About Music and Zoe, an English couple who have been in France since 1999.

Originally set up home in the Alps where between them they ran a woodworking and a chalet building company, taught in 2 International Schools in Switzerland and had 2 children. Living in the snow for half the year was magic. Clearing the snow from our track not so magic until the Rhino came along and made it all a bit more fun. Lake Geneva became a perfect place for the summer sun and fun was had by all. Plenty of projects (some pretty grand) and many happy customers down the line, the Limousin called. Less snow for certain, more green and a larger piece of the Earth to work on, even a lake. So here we are a few years later with our newest enterprise – la maison – a tweeked version of the old, taking forward our way of life with the skills and experiences that have got us this far.

Now working from a purpose built workshop (built by Music and his right-hand-man Pierre with a little help from Zoe), we are underway taking on building, renovation and woodwork jobs for people in the local area as well as building up our homemade range of (amongst other things) wooden and willow items that you can find for sale in our shop. The garden still manages to get a bit of attention and the grass always need cutting around the lake and the tree plantation… A couple of years ago we embarked on a project to change the status of the lake from ‘eaux libres’ to ‘eaux closes’ which I am pleased to confirm we have achieved, you can see the progress on our news page of the website.  All this means that we are now finally able to offer carp fishing breaks here at ‘Birch Water Carp Venue’ and 2019 has proved to have been a good start to this venture.

Oh and we have had great success with making home cured hams, jambon sec and saucisson, even chorizo and pâtés and terrines: from local pigs and locally caught deer – chevreuil, cerf and daim. No doubt the kids will have great fun camping out this summer as much as they can along with our visitors who enjoy the peace and the space when they are here – except for when the kids (big ones included) are beaming around on the quad bike which can be a bit like being buzzed by a large blue buzzy thing. We’ve now added a little motorbike to the stable which is also great fun.

2019 was the 4th edition of the Festival Glandon (already) that we have taken upon ourselves to organise (along with an incredible crew of helpers), a great success but unfortunately wet, you can’t win them all!  Have a look at our news page for the photos.

Zoe x




New kitty Gina

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Well it wouldn’t be the same without a few kitty shots, meet Gina our new pussy cat, she’s great and extremely photogenic don’t you agree! Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that she’s really a tiger and very fierce…

Cabane du Lac

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The cabin is ready, lots of hard work (but who cares about that), a bit of planning and lots of shopping! Really pleased with the result, it is a proper process of suck it and see, working with what we’d … read more…


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Wow, fancy that, maybe not that deep by Alpine standards, but definitely crisp and even and very icy beautiful…

New ad

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We’re advertising for the first time in the magazine of the Syndicat des Étangs de la Haute-Vienne this year. We are members of the group which exists to inform and help lake owners deal with the legislation and to liaise … read more…

Cormorants and Coy-poo

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Well, these really are making a nuisance of themselves round here. Perhaps they really are delightful creatures/birds and truly deserve their place on the planet, but why do we have to have quite so many. AAAAAAARGGHhhh… The cormorants turn up … read more…

Glandonbury 2016

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Well, tis done and dusted. We’ve just about cleared up and everyone has now gone home, things are pretty much back to normal. Normal now includes having put on a great music festival! It was brilliant and enjoyed by everyone, … read more…

Moving out

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The job that we’ve been working on here at the workshop finally reached a crunch point today when the structure of the modern design woodland lodge and all the support and foundations sections were dismantled into kit form ready to … read more…

Grand designs

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It’s been really busy round here recently. Since returning from a week skiing in Chatel last week things are heating up. Some quotes still out and others returned with the go ahead. One project has the potential to be rather … read more…

Disaster at the dam

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Well how crazy is that, the nicely emptying lake filled up over night thanks to the ridiculously heavy rain we’ve just had. Unbelievable the speed at which it has filled, quite unbelievable that the lake ever got as low as … read more…


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A little outing for the end of the year to Arcachon on the west coast. A magnificently sunny, warm day to spend at the seaside.  It takes about 3 hours to drive there and we left in time for a … read more…


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Handball is pretty big in France. I didn’t really know what it was until I came here.  Recently at our local sports centre they have been putting on pro league 2 matches which have a great atmosphere. Finn plays hand … read more…

First snow

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It’s definitely got colder here having had up to now a pretty mild Autumn. So it wasn’t really a surprise that when we got up this morning at 6.30a.m. for the collège bus we were greeted by a layer of snow … read more…


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Short trip to Lyon with Sophie to meet up with friends. The same weekend it turns out that Paris was on the receiving end of a big dollop of grim.  We, on the other hand had a lovely time and … read more…

Gone fishing

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Once upon a time two fishermen went fishing and they caught some big fish. They had fun camping in their bivvies and cooking their food, enjoying the good weather and being occasionally disturbed by the beep beep of the bite … read more…

The summer

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Well here’s a taste of our school summer holidays this year, quite a whirlwind of travel and amusement: biking in the Alps, a day trip to Collonges-la-Rouge with Sophie, another basket course here in St Yrieix la Perche with Olivier … read more…

Busy busy busy

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There has been a lot of work going on in the workshop and out on site. A couple of new gazebos in oak, a double garage and an extension. Plus an interesting construction for the local town – a demountable … read more…

time to fly

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The end of Feb / beginning of March is the time the Cranes migrate back to northern Europe across France. Every year they pass overhead here and again this year it was quite spectacular. Day after day of cawing as … read more…

winter walk

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Taken a stroll or two around the lake recently. It looks stunning with the heavy frost and the sunshine we’ve been having and as usual the lake did freeze for a couple of weeks.

recent advert

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here is our advert placed in the relatively local publication ‘etcetera’ serving English speakers in the Haute Vienne, Charente, South Vienne and South Deux-Sevres. Also available to see on their website www.etceteraonline.org in June back copy.

a bit of folk

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Something to cheer you through to Spring. A fab bit of plucking and fiddling folk music from The Rosinators (UK Bluegrass band) from my repertoire. You might find a certain person here playing this at half speed on a good … read more…