Sunday 09 February – Slow Progress – but progress

The last week has been one of those frustrating time when, despite working all week, when you look back at what has been achieved you get the feeling that it isn’t as much as we should have!

That said, we have generally continued to build rather than demolish, and add to the charm of the cottage.  We have focussed on 2 areas, the mezzanine level and the front door.

Previously, the rear of mezzanine was clad in dark wood with a light box at about head height.  We never found this terribly attractive ourselves, and, having bought a four-poster bed in our first year to be a(nother) amazing feature of this lovely building, it also made the mezzanine level a tight fit.

Having stripped off the old cladding, we exposed another A-frame which was built when the building was re-roofed, we think, about 15 years ago.  It also became obvious that the lower cross beam of that A-frame would prevent us gaining any significant space on the mezzanine to push the bed closer to the wall.

Not being the sort of people to accept a minor problem like this, being highly-qualified structural engineers(!) we came up with a plan – move the cross beam.

Not only do these pictures show how many cables our electrician has had to install, and can now be hidden behind the new wall, you can see that we have raised the cross beam to buy us a few centimetres for the bed.

We think the A-frame is an attractive part of the building so we have decided to make it a feature of the new mezzanine, and have added a few additional supports to it – all purely decorative.  We are really pleased with how it is taking shape and, when it is finally stained, painted and refurnished we think it will look amazing.

The other major task we have undertaken involved more deconstruction before replacement which was the front door of Priory.

In our first year at Kergudon we replaced the door that was there and had become very rotten, with one that our builder manufactured for us.  What we didn’t do was replace the frame and threshold etc.  As such, while it functioned, we have had a few problems with the door, including having to remove the tiles on the inside recently, and so we never felt it was the right first impression when entering the gîte.

This work has given us the chance to rehang the door with a new frame, new exterior step and new threshold.  Thankfully we have been able to reinstall the door before Storm Ciara arrived although we still need to render in certain areas and make good so the work isn’t finished as yet, but already looks better with a lovely new slate step.

Over the weekend I have done some concreting.  A small amount to level the step inside the front door which we will tile, and a larger area to increase the floor space of the kitchen generally.  The reason for the latter is because we made a small error!  When we were buying new electrical items for the kitchen, we saw an amazing fridge-freezer that was on such an incredible offer we had to have it.  We knew that it was taller than the old fridge-freezer but we hadn’t realised by how much.  The only way we could stand it in the kitchen was to extend the area of floor under the stairs which is fairly advantageous anyway and will look great.

Hopefully some great leaps forward during the coming week – assuming we don’t suffer any damage from Storm Ciara which has been blowing furiously all day.  We appreciate that the storm is even stronger, and wetter, in other areas so we hope you all manage to stay safe and dry until it passes.