Sunday 05 February – Make & Mend

As we anticipated in last week’s blog, the weather over the last 7 days has been very mixed.  Thankfully it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we had expected from early forecasts which seemed to predict storm after storm after storm.  In reality it was the usual February mixed bag of rain, showers, hail and the occasional bright spell but the upshot was the same – no progress on the garage.

That doesn’t mean we were idle and without work! I did manage to complete the clearance of the ‘hedge’ on the neighbouring field and have started to lay some of the younger, springier, trunks which will bud in the spring and make a better hedge rather than the mass of coppiced trunks that were there before.  It has also given us so much more light at the front of the garden which will benefit the buildings, lawn and flower beds we are in the process of creating and planting.

We also took a day to visit our accountant – sounds very swish and I used to think that only wealthy people had accountants which does not apply to us.  However, having moved here with ropey language skills and limited knowledge of the, ever-changing, tax systems in France we thought it would be prudent to initially use a professional.  It has proven worthwhile and I suspect, with French Presidential elections this year which are looking incredibly interesting already, things are likely to change again regardless of Brexit implications ……

Last week’s blog also said that I had bought some material to progress other projects which could be done internally and, as we have no garage as yet(!) that means in the boot room which has again become a workshop.

One of the things that I want to develop living here (and that it has given me the opportunity to do so) is to improve my practical ‘man’ skills.  Despite my Dad, who was an industrial designer, being an incredibly practical person who can build just about anything including most of the house and furniture I grew up with, I did not seem to inherit that particular gene!

We did do quite a bit in our flat in London, including transforming the garden with lots of raised beds I built when I turned my hand to bricklaying (and was really pleased with the result), and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.  Kergudon has given me the chance to attempt all sorts of other skills.

This week I would flatter myself to say I have been doing some carpentry so perhaps ‘woodwork’ might be more appropriate and working on a couple of projects that we have wanted to complete for a while.

Two are going to be surprises for David (and possibly me depending on how they turn out – pleasant surprises I hope) but one started off as being a simple job of replacing the gate and fence separating Granary from Hent Gorreker. We never saw the old gate as we understand it got blown off in a storm before we arrived at Kergudon, but the fence had survived but had gotten more and more rotten over the last 2 years and is now in desperate need of replacement.

Having bought the wood to effectively replace like with like I had the ‘bright’ idea of adding some detail to the fence posts with a Breton symbol.  The immediate impact was a that would have taken a few hours suddenly became a couple of days work!

Having made a template to follow and, as carefully as I could, cutting out the design, I am pretty pleased with the result (although, as it is quite time consuming, we have agreed to have the motif on alternate posts rather than every one!)

I am cutting and giving the first coat of stain in my workshop (a.k.a. the bootroom) before I will build it next to Granary.  I think if you look at it from a distance, at dusk, and squint they will pass for the Breton emblem!

I hope the other 2 projects will be complete in the next 2 weeks so I will show pictures then – when David has seen them in reality.

Next week is looking better weather-wise so we do expect to continue with the garage (more photos to show which I know you will look forward to!) although tomorrow less so – woodwork again.