We’re back! I’m sorry if you’ve missed reading our weekly blog – I like to kid myself that there is an army of readers who sit poised in great anticipation of my weekly missive! The reason for radio silence over the last 6 weeks is a combination of not being at Kergudon for a number of them and occupied for others.
The last time I blogged we were starting to make progress in the gardens while the gîtes were occupied as we were enjoying something of an Indian summer after a disappointing August. The week following my last blog was spent completing a variety of tasks to prepare the gîtes for our absence as well as focussing on some of our marketing plans for the future – some of which you will hear about in the coming days. One of these latter tasks was to put up some Christmas decorations in Priory to see if we can encourage people to book their Christmas and New Year breaks with us. It felt a little odd decorating a gîte to make it as ‘Christmassy’ as possible only to take everything down within 36 hours without having had any presents or an enormous Christmas dinner!
We took a couple of hundred images which, having been away, we haven’t yet weeded through to select the best and so haven’t uploaded any to our own website however, we have accepted a booking to Priory for Christmas week so we will have company at Kergudon. There is still space in our other gîtes for Christmas and New Year so come and make a booking and let your friends know.
The Thursday of that week was back to school after the summer holidays so we had to dust off our French skills for class although we had tried to speak as much French as we could over the summer – mostly in the pub!
We travelled to the UK on Sunday 20th September (seems like such a long time ago) but the night before we had a near full house with chambre d’hôte clients in all of the gîtes except Stable. Some of our guests had stayed for a few days but all were kind enough to agree to check out for 10 am so we could get to the port on time to check in with the dog for his first sea voyage – and we’re glad we did as it was only when we got to the check-in booth that it become clear that his passport hadn’t been completed correctly and he couldn’t travel!
Remembering this was a Sunday, it looked likely that we would have to drive back to Kergudon to see our vet on Monday morning and get a new passport. This would have been irritating wherever we had sailed from but we had travelled to Caen, a near 4 hour drive, so would have been really frustrating. However, we were very impressed with the Brittany Ferries staff efforts to resolve the problem, and REALLY grateful to Garratt’s breeder’s vet who responded to Brittany Ferries’ telephone call so that between them they were able to resolve the problem allowing us to board and sail. Despite this minor hiccup we found sailing with the dog very easy and would encourage anyone to holiday with their four-legged friend in one of our 2 dog-friendly gîtes.
We were in the UK for 3½ weeks which to be honest was far longer than we would probably have chosen, but we still didn’t manage to catch up with everyone that we would have liked to. We didn’t publicise that we were in the UK as we knew we wouldn’t be able to meet everyone and we are very sorry we couldn’t but we missed being in Saint Cadou for so long and missed a number of really fun village activities including the village’s annual cochon grille (pig roast) and the inauguration of the Assomniak Hangar which attracted 600 people for a Fest Noz type evening. The hangar and garden area have been cleared out and a programme of craft workshops is being put together which I am looking forward to participating in some.
We got back in the early hours of Thursday 15th not only to all the laundry from our guests on our last night but also to welcome David’s parents for their third visit to us – this time holidaying rather than painting. We also welcomed a lovely couple and their 2 lurchers to Priory who were spending 8 nights with us while they house hunted in Brittany.
While David’s folks were here to rest sadly they both succumbed to colds they had picked up in the UK which curtailed their activities however, we did manage to visit the market at Daoulas and had a great day driving to and in Roscoff exploring the very attractive old city and enjoying some excellent Breton seafood (which was especially welcome having proven to myself, the week before we travelled, that I had not developed an allergy to oysters – this was a great relief, life would barely have been worth living …)
As well as hosting house –hunters in Priory, we had two people stay with us in Stable and Hayloft who were fly fishing with Philippe for the week. We have been really encouraged to have so much interest in the gîtes in this ‘out of season’ period although we are entering a quite few weeks now.
On Monday we took Mouse to the vet to have her spayed and remove any risk of having a litter of kittens to deal with! She has been very patient with the collar she is having to wear to prevent her biting at her stitches and, while she has been ‘promoted’ to nights in the house, she is living in Garratt’s car cage in the kitchen as much to prevent her playing too boisterously with the dog as to keep her contained. She has her stitches out on Friday when we are likely to relegate her back to the Mouse-house overnight.
The remainder of the week has been spent outside making the most of the amazing autumnal weather we have been enjoying. The focus has been the Granary garden where I have cleared away all of the undergrowth at the base of the hedge which also received its third cut of the year completing the job I started before we went to the UK. I had great success with the hedge cuttings I took in the spring as the vast majority rooted and grew allowing me to fill the gaps in the base of the hedge which should assist making the garden secure for future years.
On Sunday we took the dog for a stroll along the Nantes-Brest canal in Châteauneuf-du-Faou as we hoped the woods would be an amazing display of autumnal colours – we weren’t disappointed. Also just outside Châteauneuf a local botanical garden was having an open day so we visited as we continue to develop our ideas and seek inspiration for what we want to do to our place – definitely need to inject lots more colour year-round to soften the dark slate walls!
This week’s tasks will depend very much on the weather – looking likely to be more autumnal – but there are plenty of things to keep us occupied which I will update you about next Sunday when I resume my previous blog routine – honest!