I wish I wouldn’t make these bold claims at the end of my blogs as, last week, I thought that everything was set fair for me to make some good progress. However, as we have now very definitely entered the high season and have guests in all of our gîtes, there are is lot to keep us busy looking after things. David, as chef, has been especially occupied with 3 three-course meals prepared on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights all well received and looked, and smelt, amazing.
The main job that I started during the week is one that we had further down the priority list – relaying the terrace at our own back door. However, with the aim of tidying the whole area in front of the garage and eventually laying new gravel there it made sense to make a start. This was principally because, at present, there is no clear boundary between the drive and our terrace which would have meant that any gravel laid would simply roll onto the patio.
The terrace was laid, we believe, by our predecessors using some of the huge amounts of slate there is around. As such the surface isn’t completely level and the stones don’t join well together. Also, slate not being porous, over the years more and more of the stones have come loose and would have needed replacing anyway but we thought that, at some point, we would relay the whole terrace with paving – which we haven’t chosen!
Some of the slates had been re-laid more recently as the concrete underneath was much harder in some places than others. Thankfully, with a bit of brute force all eventually gave way giving me a trailer-full of hardcore. I would love to have kept it for when we eventually build our formal pond but, keeping it would have made another areas look more like Steptoe’s yard, so, reluctantly, it has gone to the tip. At least the slate we lifted is being very useful to make the small wall required – yet another one!
What I did discover, was that some of the drainage pipework under the terrace had been pierced some time ago before being buried under the slate and it has started to create its own mini-sinkhole! Sadly, I don’t have the bits to repair the pipe yet so it has extended and slowed the job. What we will also be able to do is build a fence to hide the oil tank which has been something we have wanted to do almost since we arrived. We understand there used to be a panel there which was blown down many years ago.
Last night, traditionally a couple of weeks after the Fête Nationale, Commana held its firework display on the Lac du Drennec. They were quite good, and the location is obviously fabulous, but we still think Sizun has been the most impressive of those that we have attended.
Thankfully, the fireworks had finished before the weather broke and, as the UK, the fantastic heatwave we have been enjoying, was ended with a downpour last night and most of today. While the weather has been blustery, we didn’t think that it has been so blustery as to have caused any damage. However, we have lost a hanging basket from the front of Priory; the top of our remaining apple tree was broken off and, exactly a year after the electricity company reattached the cable to Granary, it has pulled out of the wall again.
This time it has pulled out in a more comprehensive way and is dangling a few feet off the ground. Thankfully it hasn’t, yet, cut the supply to Granary and, as we have guests staying there, we really hope it doesn’t. Having called the electricity supplier at 15.15 we are told they should be here today – we will see, it took 7 weeks last time!
Encouragingly, this week we have accepted our first booking for summer 2019 and continue to get lots of enquiries for this summer which we would love to accept but are full. One family called today for accommodation from tonight! We know that there are so many reasons why this region is so popular as a holiday destination but this week it was publicised that the sea is 3.5 degrees warmer than last year and is hotter than Malaga!
I’m not going to make any predictions about how busy I’m going to be next week – I don’t want to set myself up for another fall!!