I finished last week’s blog hoping that this week would be more productive than the preceding couple. Thankfully it was. The first thing to say is that the weather has been amazing – and looks as though it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Summer has arrived!
I also said that, if I did nothing else, I would have a pétanque pitch to show you. Thankfully I have. That took up most of the first half of the week continuing to clear the pitch of gravel and slate and laying the membrane down to prevent the sand from going down and the weeds from coming up.
The sand was delivered on Tuesday morning which gave us a good idea of how large a lorry we can request when we are able to order the gravel. We ordered 5 tonnes of sand which was delivered in their 13 tonne lorry which, just, got down Stréat al Louarn and into our back gate – although I am glad that I haven’t yet put up our actual gate yet!
The sand we have ordered, as recommended by the quarry, is called 0/10. Before, I assumed sand was sand and its all the same. But no. This, like the gravel, is graded so it has grains supposedly between 0 and 10 millimetres and apparently, when compacted, makes for a better pétanque pitch.
Having ordered 5 tonnes of sand we have only needed to use about 4 so I have a tonne lying in the drive and, once again, preventing us from driving all the way round. So my focus for the second half of the week was clearing out a garage bay where I can use the surplus. During the build the bays, like the space which is now pétanque, became a storage area (aka dumping ground) so the floor was not level and had stones, slate and other bits in the way. They were also not always level with the entrance sill which would have been a problem driving in and out.
This photo doesn’t show the different levels well as it was so sunny outside but you can see some of the larger pieces of slate.
We have started with the bay nearest Hayloft and completely cleared and levelled it. Again this was job which took longer than I’d anticipated as much of the ground was so compacted but it has made a huge difference.
Today we have been kindly loaned a garden roller to flatten the interior and compact the pétanque pitch – a process which apparently takes a lot of rolling when the sand is wet but will definitely be worthwhile.
During the week we have visited an open day for a wholesale nursery the other side of Carhaix, one recommended by our gardening neighbours.
You will recall that I complained about the amount of weeding we now need to do – which David has been doing again this week like a man possessed to the point that he has broken the hand fork! We visited the nursery in the hope of getting some good ground cover plants – which we have. We bought some vinca, delosperma and pachysandra (like I know what I’m talking about!) as well as some new red hot pokers for the tropical bed and succulents for a sink we want to plant up.
The nursery also has an amazing variety of hostas, which we love, but sadly so too do the slugs which we seem to have a large number of. We didn’t get any this year but, as the open day is annual, when we get around to extending the tropical bed and building the pond we will definitely get a large variety (in the hope that the pond attracts sufficient toads and frogs to eat the slugs!)
Village life continues to be fun with this weekend being the French Fête de la Musique, a nationwide event when most communes and villages hold concerts and musical activities. Yesterday was also Saint Cadou’s Tantad (bonfire) for the Fête de Saint Jean which was great fun. Next week is the annual Tribrezh triathlon on the lake too and on 12th July Le Tour passes through Sizun – more of that next week.
With so much on we need to take more time to relax although David has started a Sunday morning yoga group on the Stamadec beach of Lac du Drennec, a beautiful spot on a clear Sunday morning.
Next week more progress on the garage bays of Grange – and lots of rollering!