Apparently it became November today – thankfully someone hasn’t told the weather as this weekend has been warmer than most of last August was! Today I was working in the garden and felt the need to remove my top it was so warm, and I was doing something pretty physical.
The weather earlier in the week was warm but more mixed although it did allow us to continue outside and I have been focussing on Granary garden which I started the previous week. One thing which has become clear, more in the garden thankfully than in the refurbishment of the gîtes themselves, is that jobs take significantly longer than anticipated and, having started one task, it generally leads onto other jobs to complete! This was true of my clearing the undergrowth and cutting back the hedges which made it evident that the old walls between the gîte and the lawn were near to collapse as the roots, which had grown in the preceding years, were forcing them to bulge out. Much of Monday was therefore spent dismantling the worst of them (the west side) and hoping that I didn’t need to do anything to the east side.
Tuesday was a wet day and thankfully we had plans to meet up with our friends for lunch in southern Brittany. Having only been here for 8 months, all of which seem to have been spent refurbishing, we haven’t explored the region as much as we like and the south even less so. The restaurant we ate at was recommended by our friends and was amazing specialising in seafood being on the peninsular of Île-Tudy. The chef used to cook for Françoise Mitterrand while he was President of the Republic so you would hope the food would be amazing – which it was – and amazingly not too expensive.
After lunch we went to Quimper for a couple of hours, a really interesting city worth a trip, and a manor house that we had wanted to visit for some time. In the heart of Quimper there is a manor house, Manoir du Kinkiz, which is a cider manufacturer, lambig distillery (Breton’s equivalent of Calvados) and an interesting cider museum. Most importantly, their products are fabulous and we are going to use their cider in our welcome baskets next year.
On Wednesday, another damp day, we travelled again. This time to Morbihan to collect a new poêle (wood burning stove) which we will install in Priory. Since we bought Kergudon we have felt the poêle in Priory was too small for the large space it is there to heat and have wanted to upgrade. As we intend to install the poêle ourselves we haven’t yet done it (it will inevitably take longer than we anticipate and we have guests arriving in Priory on Tuesday) but, on the recommendation of our last guests, who confirmed our view that the current poêle doesn’t quite have the oomph it needs, we have bought a stove fan, which I had never heard of, to direct the hot air into the room rather than into the large roof space. I will let you know our thoughts when we have trialled.
For the remainder of the week we continued with routine ‘stuff’; Dave went to school on Thursday (half term mean I had a week off); we visited Morlaix as we had Brico Depot withdrawal symptoms; Dave made a curtain for the inside of Priory’s ancient door that is not as air tight as modern doors; I replaced the waste in Priory’s bathroom as the old one had stopped working as a plug (you will see a theme addressing some of the snagging issues in Priory before our guests arrive!) and I progressed, but didn’t finish, re-building the new walls of the Granary garden.
Having continued the job, it became obvious that the eastern wall was as bad, if not worse, than the west so I dismantled that and focussed in rebuilding that – which I have finished but have not started rebuilding the west side. Perhaps next week if the weather remains as amazing and I can work shirtless in the same way …