Sunday 22 November – Ash Wednesday (& Thursday, & Friday …)

Apologies for not posting a blog last week.  I felt that the previous week hadn’t been as productive as we’d have liked.  Perhaps we have developed a confinement malaise which would be disappointing as we got so much done in the spring lockdown!  Maybe this is tied in with the autumn days getting shorter and colder whereas at least the opposite was true earlier in the year.

Since my last blog David has had clarification that, as in the spring, he can do his group exercise classes for the gym from his own studio here so doesn’t have to drive to and from Brest.  This means that we should be getting lots of things done!

Last week was primarily focussed on getting our utility / laundry room as far advanced as I could.  As with the refurbishment in Priory, the lockdown is now delaying us getting it completely finished because the plumber we like using is unable to travel to us.

However, we are at least now able to use it and I have re-plumbed the washing machine so I can do laundry.  I have put up the new cupboards and managed to use an IKEA shoe cabinet we bought while living in London but which never came out of its box and has been living above Dave’s gym since we got here.

Laundry room on pause until the end of confinement when our plumber can come!
Laundry room on pause until the end of confinement when our plumber can come!

It is so much better without the howling gales blowing through the ceiling and looks great and fresh with a complete repaint.  The biggest difference is having turned the window frames and doors white making it look loved.

When the lockdown is lifted there is the new sink and cabinet to plumb in and it will be complete.

Perhaps inspired by this major change in our own home during the week we took the best part of a day to hang some of our pictures.  Since living here we have only had a few of our own pictures on the walls and even then just in hooks, nails and screws which were already in the walls.  As such, the frames were in all sorts of odd places and it didn’t look great!

As we are a long way off doing some things to our own house to make it as we eventually want it, we thought that we could at least get the pictures looking better.  I have also built and put up the second (and last) boxed show cabinet that we bought when we lived in London!

The other major task has been to start clearing the ash trees that we had felled a couple of weeks ago.  We have managed to clear three trunks with one left although that is prepped for the major shredding and splitting.

Final ash tree prepped and ready to clear
First three felled ash trees on Hent Gorreker cleared

It’s amazing having sectioned and split the wood from the first 3 trunks how little wood there is when it is stacked in the serre.  We will let it season and won’t use it for a couple of years but there isn’t much there for all the effort.  It’s also amazing that the many inches of shredded sycamore we created and laid on the champignon bed earlier in the year has almost rotted away already.  It looks good again now with some fresh ash shreddings.

Felled ash trees cut and stored in the serre – good for winter 2022!
Shredded ash refreshing the champignon mulch

When these are all cleared away the intention is to fell a few more of the spindlier self-sets and then start to clear the large pile of wood which has been accumulating in the old veg patch – a task (as others) that I have been wanting to start for a loooong time!

I also mentioned last week that next year’s Tour de France has had to change the Grand Départ to Brest and the first stage will pass close by us. Since then, we have been given confirmation of the route and when I say close by, I mean close by! In fact, other than coming down Hent Gorreker it could not be closer! The stage takes the bikes from Saint Rivoal to Hanvec passing through our own little village of Saint Cadou via the end of Hent Gorreker. We will have ring side seats for more plastic tat from the caravan!

With the exception of Wednesday, next week’s weather is looking good for outdoor work so we should be able to make a start – and break this confinement apathy!