Following your comments last week about how my blog looked on mobile devices following the update to WordPress. I have completed it in a different way which has hopefully resolved the problem so that it can all be read.
Happy New Year to you all. We hope you have recovered from whatever festivities you enjoyed to see in 2019, if recovering was required.
David and I had a really lovely New Year’s Eve as the very first one we have had alone together. We had plans to go to an early New Year’s Eve on the 30th which sadly had to be cancelled as the host was poorly. We wish them a speedy recovery.
Our New Year’s Eves are generally lively affairs, historically with a large group of friends who we would hire a big country house with, sometimes in France. This year we had a quieter night with a lovey dinner together and board games – which risked ending / starting the year at blows – thankfully it didn’t!
We were delighted to have a large group of French friends who enjoyed their Réveillon and stayed in three of our gîtes for a few nights and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we used to with our friends, although with a lot less dressing up!
This week has seen us return to our work and projects which has been greatly assisted by some continuing dry weather (we evidently chose the right weeks to return to the UK at the end of last year).
You will recall from previous blogs that the current project is rebuilding the man shed. The last time I showed any progress was in my blog of 25th November and in last week’s blog, when I summarised some of the major projects we have completed in 2018, I said that I had made further progress and hoped that by today the roof would be on.
The progress I made between Christmas and New Year was shaping and erecting the Douglas fir posts on the corners of the building so it mirrors the style of Grange next to it. I had also made a start to the frame that would be required to hold the roof up. As I wanted to use wood that I had already bought and not pay extra for much longer lengths to be cut (this is a project on a budget) I needed to erect a central support post to hold the frame on which the roofing sheets will sit.
The roofing material we will use are the same metal sheets we have used on the wood store behind Grange. Slate would have been lovely but, because of the shallow angle of the roof less practical and much heavier. The metal sheets look good (for a shed); do match the wood store (although that is mostly hidden behind Grange); but most importantly are much lighter so I can get away with a single support post.
While the post has to be in the centre of the man shed, and so something to be worked around, it will probably be surrounded by the work bench that I will build so shouldn’t be a hazard. I have also decided to make the support post hollow so the Grange power cable can be hidden inside it and I can attach some sockets on it to be used on my bench.
Since New Year, I am delighted to say that I have managed to get it completely roofed so, we hope, it is completely watertight from above. I am not wishing it to rain anytime soon but, when it does, I will probably stand inside to make sure that it does stay dry!
New Year is the time for traditions, old and new; resolutions and new starts. We have lots of projects that we want to get underway, hopefully complete, that we can consider as new starts. One resolution that we have made together is, like many others, to have an alcohol-free period for a few weeks. However, realising that we hadn’t actually had champagne at any point over Christmas and New Year, when normally we would have found many excuses, we maintained a tradition we started in 2017 and had a Christmas, although this time New Year’s Day, Champagne high tea. This is likely to appear on our catering options in 2019, although perhaps without the mince pies, stolen and other festive treats we had!
Our dry period started after our tea and, we hope, will last until the middle of February, which made attending this afternoon’s village Galette Des Rois event in the Pub St Hubert a test of will power! The French celebrate Epiphany with a Galette des Rois, a cake in which they hide a charm or token that allows the finder to be the King or Queen for a short period! Thankfully we managed to abstain from the alcohol if not the cake.
The other activity for toady was taking down all the decorations. I always find this a sad task as it makes the living room look so bare, at least for a couple of days until we get used to the change. Only 48 weeks before we can justifiably put them all back up again!
Next week, if the weather continues to remain dry, having picked up the wood required yesterday, is to start cladding the man shed and we may have a completely watertight building this time next week. Very exciting.