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Bloody Murder On The Dog's Meadow (Building a straw-bale grand design in France)

Bloody Murder On The Dog's Meadow (Building a straw-bale grand design in France) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Sampson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Product Description

Product Description

It's July 2003. A tropical heat wave is raging and old people are dropping like flies in Paris. The Sampsons move from their happy home into a caravan that thinks it's a sauna. In 12 months they must build a house of straw on terrain as rocky as their practical credentials.
To anyone who struggles to pitch a tent, the prospect of building a grand design of straw bales - in France Profonde - could be somewhat unsettling. Some will tell you that building their own home is an enjoyable and rewarding experience; Mark Sampson will tell you that it was hellish. Based on his journal of building the house seen on frequent re-runs of Channel 4's 'Grand Designs', this is a darkly comic account of a year of living uncomfortably close to the edge.
Less about the technical aspects of construction, this entertaining book is more about the de-construction of family life in the face of a looming deadline, a shrinking budget, capricious conditions and a motley crew of tradesmen.
Laugh, cry and wonder why.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 698 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1496098323
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Sampson is a writer based in south-west France. Born in London, reared in Belfast and matured in Brighton and Sheffield, he moved to France with his family in 1995. The author of two non-fiction books, he has contributed articles to a wide range of publications, including all the major U.K. France-orientated magazines. He reviews Latin Jazz releases for Songlines magazine and hosts "Lost & Found", a monthly radio show on
The construction of his family's straw-bale house in France was featured in Channel 4's Grand Designs Abroad. You can find out more at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! 22 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me entice you to read this book: 'I have come here…to a local lake', Mark writes, 'some mornings with the dog, when a gauzy mist is rising off the surface of the water like steam from a bath, and the peace and beauty and solitude have filled me with wonder'. You see what I mean? What struck me was how beautifully written this book is; clear, fluid, a joy to read. Written from the heart, it's funny, moving and honest; it has a beauty about it, and it never fails to entertain.
Achieving the good life can be a hard life….there are a marathon of problems to solve, involving the whole family; overcoming them is a feat of stubborn determination to see the project through. How the family manage to find 'space' to enjoy themselves is beyond me, but they do……vignettes of joy interweave the saga ['Barking!' that was one TV guide's considered assessment of..their.. grand design in straw when first aired on Channel 4'] and then, finally, there's a most beautiful house set in panoramic views to show his and his family's daring and courage.
'Bloody Murder on the Dog's Meadow' was a pleasure to read, and I look forward to more please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Englishman in France 6 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author is very upfront about the oddities of living and working in France, accentuated by his decision to build and live in a house made out of plastered blocks of hay in a fairly un-avante garde part of the French countryside. He complains about 'the French', yet exalts their qualities, recognises he is an exile, but throws himself into local life. Though this book is written in diary fashion, there is also something deeply philosophical about it. As a whole, the book is a delight, but cannot be rushed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 29 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An honest account of what really happens when the cameras are turned off! I felt I was living the experience with Mark and family - all the dark moments, pain and wicked humour. A "must read" for anyone even contemplating the same sort of project.
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