As hoped in last week’s blog, I have now finished building the wall to the east side of the back entrance. We are really pleased with how it’s turned out and, so far, it hasn’t settled anywhere near as much as the west side did. One of the lessons I learned from building the wall opposite is that I needed to compact the soil much more to minimise the amount that it would settle, and having done so, after a couple of days rain, it hasn’t collapsed in as much as previously.
The only task I have left to finish this completely is to install the light to mirror the opposite side. We were planning on giving this a couple of weeks to see what sort of settling would happen so that it would go on a more stable platform. After that it is just a case of gravelling the drive and allowing the grass to grow on the exterior side.
The second, and only other task, I completed was one that I had hoped to do for a couple of years. Since we had moved here there was a large water butt behind Granary collecting the runoff from one area of the roof. We had repositioned another butt, of the same size (500L) next to the first but had neither connected the 2 together nor moved them slightly away from the wall to prevent it soaking the back of Granary.
Granary, and our own house, doesn’t (yet) have a gutter on the rear roof, so when it rains, as it has been known to here in Brittany, it cascades down the back of the building. When the water butt was positioned next to the wall the cascade of water splashed back onto the wall soaking into the slate and lime mortar. I had always wanted to both attach a gutter but, more quickly and easily, simply move the water butt away from the wall. It has taken this long to get around to doing so and to connect the second butt to the first so they fill at the same time.
Generally this would have been a very rapid job but, water being a precious commodity this summer, I didn’t want to just tip away what we had managed to store so it took almost a day to use the water in the butts to revive the yew plants we have added to the boundary before I could start changing the pipes.
Now, with the 3 butts we have plumbed in to collect water off the roof of Grange, we have very nearly 3500 litres of storage – would have been great for the garden this summer!
We welcomed David’s aunt and uncle back to Kergudon at the end of the week and made the most of the social side of Breton life. On Saturday we visited the annual Commana Horse Fair, and today was the Saint Cadou Cochon Grillé (Pig Roast). Unfortunately, and almost predictably, having taken ages to water the yews on Wednesday, the last couple of days have been the wettest we have had for weeks which pretty much wrote off the horse fair.
Friday, before the storm passed through, we travelled to Primel Trégastel, on the north coast, to have lunch at a restaurant recommended to Dave by a couple of people at his gym. The restaurant, La Cameline, was excellent and very traditional. For a Friday lunchtime the 4 of us made us 36% of the clientele which, although it didn’t lead to rapid service, the food was very good and, with the view over the bay we would recommend it.
The horse fair on Saturday would have been excellent other than the driving rain. Commana is one of the highest villages in Brittany and very exposed so when it is the slightest bit wet and windy Commana gets it. Sadly, this meant that the market stalls were closing up just after lunch and it wasn’t so pleasant to eat from the food stands. On the up-side it meant that having looked at the horses, cows and fancifully coloured ducks (which we don’t remember from before) we had to go to Au Lac for lunch!
One year we will be in a position to buy some chickens and ducks for our own menagerie but not for a while.
Thankfully today’s Pig Roast wasn’t as badly affected as everyone could eat in the Salle des Fêtes and it was another great afternoon of Breton music and entertainment.
As I write this the weather has vastly improved and it is now a lovely evening. The forecast is good for the remainder of the week so I will be able to do a number of tasks outside. Having ordered 2 new chains for the chainsaw I hope to, eventually, start cutting the wood we have lying around but I remember saying that for the last couple of weeks …