin was very different from ours – notably because they had electricity from the grid and also because they had spent a great deal more money on it than we had, with some stylish and innovative design features. The words stylish and Le Shack don’t feel right in the same sentence, but this was still just one room with an outdoors composting loo and a woodburner for heat, so we felt instantly at home.

The bed was on a raised platform, with a rustic trellis at the end.

‘Come and look at this composting loo.’  I pulled Michael up and away from the warmth of the woodburner and out into sub zero temperatures outside. ‘It’s lovely.’

‘How can a composting toilet ever be described as lovely?’ He sounded slightly grumpy but changed his mind once he saw it. ‘Oh that’s nice. And very well made.’

‘I want one like this.’ 

‘It will cost a fortune.’

‘No it won’t. Our loo shed is half the size.’

‘OK, half a fortune. It’s still a lot of money. And I don’t know if my woodworking skill is up to this level.’

‘I know you can do it. It will be a good project for the spring.’

I spent the rest of the evening prowling around the room, looking for inspiration. Just because we live in a tiny home doesn’t mean it can’t do with a makeover every now and then.

The next day we left to travel another four hours to Olivia Rose. For those of you new to the blog who haven’t seen her yet, this is what she looks like, currently on hard standing, by the side of the Canal latéral à la Loire.

Before she goes back into the water in April we shall paint her from top to bottom, but our meeting this week was to discuss some work that we needed professional help with. The boatyard is run by two English guys who really know their stuff. Now we wait for the quote.

Boats always need attention. The word  ‘B.O.A.T’ is an appropriate acronym. It stands for ‘ bring out another thousand’. Sadly true, but some things just can’t be neglected.

We spent a freezing night on board, despite the woodburner and an electric fire, and then headed home to Le Shack, a good eight hours drive away. I am sitting writing this to you now sat in front of the fire in our cosy cabin feeling very content to be back home.

Not for long though. Another week and then we are off on another house sit!

Hope all is well with you. See you soon.

MJ

16 thoughts on “Moving on – miniature donkeys and compost toilet envy.

  1. Thank you for sharing your “aventures” between your housse and Marie-Rose
    It is alway à pleasure.
    I wisch plenty of good things for you and those who you loved
    Regards
    Stephane Matri

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  2. From one composting loo at your Air B&B, to another potential one on Olivia Rose, to your very own at Le Shack! What joy!!

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  3. Sarlat is a beautiful old town, I love the medieval architecture. And the adorable kittens!
    So the adventure continues in ’22… looking forward to reading of your wanderings.

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  4. The Dordogne is a fabulous area. We hired a Gite there a number of years ago and did a lot of cycling. Stunning views and area. Olivia Rose looking good and ready for her paint job. Expect you’ll be glad to get back on board in the water!! Love the photos and what a very cute BnB. Not sure about having to go outside to the loo myself mind but that comes with age I think 🤣🤣Look forward to hearing about your next house sit. Good luck and enjoy . A and G xx

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