We wrote a couple of weeks ago about replacing the bathroom window, and having to enlarge the hole it was going into because of a misunderstanding on my part about window sizes. We managed to get the new window mounted in the hole the same day, but there were one or two holes in the stonework around the window where the tuffeau had broken.
Yesterday Stephane decided we would fill the holes in the almost traditional manner, using chaux (hydrolized lime mortar). The break with tradition comes with the material used to provide insulation and reinforcing: traditionally this would have been a mixture of animal hair (goat or horse) and not to put too fine a point on it, poo. Usually horse poo, because horses have really inefficient digestive systems and the grass (or hay) gets processed without the fibres being broken down. Instead we used the modern and very trendy equivalent chanvre - hemp.
The new window in place.Preuilly sur Claise has a long tradition of producing and processing hemp. We have written before about the Moulin de Chanvre, which just outside the town. These days hemp is bought heavily compressed in large plastic bags, and is used on interior walls (and sometimes ouside walls) as an insulating material mixed with mortar.