Archive | March, 2013

Spring is here at the Peace Factory in France

26 Mar

Spring is here. The birds are singing, flowers and trees are sprouting. And everyone is looking cheerfully at the garden.

We have much to do. The greenhouse needs glazing. The organic manure has to be bought and trailored from the farm about an hour away. Then it has to be dug in before the organic seeds can be planted.

If anyone fancies a few weeks free accommodation in this lovely part of France, in return for two hours a day voluntary work in the garden, then please do get in touch via the website.


Our new home is finally sorted

9 Mar

We moved here on 24 January this year and this week we are celebrating the fact that we have now sorted our apartment!

Last week we purchased three items of furniture for the kitchen.


Our lounge is also looking good. During the day the sun pours into here.


And the sun also wakes us up in the morning – we have no curtains!


Oven problems in France

3 Mar

When we planned our move to the Peace Factory, we had anticipated that the gas we would be using would be butane. So we had our new gas cooker converted before we left. Our UK gas man (Colin) tested it, using a bottle of butane from his motorboat.

When we connected the cooker to a gas bottle in Montolieu, all worked well, apart from the igniter on the main oven. It would light the gas and the oven would get hot, but the igniter would not stop clicking. As you might imagine, after thirty minutes of non-stop clicking, one was very nearly ready to junk the joint and eat out! Fortunately there are two ones on this cooker so we used the top one instead.

We looked up the problem on the supplier’s website and the problem appeared to be the flame failure device. If this didn’t correctly detect the flame, it assumed the flame had gone out and kept the igniter going. I would have preferred a device that actually cut off the gas, but there you go! So I purchased a new flame failure device which cost £55, delivered to my VA in Kent. She packed it up and it cost us a further £20 in labour and postage to get it to us.

I fitted it yesterday. Turned on the oven and blow me down, it didn’t cure the fault! So I get back on the Internet and I discovered a posting from someone in France with the same problem. They said the solution was to reverse the polarity on the plug. I had our electrician working in the house at the same time, so he checked out the polarity on the socket. It was correct but we had used a French to UK plug converter and this had swapped the polarity. Polarity is where the red wire on the French system (which is on the right pin when looking at the socket) has to be connected to the live side.

He cut off our UK plug and fitted a French plug. We hooked it up and all worked perfectly. Thanks Graham (the electrician).

I just wished I had found the advice before I spent £75! Anybody want a spare flame failure device for a Cannon cooker?!!