Sunday 16 August – A Stain on our Character

Last week’s blog stated that I was focussed on 2 tasks – hedge cutting and staining Grange.  It was the latter that was the continued focus for this week and still it isn’t finished!

I know it seems like it is taking an awfully long time to do something fairly simple, and to be fair it probably is, but I can justify the slow progress!  The staining isn’t all I have been doing, it’s just the major task that creates pictures which, I hope, are worth looking at!

Last week, as this week, we have had lovely couples stay in our Chambre d’Hote, Stable B&B.  Last week’s couple were my sort of people in that they had their breakfast at the leisurely hour of 10am.  As I am i/c ‘normal’ breakfasts, David does anything more complex, for the last week I haven’t been able to start anything major, or dirty, before I have delivered breakfast.

I have managed to put the second coat of stain on the north end of Grange and painted the render behind the bins and water butt giving an impression of what the whole building will look like when I have got around to doing that.

I have managed to put a single coat on the staircase and my man shed although, with the man shed cladding being newer and so not silvered as much, the finished colour isn’t quite the same despite using the same stain.  Might look a little closer when I have added the second coat, although I have used a clear varnish for the second coats up to this point.

During the week I have managed to empty the garage bay where we dumped (no better way to describe it) all of the packaging from the Priory refurbishment.  I managed to fill our trailer completely with just the cardboard packaging we had accumulated.  My effort to start clearing out the garage bays – although the man shed is still chaos inside!

The COVID situation continues to impact us and our guests.  The UK government’s decision late last Thursday to require travellers from France to quarantine when entering the UK led to our 2 British families (the first Brits we were expecting in 2020!) who were due to arrive for this week (and next!) to cancel their plans at the last minute.  We are obviously disappointed not to be able to welcome them but we completely understand their position.  Thankfully both have deferred their trips rather than cancel outright.

There was one silver lining of their cancellations as we had some guests leave us on Saturday morning who reported a problem with the plumbing.  Not to go into too many details, yesterday I spent doing the most unpleasant job I have had since arriving but without success.  When our German guests arrived who were due in the affected gîte, we were able to move them into one of the family gîtes that had become vacant.  What we would have done had we not had a spare gîte for them to use, I’m really not sure!

Even with the help of our friendly plumber we are yet to solve the plumbing problem and we hope to call in more professionals next week – thankfully it has bought us a little time to get on top of it but will be an unpleasant start to the week.  The glamour of gîte ownership!

Whether I will be able to finish the staining next week is very dependent on the weather.  Last week’s forecasts were for thunderstorms and showers although they didn’t materialise until a spectacular lightening show last night.  We’ll see if the next week’s forecasts are any more accurate.