By / 3rd August, 2015 / Ben and Dave's Blog / 6 Comments

My regular readers will have noticed that I did not post a blog last night. Well, perhaps not both readers, but if you missed it my apologies.

However, there was good reason as I felt it was more appropriate that I blog today as we reach the fantastic milestone having completed ‘phase 1’ renovations in all of our gîtes and buildings with guests staying in all, including a young couple who arrived this afternoon for 2 nights B&B in Stable.

We are officially fully occupied which means, more importantly, tomorrow we genuinely can’t do any maintenance in the gîtes and have to have a day off – or at least other activities!

Last week was both great fun and busy as we spent as much time as we could with some good friends who were staying with us in Granary (Scott family) and Priory (Perkin family) while also progressing Stable.

You may recall my explanation of just how much work we had to do in Granary right up until our guests arrived but, from their comments and feedback, it was all worthwhile. It of course meant that we have yet to take those marketing pictures as when our friends left us on Saturday we only had a few ours to turn the gîte around before a lovely Spanish family arrived. Next Saturday should provide some opportunity.

It was the first visit of these friends to us and was very helpful as both have very young families so they were able to tell us how the gîtes work for toddlers and babies. Thankfully very well. It also allowed the Perkins to see how great the sofa they were kind enough to give us looks in its new home, Hayloft.

While the weather was not ideal at the start of the week they occupied themselves with visits to some of the attractions around us and spent a lot of time in the paddling pool towards the end of the week when the weather improved. It also gave us the opportunity to spend an evening in Priory and eat in the dining room when we dined with our friends – it’s really rather well done!!

Despite having said last week that Stable, being effectively only a single room, shouldn’t present a problem to complete in a week, we chose to de-scope some tasks to ensure we finished on time. Although, on time for us is, of course, just in time, so there are no photos of this as yet either! That said, the young couple who arrived this afternoon for 2 night’s B&B love it so we think it is hits the mark and is a major improvement on what was there before including a completely new shower room.

So tonight we have an English couple and dog in Hayloft; an Irish couple and dog is Priory; a Spanish family in Granary and a French couple in Stable.   A truly international clientele!!

Those other activities this week include taking Garratt to the vet for his final inoculations, so he can be issued with a passport, and then a day taking the newly inoculated Garratt for a walk for some lead training! This and sorting the man-shed (so I can relocate some of my tools should I need them in the future), the admin (should there be any unpaid bills) and Dave’s gym which has become our only dumping ground with all the gîtes complete (should Dave want to use it again …)

Only a couple of photos this week I’m afraid – you don’t want to see us enjoying ourselves with our friends – and no chance to update the Priory or Stable pictures until next week. These are pictures I have wanted to show for a few weeks of 2 yucca plants. The larger plant was at Kergudon when we arrived but was under a huge and collapsed lonicera hedge. It had evidently flowered before as there was an old stem on it, but this year it has thrown up 4 new flower stems having enjoyed more light after we cut the hedge back in February.

Yucca in flower - Gîte FinistereSmall Yucca in flower - Gîte Finistere










The smaller yucca was at our old Balham flat when we bought it and had evidently outgrown its pot significantly which was twisted out of shape by the plant’s roots. We planted this in a bed at Kergudon in April and within a couple of weeks it too had thrown up a flower stem. I hope all of our guests will be as happy here as evidently our plants are – or these ones at least!

À bientôt.


  • Patrick and Anne-Marie August 4, 2015 at 9:20 am

    It is a real pleasure for us to follow your work for renovation work in the “prosbital koz”, the old priory as it is called in breton language (After having belonged to Templars order (*), a priest was hidden in the house during the french Revolution). For us it is a real pleasure to read genuine english and not an international pidgin.
    As you often mention the weather, your blog could be titled Priory Umbrella if Charles Dodgson had not already used it…
    Good luck.

    (*) see the special cross on the the fireplace timber.

    I wanted to mention the artists’ exhibition in the Ofice de tourisme in Landivisiau. I take part in it and I show the etchings you liked. Your visitors are welcome in my workshop if they are interested in arts.


    • Ben Dickins August 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Hi Patrick and Anne-Marie,
      Thanks for your message. We’re really pleased that you are enjoying following our, now complete, renovations. You must come round and see the finished article.
      We are very keen to learn more about the history of the prosbital koz and am fascinated by the story of the hidden priest. We have crosses in a number of places in our house and the prosbital – we’d love to know the meanings.
      We do very much like the etchings in your studio and thank you for allowing our guests to visit if they’d like. We will add our details in our information packs. Perhaps we can discus having some of your etchings and work on display in our gites for people to see, perhaps buy, and also to attract their interest to come to your workshop?
      Amicalement. Ben et David


  • Sylvain & Caroline August 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    +2 readers please !!!
    Lots of great news, well done !


  • Nicola Perkin August 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Ben and Dave are great friends of ours and we just wanted to say a HUGE thank you and a HUGE well done for all they had done to the Priory for our stay. It was a real treat and we had a fantastic holiday sharing time with them and exploring the surrounding towns, villages and stunning scenery. Even on the wettest day (next time boys please improve the weather) we had a great day out with the little ones at the Aquarium in Brest. And when the sun shone the onsite pool and local beach were superb as was the beach restaurant. Thanks again both. We look forward to much of the same next year!

    PS Ed is still talking about Garratt.


    • Ben Dickins August 19, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for your comments – we’re really pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and are delighted that you like the gites and Kergudon.
      Garratt enjoyed meeting Ed too and looks forward to playing when they meet again – and Dave and I look forward to catching up with you all again when we are back in Blighty. Love to all. B&D


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