Sunday 19th April – Four More

So, despite saying in last week’s blog that I would once again focus my attention to Priory, that hasn’t happened.

We have actually had a much quieter week and I have done more ‘pottering’ than focus on any major task.  For the start of the week the weather, frustratingly, remained dry and hot, which was very pleasant but didn’t help the garden at all.  Thankfully, yesterday we had some decent rain,  a good couple of centimetres, and we are forecast more for tomorrow so we hope that the plants will appreciate that and continue to roar away.

As I mentioned, President Macron addressed the nation last Monday and, as expected, he has extended the period of confinement until Monday 11th May.  By that point we would have had 8 weeks of restrictions in France although he gave some hope that, from 11th May, there would be a phased opening up of various activities and businesses although he has already precluded restaurants, bars and other venues which attract large gatherings – and tourists!

With the extension the current limitations preventing me getting decorating materials and preventing our electrician and builder joining us, remain.  As such, again, Priory hasn’t been my focus and I have taken my foot off the gas a little.

One of my ‘pottering’ tasks was to re-commission a birdbath we were kindly gifted by a neighbour a couple of years ago.  The birdbath had been lying on its side in his field for many years previously and he only ‘re-discovered’ it a few years ago when he was cutting back the brambles which had hidden it.  Having been kindly donated it, it took us quite a number of months to retrieve it and even then, when we had, it then lay on its side in a messy area of our garden.

With it being so hot and dry recently David, who has spent a lot of time feeding the birds, was concerned that there weren’t many areas of water that we know of close-by where the birds could drink, so we decided to set the birdbath up.

When we were given it the bath had a pump with it, the cable of which passed through a hole in the base so it was not able to hold water.  Last year, Father Christmas gave me a solar powered fountain in the expectation that we would eventually get around to using the bath and so I needed to seal the hole.  I have done this, and actually created 2, sealed, tubes between the basin and the base.  The reason being, we don’t know where it will ultimately be sited or if we will use a powered pump so I have ‘future-proofed’ it for every possibility.

For now, we have positioned it in front of Priory and it looks good and sounds refreshing with the sound of splashing water.

In the week I dismantled our serre in advance of another arriving.  You may recall I mentioned that the serre we bought last year as a, cheap, temporary, stop-gap, proved utterly unsuitable to sustain the winter storms here and the frame collapsed as the tubing is too thin.

A couple of weeks ago we bit-the-bullet and bought a proper serre which we believe will arrive next week so we will be able to recover the area and continue to clear the various wood piles around.

David has been busy do lots of weeding again as well as work, in his IT department hat, on a much larger project that we will share with you soon.

Other jobs, where I forgot to take before photos, have been to tidy the parking area alongside Granary which had become heavily rutted in the wet weather earlier in the year which has had the added advantage of using some of the gravel from our large pile in front of the garage.

I have continued to clear the talus behind Stable which we began a couple of weeks ago, and we have ordered lots of new hedging plants, although sadly they are unlikely to be delivered until the confinement is over so we can’t plant while we have nothing else to do!

Also we haven’t yet received our part for the shredder so, while the lawn will green up nicely with this rain, there remains 2 large piles of branches to shred.  Also, if the rain makes the grass grow more strongly, we won’t be having guests for a while, we have the opportunity to ‘destroy’ the lawns next week when we scarify them.  It will make them look pretty rough for a couple of weeks but, hopefully, will mean that they are much improved in the long term.

Perhaps I may even get back into the Priory!

In the meantime, we hope that you are all staying safe, staying home and making the most of these interesting times.

À bientôt.