The Coupe Rises and a Wee Walkabout (Part One)

Yesterday was a very big day in the project to build a self contained cabin attached to the house. It is called the Coupe because I styled it on the old chicken coops that used to be in the farmyards of every farm around here. Using the sun to warm it and design to cool it. Though I added height. Light and space are a mantra in my designs.

The Coupe is for the Matriarch to retire to when she is ready to be old. She is certainly not ready to retire to the farm yet so until then it will be a guest house and writers retreat.

The Coupe is spelt this way because The Matriarchs son’s collect cars and jeeps and things with wheels (and some things without wheels or even motors) and she has always encouraged them in this deeply American endeavour. So the Coop got changed to the Coupe.

Here is The East Wall from the Point of View of the Lounge window. We are looking East. So this is where the sun rises.rising-up-006

Things moved along fast yesterday.

Now look below at the South Wall. From the SouthWest. Where the builders are standing will be a corridor which will have huge windows. There will be a door that steps down to a patio into a grape covered pergola.   I pushed this side out past the existing house so it will catch the light from the setting sun. rising-up-009

(below) From the South-East.   rising-up-011

The South Wall is very plain, I shall grow espalier apples along here so The Matriarch or the guests will be able to reach out and pick an apple. I am considering a small scale farm stay or bed and breakfast idea. What do you think?

This is the front of the house, seen from the road,  so it the most dramatic.  Half of this wall is made up of three very tall thin windows, (floor to ceiling) falling in height with the roofline.   I call these the Goldilocks Windows. These will catch the very first of the winter sunrise light. rising-up-012

Below is  the North wall (seen from the lounge again) with the spaces made for the big french doors (screen left) which will open onto a lovely cool covered verandah.  The verandah will be wrapped in screen to keep out insects and it will have shutters that can be closed in storms. So the french doors can stand open almost all summer. Remember in America the North side is the cool side so this  verandah will be well used in the summers. rising2-003

Right next to the builder (on his right) is the corridor opening, where he is standing will be the corridor to the main house. The ensuite will come off this corridor.

And now for a couple of updates on farmy animals. So as not to use up too much of your time today we will do more Walkabouts tomorrow.

Here is Big Dog. He spends his days minding the builders. Just to be sure they don’t wander where they should not be. rising-up-013

Here (from left) are Sheila and Charlotte. My most darling piggies. They are Hereford pigs, a heritage breed with very small numbers worldwide. Charlotte will be bred sometime soon. I just need to toughen up and call the swine herd who understands nothing I say, me being a foreigner and all and i just hate the thought of  ‘putting her to the Boar’.

Look at Sheila’s very direct gaze. She has no problems with eye contact. You can see from Charlotte’s size that she has no problem with bucket contact!rising-up-016

They spend most of their time sleeping. The best way to tell them apart are their ears. rising-up-028

It’s cold out.

Queenie Wineti is our Hereford Heifer (not to be confused with a Hereford Pig). She will be bred along with Daisy in the spring.  No bull for these cows. They get a very well mannered vet with a long tube. rising-up-023

Queenie  is short, solid and very quiet unless she is in heat and then she is short and squat and very loud. rising-up-026

A snap of TonTon and LouLou.  Yes, LouLou is a boy. So his name was changed from LuLu to LouLou.

Good morning. Today the Kiwi builder and his mate are working on putting up the rafters so when the winds start up this weekend our Coupe does not blow over.

I shall take Camera House for another walkabout today and see if we can’t get the rest of the animals in order for our update. We will visit the sheep and the chickens in their own coop and the cats and peacocks and guineas and Daisy the milking cow and anything else that crosses our path.  That will be for tomorrow. What I should do is make a Cast of Characters Category. The list of things I should do is endless!!

Have a lovely day.



82 Comments on “The Coupe Rises and a Wee Walkabout (Part One)

  1. “The list of things I SHOULD do is endless…” Ain’t it the truth? 🙂
    So exciting to see major progress on the project…and that last shot, of Ton and Lou, is priceless!
    Have a wonderful day, C!

    • It made me laugh that shot, Ton is daring the kitten to even think about touching his frisbee.. morning marie! c

  2. Ooh, the house is coupe is coming along so nicely C – it will be finished in no time at all. Lovely pics all around and it looks like TonTon and LouLou are deep in a very serious conversation.
    Have a lovely day, hope it warms up a bit for you.
    🙂 Mandy xo
    PS. I posted about your lovely sweet chilli sauce today.

    • sadly no snow, we will take anything at all that has moisture in it, but it would take a lot of snow to catch up now.. c

    • No Charlotte has a smudge on her nose otherwise her face is white, and she is getting big.. today when i let them out to follow me to their field she decided to go left when Sheila and i went right so she could do a tour of the car park first.. naughty piggy! c

  3. You caught such precious expressions today! The Shush sisters in the hay, and Queenie…just too cute. You were right about LouLou: what a butterball he’s become!

  4. The Coupe is coming along nicely. What is its square footage? I bet your blogger friends will be lined up for an overnight stay once this get-away is finished. I love the thought you put in to every aspect of planning this retreat.

    • OK square footage, I worked it out once but the number in my head seems silly, it is 16×20 feet.. so not very big.. c

  5. How exciting to see your new building rise from its foundation! My advice? Self-catering farm stays, NOT, repeat NOT Bed and breakfast! You have more than enough on your plate in the summer months!

    • I wondered what you would say to that.. OK I Will take your advice. there will be no real kitchen but i am only toying with the idea at this point.. And TonTons painting should be back from the framers soon.. it will be hung in my study where i can see it every day!! c

      • Maybe if you had a minimum length of stay for BandB, anything over 4 nights, that would cut down considerably on cleaning and laundry. It’s still someone elses needs to think of though. And that’s great about Ton Ton! I didn’t realise he’d arrived and was going to call in the post Office on our way soth tomorrow with a lost mail form! I’m so relieved and I hope that you like him!

        • Oh no.. terrible i thought I had left a message on your page.. did I dream i did that? I must be losing my mind. he is gorgeous! when he is framed and placed I shall show all our readers! c

    • how about a writer’s retreat? we writers are quiet types who would stay out of the way–but could surely be convinced to weed a garden when the words aren’t coming…ha!

  6. That farmstay B&B will be booked up years in advance I’m sure! Is it just me – or is that a small space to fit in bedroom, lounge kitchen etc? But it is going up quickly, looking forward to seeing more. Laura

    • It really is just a very big bedroom with a fridge and space to boil the jug in one corner. Plus table and chairs on the covered verandah. And a big comfy chair. We will see. Everything is on a tiny scale. When my family is in there they will be eating with us of course.. c

  7. What glorious blue sky! The Coupe is looking fantastic. The Kiwi builders must be thrilled with the great weather even if it is cold. Chilly (about 35F) gloomy and windy here and I would love to see some snow. I haven’t seen blue sky like that for weeks! But I try to be content with what the good Lord provides and I’m very thankful for the rain we’ve been receiving in abundance.

    • Our sky is very blue but our fields are very dry, maybe you and i could go halvies! I would not mind some precipitation! c

  8. Fabulous progress on the coupe. Those piggies look awfully fat! It’s jolly cold here, too. The pink gnome with a red nose was out this morning.

    • You need permission..which we have, I think at some point they might come out for an inspection too, but this county will get their pound of flesh when they put our property taxes up. They are astronomical around here.. c

  9. How tall are the ceilings in the coupe? I’m trying to picture where everything goes – the boudoir, the loo…I love the linking walkway (in my head, I call it a glass tunnel, though it probably isn’t) between the coupel and the big house.

    • The ceilings will be 16 foot at the highest point.. there will be a lot of glass in the South wall of the corridor and a small bathroom on the north side, .. it will be an interesting space that bit.. c

  10. Lovely, lovely! I’ve been with you on the farmy in spirit for about a year now and am very well caught up, but it so nice to have a refresher. You know, in E, one of our farmer neighbours keeps Oxford Sandy and Blacks. Excellent pigs. Great sense of humour and docile as well. (one day when I have that small holding of my own…)

  11. I love these photos of the Coupe and the animals! What an amazing design the little house is. Will it have a fireplace? Favorite pics today: Sheila and Charlotte (Sheila seems to be smiling; are you two sharing a private joke?) and Ton Ton and Lou Lou: a standoff? Sizing each other up? I wonder what they’re thinking.

    • The floor will be heated, another fireplace would be too hard on the firewood resources, there is very little wood out here really. And I don’t want any risk of fire with unstable people floating about in there.. don’t tell Nanny i said that though.. c

      • Don’t worry, I won’t tell. What a fabulous writing retreat that would be. I’ve considered building something very small in our back yard, but it’s still a pipe dream.

        We woke up to snow this morning!

        • Snow. Lucky! Our region is experiencing the lowest snow fall since 1980 evidently. I was here in 1976 when they had the highest. Fickle weather. We are not short of cold though. c

  12. I always love and look forward to the walkabouts! I’m excited to watch the progress of the Coupe, can’t wait to watch it turn into a beautiful retreat. 🙂

  13. It´s going to be amazing and I´ll be in the queue for the B&B! Love Big Dog´s coat – my Little Luna is short haired and is suffering now in England so I think I need to get her something to wear that doesn´t make her look like she belongs to Paris Hilton – something more like Big Dog´s outfit 🙂

  14. I can’t imagine staying there without having access to your wonderful cooking! You’ll have to figure out a compromise.

  15. Where most when in the throes of construction would talk about footings and the R factor insulation, you my beauty, talk about the morning and evening light. About space in all directions. About the intangibles that will make this house so special. There is a great deal of Frank Lloyd Wright in you. His prairie houses reflected all this. Bravo. V.

    • What is R factor insulation!? Ah well .. Thank you darling, I have always been a lover of Frank Lloyd Wrights houses, especially his windows.. c

  16. If my children ever decide to build anything this charming, I won’t wait to be old! I’ll move right in. I love it. Your attention to creating views and opening to the sunrise and sunsets makes it so inviting. Don’t advertise your guest house too broadly…we’ll come knocking! 🙂 oxo

  17. I love the pigs, I have considered adding Hereford Hogs to our farm. I definitely want to add a heritage breed for the breeders. At this time we only have a feeder pig. The coupe is going to be wonderful- I would stay there as a farm stay so I could see how you operate your farm.

  18. This is the part of a project I really love because the progress is so obvious from day to day. I can hardly wait to see it finished. It’s cold here too and now they are predicting snow, I hope it won’t be too bad, we have friends flying in from Illinois tomorrow morning.

  19. great post-one question re small house – great idea for bed and breakfast, but do you have seasons where one smells odiferous fumes such as fertilizer, like being on the freeway and going through Bakersfield or after? I love your animals – i hope the bull isn’t too mean.

    • planting time and harvesting time are the dustiest and smelliest times to live here but we are a long way from freeway smells that is for sure and it is Oh so quiet.

  20. The Matriarch’s house is going to be wonderful. It’s lovely to watch it take shape. And you featured Big Dog today. I love Big Dog; he’s my Farmy pin-up/

  21. A small scale B and B would be very cool, and how lovely and functional the Coupe will be. That is most definitely a stand off between LouLou and TonTon. Love that shot and seeing the sweet piggy girls…and Daisy and Queenie and Big Dog, too, of course!

  22. I love these walkabouts, Celi. The coupe is moving along nicely. We helped Uncle build the house Zia now lives in. It’s amazing how quickly things move once the wall frames go up. You’re right, though, about the need for roof support, especially with winds predicted. I can’t wait to see the coupe take shape.

  23. Really love how you have worked out the morning and evening sun movements: the coupe may not be large in size but it surely will be a jewel box! Like the idea of the espaliered apples also. But trust you to think of yet another set of chores with a possible farm stay project!!

    • I just want everyone to come and stay and maybe weed or help out and throw in a little cash for the staples, then we would all muck in and cook! Wouldn’t that be grand.. ! A dream of mine.. c

      • Well, methinks EVERY ONE of your readers would be in on that 😀 ! Not quite a business, but a ‘shared family’ for a day or three!! Uhuh: don’t think I would be much good with Daisy 😉 ! But could feed and tend to all others from the Shush Sisters down 😀 !

  24. Love these walkabouts. Question: When your girls get bred, they do not go away, right? I mean, you don’t have to say goodbye? Can you tell I have separation anxiety? 🙂

    • I actually do have to send Charlotte away to the swine herd to be bred, which will leave both Sheila and I with separation anxiety. This is why i am putting it off I think. Or the boar could visit.. but that would mean separate quarters and all that .. i don’t know.. c

      • Ho! Now I’m having separation anxiety and I do not even know them! Does she come back home later? Say yes.

  25. It’s good to see the Coupe coming along. A writers retreat! I like the sound of that. You were quite witty with your animal descriptions today. The piggies look so cute snuggled in the hay. Still laughing at “bucket contact.” Oh, you are too much! TonTon and LouLou seem to be having a very serious discussion.

  26. Oooh I’m so excited to see the Coupe taking shape and the walls going up. I love the idea of it being b&b or farm stay or a writer’s retreat. I’ll take the lot! You are planning it with such care, I’m sure it will be wonderful. If I were the matriarch I’d be tempted to hurry up and get old!

  27. Wow! The building is going very good. Can’t wat to see it finished 😉 the troop is looking good too. Sheila and Charlotte are the cutes pigs ever!

  28. The coupe is coming along very nicely! It always amazes me how quickly something can go up. Love the shot of Ton and LouLou. Too cute!

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