Sunday 30 October – Season of Mortar and Mellow Fruitful Progress

Last week’s blog said that we had sat down and generated a ‘To Do’ list for the next 12 months which stood at 103 separate tasks.  This week we have worked on a number of these items and have managed to get that list to … 112!!  Trouble being that we manage to think of things faster than we can do them!

The weather this week has been absolutely amazing and at times it has been so warm you would have thought it was the middle of the summer.  This has allowed us to make some excellent progress with our major project – the garage.

Last week’s blog described the fun and games that was laying the concrete for the foundations but, because it has been so dry, it has been perfect for completing the block work and, almost to the hour, we completed laying the breeze blocks within a week of laying the foundations.  It has felt that, with the amount of mortar I have mixed and additional concrete for the man-shed pad, I have used a beach-load of sand and we still need more!

First Block Laid

Last week, I described that the slope of the ground was deceptive and much more dramatic than we had anticipated so we had decided to put a step into the foundation.  This has meant that the higher end of the garage has 3 courses of blocks with 4 at the lower end to give a horizontal surface for the wooden frame.  Because the centre 2 parking spaces won’t have doors it proved challenging to make sure the front was level and despite checking several times with many different methods, it wasn’t until the final course of blocks was added through the back that it looked ‘right’.  I am reassured that, when complete it will all look seamless!



Next week we will be able to focus on the wooden frame up to roof level with the large pile of wood that was delivered on Friday.  Rapid progress!



David has had a busy week too and focussed on a number of the ‘To Do’ list tasks in preparation for guests who are arriving in Priory next week spending a couple of days with paint brush in hand.

When not sanding, filling and painting he has continued filling the house with amazing Christmassy smells creating more of the fabulous treats to enjoy most importantly he has cooked a number of Christmas cakes for us and our guests.  I know that traditional Christmas cakes are not enjoyed by all, but we love the proper fruit cake soaked in booze and layered with marzipan and icing – so much so that David makes 2 – one for Christmas and one for my birthday – which means we are generally eating Christmas cake until well into May!



As the weather has been so perfect, and trying to avoid to the ‘All Work …’ prediction, we took a day off to walk the dogs yesterday and took a similar route to last week though Saint Rivoal.  Even now, we are a little early to see the full splendour of the autumnal colours although, if it doesn’t get too windy, I think that it will be a fabulous year to see the reds and yellows of the season.  It evidently has been an excellent year for holly berries which, probably because there is so many other things for the birds to eat, have mostly been left alone to ripen on the tree and look fantastic.  Let’s hope they will last to Christmas to make excellent festive decorations.


Walking through Saint Rivoal, we passed through the grounds of the Écomusée des Monts D’Arrée which includes the Maison Cornec.  To our shame we have not visited this museum when it is open but will certainly do so next year, however, the Maison Cornec looks amazingly similar to Priory albeit in reverse.  We understand that Priory used to have an external staircase to the first floor level where the window to the twin bedroom looks very much like it used to be a door and, La Maison Cornec retrains this outdoor staircase and access at first floor.  Every other aspect reflects Priory – we definitely need to go and have a look inside to see if there is an old stone spiral staircase as Priory has as well.



Next week should see more progress on the garage, weather dependent, although the forecast continues to look good (it has to break at some point I suspect) – and hopefully our ‘To Do’ list will start heading in the right direction!!