Sunday 30 May – Make and Mend

Apologies for not posting a blog last week.  A combination of factors, including we (I) probably hadn’t done so much to publicise or making a blog worthwhile to write.  You’ll have to be the judges if this week warrants one either!

On the positive side, after a month when you could have been forgiven for thinking we had entirely skipped summer this year and started an early winter period with strong winds, cold temperatures and lots of rain, the last week has become more late spring-like.

Another reason I ‘missed’ last Sunday was that over the last 2 weeks I have struggled to remember exactly what day it is at times as the weeks don’t have much ‘rhythm’.

In normal (non-COVID affected) times, Dave’s going to work routinely, us having a weekly drink somewhere and guests arriving in the gîtes, generally on a Saturday in the summer, a certain pattern is formed and it is easy to know where I am.  Now the only thing which is more routine is Dave’s regular online personal training clients.  We are very fortunate that we have welcomed lots of guests to Kergudon but they are arriving on all days of the week so that doesn’t anchor the diary in the same way.

I named this blog ‘Make and Mend’ as it seemed to sum up by recent activities.  It is a term I became familiar with when in the Navy.  There, it is used for any free time you have for yourself to traditionally, make or repair items of uniform or ongoing personal projects.  Generally, it meant catching up on well-earned rest or generally relaxing.

The ‘making’ was principally the 2 projects I was working on when I last blogged 2 weeks ago which have now been completed.

The first was my new workbench in the end garage bay which looks great and will allow me lost of space for other projects.

New garage workbench

The second is the new gate between the front terraces of Priory and Granary making the latter’s space private again.  I am very pleased with this too.

The ‘mending’ was what I have been doing in other periods.  One I mentioned briefly in the last blog that had been acting as a bit of a distraction from the ‘proper’ work.

We saw a rather nice bench seat for sale nearby that we liked so I went to collect it.  It was being sold be people who were moving house and wanted to get rid of lots of things including a mangle that had been used as garden ornamentation.  While the metal was in a pretty good state, as it had been kept outside the top wooden roller and wooden handle needed a bit of TLC.

Having spent a few hour sanding, filling, sanding again and then staining, we think it looks great and makes an interesting piece of deco in our boot room / laundry.  It has also sparked us to think of other things that we think may look interesting about the place so you’ll see more of those as we acquire and refurb them.

Laundry deco chic

I have continued to empty the central garage bays, perhaps more slowly than I could admittedly, but much of the useful wood has now been moved.  I have been taking the time to do some mending of other things I have been storing in there.  I am at various stages of repair with 2 large garden parasols, our large gas BBQ, an old coffee table and some garden furniture.

Repair projects underway in the garage bays being cleared!

The beauty of having the garage clear this year is that we will be able to store all the garden furniture in the dry over winter and prolong its life.  I had hoped this small table and chair set we have for Stable would be a quick job to sand and re-stain however, as a classic example of jobs taking longer than anticipated, it needs a slightly larger repair.

Stable table set needing some TLC

The chairs are supposed to fold but, having been sat outside for a couple of years (our bad) they had seized up.  A generous spray of magic WD40 and they moved which I thought was brilliant – until I realised they had collapsed rather than folded as the rivets had broken.  An easy repair once I’ve bought a better drill bit and bolts.

With France starting to open up a little now we have also had a couple of social things. This has included a return visit to an excellent local brewery in the nearby village of La Feuillée and catching up with our friend Mercedes who owns the excellent restaurant Au Lac on the banks of the Lac du Drennec.  We haven’t seen Merc in over 7 months as, over the winter, she has been gadabouting in the UK and sailing a large catamaran between South Africa and the Caribbean – all for culinary research and new recipes she tells us!  Lucky so-and-so!

This week I anticipate making a lot more progress with the garage and my repair projects so there will be more to see next week.