This week has been a mix of highs and lows. Geographical highs and meteorological lows to be more precise. I titled last week’s blog ‘Wiring done, winds to come’ as ex-hurricane Ophelia was forecast to create strong winds near us. Thankfully, other than some slightly windier conditions, Ophelia was a bit of a non-event for us, although we are conscious that was not the case for Ireland and parts of northern England.
The other autumn storm which looked, for a while at least, that it may have a significant impact for us was Brian this weekend, but again, thankfully this only led to a wet Saturday, although not unduly, and breezy but not violent winds. We are sure that there will be lots of opportunity in the coming months to see other storms have a greater impact!
David’s parents were closely watching Ophelia as they were due to leave us last Tuesday and had other commitments to meet in England. Despite Plymouth / Roscoff ferries being cancelled on Monday, all were back up and running allowing them to head home as planned.
With David’s parents departure we were without family guests for the first time in a few weeks so we had no excuse not to pick up on the projects we were working on before. For me this was spending the week continuing to dig and level the ground behind Grange allowing me to start building the much-needed woodshed.
I had managed to complete about two-thirds the length of the building in the previous weeks and needed to do at least a few more metres before I could start the frame for the shed. This proved to be as challenging as the previous digs with a mix of slate, rock and roots slowing progress. My intention is to eventually level all the way around the building and I am looking forward to it getting softer ground!
I have however managed to level enough to start the woodshed. Using a number of things that I have learned from our builder while constructing Grange itself, I intend to make the woodshed as solid as the garage itself and, while not quite the same size, large enough to store 5 cords of wood (15 cubic metres) in the dry. Should only take another day to complete it, other than the ‘doors’ which will take a little longer.
When the weather was good we took the opportunity to walk the dogs and I ventured to a rock outcrop just off one of our popular walks. Sadly the outcrop isn’t on a managed path and requires some thrashing through the gorse, but the rocks are the highest point for many miles the views are well worth it. The 4 photos are the best I can get for a 360 degree panorama.
Thrashing through the vegetation also meant that you can get to see some more of the wildlife and we attracted the curiosity of this chap. I hope, being the start of hunting season, that he is more cautious with others walking through the forest or I don’t rate his chances!
This is one of my favourite times of year partly because of the autumnal weather but also because David is busy in the kitchen preparing all the Christmas treats and making amazing smells as he prepares mincemeat, Christmas cakes, poached pears and many other lovely things for us and the guests who will be staying with us over Christmas.
David’s catering has continued to be very popular this year and he has received some fabulous comments. As we find more and more local producers and try their fantastic foods we have devised a decadent ‘Lovers’ Gastronomic Weekend’ for couples to enjoy the wonderfully romantic atmosphere of Priory, where they can relax and pamper themselves but, most of all, savour the variety of food and drinks which are produced in this region.
I have attached some information and we will publish some dates for Spring 2018 in the next few weeks.
Also in the next few weeks there will also be a number of artisan Christmas craft fayres in the region – another great reason to spend a few days in this fabulous part of the world. At the link is a list of just some of those – we will certainly be attending some.
The forecast for next week looks like it will be one of those fabulously warm and dry autumnal weeks which allow me to finish the woodshed and, hopefully, get a lot done. Next week’s blog will also share some exciting news about the 2018 Tour de France route!