Last week’s blog suggested that this week’s work will depend as much on weather as it did on my back recovering. The good news is that my back did feel much better on Monday and Tuesday morning which allowed me to continue with some of the tasks we needed to do however, on Tuesday afternoon while out walking Garratt with David it got a lot worse and, for no apparent reason, went into complete spasm that put me in considerable pain and made me very immobile.
David is convinced that its mostly because I hadn’t rested and let my back recover when I felt the twinge the first time so, this time, I have taken his advice and done nothing active for the last 4 days to allow the muscle to recover. Thankfully it this has coincided with some pretty damp autumnal weather than would have prevented me working outside anyway. It has however meant I have been spoilt with Dave giving me some amazing, although sometimes verging on the agonising, massages each day and that I have been well looked after by David as I sit, read and recover.
In the first couple of days when I was more mobile I was able to carry on with some tasks we had in hand, foolishly as things turned out! On my list, which it had been for some time, was to insulate the loft space above the Hayloft. Earlier in the year we were focussed on the inside and, being summer, laying insulation above was lower down the list of priorities.
We knew the loft had absolutely no insulation at all and any heat our guests were putting into the space with the radiators we had fitted or the wood burner was mostly escaping through the roof into the Brittany atmosphere. As we were expecting a couple in Hayloft last Monday I had started cleaning out the loft space a week ago to make it look less like the web space of the film ‘Arachnophobia’. We knew that there were a lot of cables and pipes across the floor of the loft as well as the old immersion heater than had been replaced in 2014 but had been left up there.
On Monday I continued with this task and was pretty pleased with the finished result so it was even cosier for the couple who arrived with their dog on Monday afternoon and would cost a lot less to keep that way in the future.
The previous week we had had a new door manufactured for what has become the ‘Mouse House’ but this autumn will become the Boot and Drying Room. Previously the space had been used for wood and garden game storage so only needed a roughly made door to secure but we wanted something a little more robust. The new just needs to receive a coat of paint and I need to return to the cobbles we discovered in front and remove the weeds (and old hanging baskets) …
In an effort to reuse the door and secure my own man-shed, which up to this point had been secured by a 6-foot fence panel which I slid back and forth across the access hole, on Tuesday morning I adapted the old door (and fence panel) to make a lockable access. However, being agricultural buildings (and doors) there wasn’t a right angle or parallel surface to use! However as it is intended to only be a temporary door to the shed, with a bit of ‘adjustment’, I made it fit.
My back having gotten worse on Tuesday afternoon, I did very little on Wednesday morning but stuck with the intended programme for the afternoon which was to visit a number of trailer sellers with our neighbours Jackie and Bryan as we had decided earlier in the year that we both could use a trailer but that it didn’t make sense for us both to have one so we would go halves!
Having visited 3 of the biggest trailer firms in Brittany we have chosen something versatile and practical – now we just need to get a tow bar fitted to our own car!
The remainder of the week has been spent recovering and, thankfully, day by day my back has improved – but this may be the catalyst to make us register with a French doctor! However, it has meant that I have not been able to progress anything else and there is so much still to do including installing the new wood burner into Priory before our guests arrive before Christmas – but its very heavy and definitely not worth risking my back for yet!
Also, as we head towards Christmas, we have bought our Sizun Pompiers Calendar for 2016. This appears to be a French tradition which we first saw on the ‘Year in Provence’ DVD that we watched earlier in the year (me for the first time) when the local volunteer fire department raise funds by selling an annual calendar (thankfully not Calendar Girls / French Rugby team style!) While there is no obligation to buy we’re told it’s hard to avoid their visit – and you wouldn’t want to need them and be known as a house who hadn’t bought …
Finally, we have been very lucky to have had such wonderful guests stay with us during the year all of whom seem to have enjoyed their stay and been impressed with the accommodation and service. But we were especially delighted with the feedback we have received on TripAdvisor from a lovely couple who stayed with us for 2 weeks recently in Priory with their 2 dogs. They are B&B owners themselves in the UK, and the husband used to be a professional chef before owning the B&B, so their feedback would always be useful. To know that they enjoyed their stay so much was really pleasing.
Hopefully more movement from me next week and we have another ‘big’ task planned – weather permitting – that will make a big impact on the garden. I will update next week …