The title of this week’s blog was chosen for a number of reasons. One is that, as I mentioned at the end of the last blog, the weather has now broken from the fantastic period of sunshine and blue skies that we had been enjoying. In fact, the forecast has been very variable all week and while we had a couple of wet days, the predicted deluge and thunderstorms were delayed and delayed – until today!
As I write this, it is like winter with the sky covered in very threatening black clouds and I can hear the distant rumble of thunder. We have not yet had the downpour (although we drove through one earlier today coming back from Morlaix) but it is definitely coming which is very sad for our neighbours open garden day today.
Having had a wetter week that normal we haven’t made such great progress outside as we would have liked but I have at least started to clear the old parking space and create our petanque pitch.
Even on the wet days we haven’t been idle. I have managed to tick off a job that we have wanted to do for a while – sand down and re-stain the wooden stair treads in Priory which has made a big difference.
David has started to clear out some of the boxes that we have been storing above his gym and transferring them into the new storeroom. We have rediscovered a number of books and novels that will eventually form the Kergudon library in the games room when we buy a little more furniture.
The main reason however for the title is we spent a couple of hours clearing out some of the accumulated rubbish which had been gathering in the garage in an effort to progress clearing the bays. It seemed that everything we bought during the build, floorboards, plastic and wooden lambris (T&G), laminate flooring, all came wrapped in some form of plastic and we hadn’t thrown any of it away. Our plastic footprint this year has been huge and, with all the focus on the amount of the stuff that ends up in the oceans, we hope taking it to déchetterie means that it will be disposed of in a responsible manner.
We quickly and easily managed to fill the trailer completely as well as the boot of the car and yet it didn’t seem to make the huge difference to clearing the garage bays as we’d hoped! Even a second load of hardcore and rubble has barely dented the surface. It did highlight that, as we use the dog food sacks as rubbish bags, just how much we feed Garratt and Brandon. As there were so many bags, I’m amazed they’re not enormous!
I have however started to clear the petanque pitch. We have now decided to make the pitch slightly larger than we originally intended so, having carefully chosen the spot to temporarily leave the huge amounts of slate we dig up in the garden, I had to move it – a bit. The pile, Kergudon Cairn as it has been named, needed to shift about a metre and a half west which took best part of a day to achieve.
Initially I wanted to save all of this slate for a project that I had in mind in the orchard – creating an artificial stream. But, as that is going to be a number of years away, we have had to come up with an alternative use for it. The plan now is to use it to make some mini-gabions that we will use to provide a barrier between the dive and the lawn. As we haven’t yet bought the cages required I couldn’t do the sensible thing and move the stones into place I just had to throw them from one side of the cairn to the other!
That done, I was able to start clearing the weeds and rubbish from the area. I started on what I hoped will be the harder end to clear as it was where we had the concrete mixer sited for the Grange build and so had a large area where sand, cement and ballast that had not made it into the mixer had set solid. It also had the ‘cage’ I made out of the old trampoline base when we first had Garratt and Mouse. It wasn’t used very much as Garratt hated being in it and Mouse very quickly discovered she was a cat and could climb out! I also had to remove a cherry tree that we had got at the annual kermesse (fête) at the Down Syndrome school in Morlaix.
Those who have been reading the blog for a while may recall that the kermesse has a plant lottery where your ticket can win you anything from a petunia to a large tree. A couple of years ago we came home with this prunus but didn’t know where to plant it so it had sat on our drive and had firmly taken root. Sadly we still couldn’t decide where it should go so now it has gone – to the tip. Coincidentally today was kermesse day so we have a few more plants – and a better idea of where they are going!
Slow progress therefore on the petanque pitch but some progress and hopefully, weather dependent, I will be able to continue (and finish?) this week.
Yesterday too was also a plant related day (sort of) as we visited our near neighbours, Bryan and Jackie, who are very keen gardeners and open their garden a couple of times a year in aid of charity. They have been living in their house a couple of years longer than we have been here but, in that time, they have turned what was effectively a cow field into a fabulous garden. We are very jealous every time we visit and see it mature and grow. One day perhaps Kergudon will be close … They were very pleased with their turn out yesterday but we hope that the forecast hasn’t made today too quiet.
Last night we popped back to our local restaurant in St. Rivoal. Not to eat this time but because the new owner, Yann, has started to host concerts in the barn behind the restaurant. It was a fun night and hopefully he will do it again sometime soon.
Since starting to write the rain has also started to pour down – all good for our new plants!