Sunday 01 August – Door-dling Progress

It has now been 5 weeks since I actually provided any sort of update on the work we have been doing to progress our many projects.  Last week’s blog was principally explaining why I hadn’t blogged for a month (having too much fun) but did say that I would update today.

Getting my excuses in early … the last blog said that despite it being 5 weeks there isn’t 5 week’s worth of progress, which is true.  Being mid-summer we are delighted that all of the gîtes are occupied and Stable, our Chambre d’Hôte (B&B) is proving as popular as ever.

All that means there is a lot of time taken up with the routine things required to keep the accommodation running and ensure our guests have the most amazing holiday.  This is not helped when the power cable to Granary failed last week cutting off all electricity to the gîte!  All credit however to Enedis (the company responsible for the power network) who arrived about 4 hours after we telephoned them and resolved the problem quickly. Thanks too, to the lovely Dutch family who were staying in Granary for their understanding – we provided an extension cable to plug the fridge in so the drinks stayed cold and they were very happy.

A little personal admin in the week too as on Thursday Dave and I had our second COVID jab so we should have full vaccination protection by the end of next week and our Health Pass.  Even the dogs got their annual jabs on Wednesday and their own passports stamped, so we felt sympathy for them although we didn’t need a rabies jab ourselves!

The last project-related update was that I had started to clear the central garage bays in preparation for levelling and laying gravel.  I was also staining the wood and painting the render.  Then, I had completed half the job and now both central bays are stained and painted completely – and they look good.

Central garage bays being ‘cleared’

In continuing to clear the bays I didn’t know where to relocate the planks of wood we had bought to make the garage doors.  The only sensible option was to actually use them and build the doors we had always intended to have on the north and south bays.

Of course, when I began building I calculated that we were short by 8 planks.  Getting additional planks of the same dimensions proved challenging as they only seemed to be stocked by one timber merchant.  I emailed our local branch who confirmed that they had some in stock but, when I arrived, the storemen said they were all out.

Having chatted with the office (who it was that confirmed they had some) a very old pile was located behind their hanger.  They had obviously been left there months previously and having sat out in the elements since then were in a pretty poor state.  As I wanted to make a start, and knowing that I was going to ultimately stain the doors anyway, I agreed to buy 10 planks that I could use.

While this has proven slower than I’d hoped, I am really pleased with those I have made so far. However, despite staining the exterior of the doors with exactly the same stain I used for the building itself, the colour is very different. The garage had weathered to a light grey prior to staining and the wood I am using for the doors is lighter hence the difference. It will all look the same when re-stain the building – due about 2025!

The last work blog also mentioned that we had ordered new garden furniture for the gîtes but that there appeared to be a world shortage.  Amazingly, having ordered Granary and Hayloft’s sets from different companies on the same day weeks ago, they were both delivered to us on the same day.

Neither looked as though they had been well stained or protected so I took a few days to apply teak oil to them as we hope these will last us a number of years.  We are just waiting on some new outdoor covers before we put them on the terraces.

Hayloft’s new garden table – waiting for a cover

To further protect them so they last a while, I have installed some hooks in the garage bay that will allow us to store it all in the dry over the winter months.  It’s amazing what we can do when the garage is clear.  I should have done it a long time ago!!  Although, as you can see, while it is being cleared, having a large useable space is prone to getting filled with ‘stuff’ including some lovely barrels that we have acquired and are considering what to do with.

The packages I showed you remain unopened but I am excited about them …

The 3rd garage door should be completed tomorrow with a closing and locking mechanism and I hope to be able to make a start on the 4th and final however, there is likely to be a change of focus.  I have agreed to redecorate Dave’s gym which needs a little bit of TLC.  Dave has invested in some new rubber flooring and furniture, and has a new Personal Training client starting in a couple of weeks so he is keen the gym looks fabulous.

Hopefully I should be able to complete that within a week – I will update you next Sunday.