Last week’s blog said that my efforts would depend on two things – the weather, and the decision we make regarding my duff chainsaw.
In the end we did as we thought we might, in that we have opted to buy the same, cheaper, brand of chainsaw rather than fork out a much larger sum for something from a better make. It is not an ideal situation as it does add to the ‘throw-away’ society concept, but when the price is less than 1/3 what we would have to spend to get something of a major brand, at this stage it just makes sense. We will endeavour to get the old saw repaired anyway so we have a spare and not just ditch it.
With a new saw I finally managed to section up the trunks of the ash trees we had felled (which is apparently called ‘bucking’ according to the handbook which came with my new chainsaw) and clear them away. Next step for the old chicken shed is to have another bonfire (yay!) and then find a man with a mini-digger.
After Monday the weather changed to much colder and wetter and prevented me from doing much more outside. As such, the remainder of the week has been another one of small and bitty tasks.
Despite the chill I did manage to summer-ise our own house and gave our poêle (woodburner) a new coat of paint, what looks like it is likely to become a biennial task. It certainly looks better for it and will make the lounge more attractive for the summer!
Much of the rest of the week was spent in my man shed which is almost totally complete and looks great. I have even started using as an atelier and building things! The first I have begun is a bar for our games room.
We have always had in mind to have a bar for guests to use when they are playing pool, babyfoot or watch a movie but it had never got to the top of the to-do list. In an effort to get a bar more quickly in February we found one on Leboncoin (French Gumtree) that we thought was ideal. It was effectively a large kitchen island and was located just outside St. Malo which is 2½ hours from us so we wanted to be sure it was right before making the journey.
Having emailed the seller and did a quick visualisation in the games room we thought it would be OK, or could at least be adjusted so we went. When we saw it, it was much bigger than we had thought, and very heavy, but we convinced ourselves that it would be OK. It was so heavy and unwieldy that there was no way we could have got it into the games room without breaking it up and generally damaging much of it.
Ever since bringing it back we have regretted buying it and thought for a while that we would cut our losses, ditch it and start again. However, I thought that we would try and recover some of our investment and on Friday, I started planning how we could use the island and adapt it to our needs. Having visited a couple of brico (DIY) stores to get some bits I saw that, had we wanted to start afresh but use the same materials, the solid wood worktop that the island had would have set us back more than 3 times what we paid so I was a little happier with our purchase.
That said, this is my first major carpentry project where I have had to adapt something which already exists in some form and I have found it far harder than building from scratch so it has taken a bit longer than I’d anticipated.
This is how it looked this afternoon – it’s coming on – which I think is probably about half way through the job. Should be finished in the next week though and ready to use.
Mouse continues to appreciate the man shed as her secure home but, as such, she has on a couple of occasions brought dinner in which she has caught outside and I have found the bits of some poor creature which she doesn’t care for the taste of! Thankfully I don’t think she has brought anything live into the shed and released to run around.
She has however, cottoned on that we have a new stable door into the kitchen and, when it is warm and we keep the top half open, that she can jump in very easily and make herself at home! We haven’t yet found her upstairs …
Finally, thanks to those who relied to my request in last week’s blog and assisted us locate some new outdoor lights to match our existing ones. We have managed to find some – albeit on a US website – but we have a very good friend there who has managed to get a good deal on them. We just now need to find the most cost-effective way of getting them to us!
Next week the forecast looks fantastic so I think it should be a productive week – and we should have some nice cold beer in the bar to relax with at the end of it!