Sunday 4 September – Barrels of Fun

Last week’s blog said that, with our friends having departed back to the UK, I would be able to make some good progress on our projects and pick up the hedge cutting task.  Yes and no!

The extended dry period we have had this year has well and truly ended with last week being one of the wettest we have had for some time.  Not ideal for our guests, although some managed to avoid much of the rain we had in the Monts D’Arrée by heading out to the coast.  It is amazing how different the weather can be over a relatively short distance and it is not uncommon that when it is cloudy in Saint Cadou (at 660 feet) it can be clear in Sizun and one or other of the coasts.

This has meant the garden has been able to green up a little and I did get the first cut of the grass done in weeks.  It is looking like we will be returning to a more normal routine of at least once a week from now and we may even be able to call it a lawn again soon!

With the rain there wasn’t much hedge cutting done but I have finished the barrel tables I started some weeks ago and we are realty pleased with the result.

The tables will be used alongside the pétanque pitch for those spectating to enjoy their evening apero, and will also be part of the party barn furniture.

One of the reasons they’ve taken a little longer than I’d hoped to complete, is that I wanted to attach the tops in such a way they would be invisible from above but still allow me to remove them in the future should I need to.  I had an idea of how to do that but I couldn’t find the bits I needed in any of the brico (DIY) stores.  Resorting to ordering them online the only ones I could find had to be shipped from the Far East so took a number of weeks to get to us.

We wanted the project to essentially be free, other than the cost of the barrels themselves, so I had to use up some of the materials I had accumulated (I am sure you’ll recall I throw as little away as I can!) which has led to a few compromises.

We had lots of offcuts of the oak kitchen worktops from the Priory and Granary refurbishments to make the tops but, as they weren’t all quite as wide as I would have liked, some of the tops aren’t completely circular.

Also, we wanted to personalise them to Kergudon with a new graphic David has created and we thought that burning the logo into the wood would be good.  However, having tried to do so on an offcut with my soldering iron, it wasn’t as easy as I’d have hoped.  So we didn’t have to buy a separate pyrography tool I have simply drawn the image on the top and varnished over!

Regardless of the compromises, we are really pleased with how they look and, other than having to buy 3 new parasols for them (the one in the photo is one of the gite umbrellas), they have been really cheap to create – and I have really enjoyed doing it.

They have also cleared space in the garage and so now there is less reason not to clear the garage and to create the perfect pétanque space in front.

It has been a fairly social week too.  Having celebrated David’s birthday a couple of weeks ago with friends in a restaurant on the coast, last week we went to another restaurant we have recently discovered just the 2 of us.  The restaurant is called Le Jardins des Saveurs and is in central Landerneau.

We have often asked people for restaurant recommendations in Landerneau. As it is quite a smart town we assumed there would be some but, other than some good creperies, no one could recommend a restaurant.  A few weeks ago we drove down a road we have used a number times in the past and saw Le Jardin des Saveurs which had completely passed us by before.

It is in a very attractive building, one of a few in the town which suggests that it used to be a very smart location, and apparently has been there since 2018!  I’m glad we stumbled across it as it is definitely worth a visit and is a real complement to the other restaurants around us. We took these pics but refrained from the irritating behaviour of photographing the food itself – although that was beautifully presented and tasted fabulous.

Last night too we were out (look at us, twice in a week!) when we were invited to a friend’s birthday party.  Andrew (aka Swa) who runs the campsite next to the Lac du Drennec with his wife, Belinda, was celebrating a milestone birthday so had arranged a large party which was great fun – thanks to them for inviting us.

While the ‘high’ season is now over, we continue to be busy in the gites but, hopefully more project work too assuming the weather improves – never happy ….. 😊

À bientôt.