The playful contents of an Ardeche cellar

basement workPity poor Bebere and Etienne. They have been excavating the floor of the cellar we are renovating and met with a surprise.  First out came a nice friendly amount of soil and gravel; and then a mother load of stones.

And not just stones. Let’s call them by their name – boulders. Great lumps of rock.

They need to dig down about four or five feet to get a decent head height in this new bathroom.  But I can’t imagine how much work they will have had to do to crowbar these damn rocks out. rocks from basement

I didn’t spot the huge pile at first. We did arrive at almost midnight last night. But in the light of the day I whooped for joy. Sad or what?

But I know exactly what I want to do with these excess rocks. I’m going to build a low wall in front of the shade garden.

All I need to do is work out how I’m going to get them from the east garden where they are neatly stacked to the shade garden which is about 100 metres away on a gentle but unrelenting uphill slope. On gravel.

east garden bouldersPushing a wheelbarrow over gravel is the equivalent of the best ever pilates workout. You don’t know what core muscles are until  you have to heave rocks on our gravel paths.

Just thinking of the job ahead makes me yearn for nephews or impoverished lads from the village looking for a workout and some handy cash.

But I’m not cash handy right now so it will have to be me.  I took one ceremonial stone from the heap and took it over to where I want the wall. One rock at a time, I guess that will have to be my motto. boulder in basement

I have no idea how they are going to shift the huge boulder that is in the floor of the cellar. It’s in the spot where the bath is going to go, so it’s not going to stay as a decorative if whimsical feature.