In my last blog I said that it appeared we have fallen into the pattern of completing one major task a week and, if that were the case this week’s task would be the boot room which would require a few days more work to complete. I was right on at least the first statement! The good news is therefore that, while it took the best part of the rest of the week, the boot room is now complete and ready for use!
It may not come as any surprise to those of you living anywhere vaguely near the South West of the UK (or possibly the entire South) but last week was the third which has been unseasonably chilly and damp . To be honest the weather is now becoming a little disheartening as it has prevented me from even thinking about starting to cut the hedges which could seriously do with a haircut and the lawns are almost waist height in places. OK, so I exaggerate a little but you get the point.
As well as the weather preventing me working on a number of things in the garden, we had a lovely couple stay with us last week with their rather swish soft top car who had hoped to make maximum use of it. They had also moved back to the UK after a few years working in the Middle East so were used to rather warmer weather than they experienced here. While there is nothing that David and I can do to influence the weather (much as we wish there were and try as we might) we feel obliged to apologise to people who come and stay with us and don’t experience wall to wall sunshine. However, I guess the tourist industry in Cornwall is doing OK and at least our rain is a couple of degrees warmer!
But, back to the main event, boot room completion. Until Monday I had completed insulating and covering the ceiling in lambris and I had manufactured the boot and rod rack but the floor space remained a dumping ground and, even having moved our own tumble dryer into our house after 6 months sitting in the room, was cramped and difficult to work in.
I had anticipated a ‘few days’ work to complete but, as so often happens, the work expanded rather more. Admittedly some of this was self-inflicted. The corner of the room had always been damp if not positively wet and there was an area of concrete that indicated it was likely to cover a pipe of some sort.
We had been told that there used to be a spring which used to pass under the building and into a trough, which is still in place, that acted as a minor lavoir. While the spring has pretty much dried up there are areas which remain permanently damp in the area we are told the spring was and we assumed (never a good idea we appreciate) that the pipe was in place to assist whatever residual flow there was.
So, in a similar manner that drives people to pull on a loose thread of a jumper causing massive damage, I thought that I would chip away at this concrete and see what lay beneath. Turns out we were right that there was an old clay pipe but it was more full of, dry, soil and rubbish than anything else. As it would be a relatively quick job to replace the pipe, and as it would give me the opportunity to build a level platform to put the new machines on, I continued to excavate the old pipe.
We chose to replace the pipe rather than remove it principally as, while it was dry, we though that it had been placed there for a purpose and it may be required in the future (although if it ever gets wetter than this we are moving!!) but also because it meant I didn’t need to mix as much concrete to fill the hole if I put a pipe there!
I built a small wall of slate at the front to make it more attractive (which you can just make out in the photos) and hand mixed buckets of concrete to build up a small plinth. Why is it, that whenever you have wet concrete or similar, drying cats choose to walk over an area they have not shown any interest in up until then? Predictably there is now evidence of Mouse’s existence which is set firm at Kergudon!
The rest of the week I spent building the framework for the machines, putting together the kitchen cabinet and plumbing the sink in, fitting a lock to the room and many other smaller details before finally cleaning the room and removing the old carpet which had been on the floor for almost a year.
We are really pleased with the final result and hope it offers our guests another service that makes us a little bit special. To make a comparison I have also added a photo of what it used to look like.
My battle against the mole is also ongoing – and getting personal. I have given up on the manual traps which I had placed under a number of the molehills and we have bought the equivalent of the nuclear anti-mole device.
I set this up under one of the fresher molehills and sat back waiting for near immediate impact but, as the photo shows, my mole knows that we are trying to eradicate him and is mocking me with where he builds his new hills – in a near perfect circle around the bomb which I have covered with the bucket for protection. I will get him …
Looking at the French met website it appears that the weather may now have changed for the better for us and we are due a (long needed) dry spell (although to be fair I may as well use chicken bones as much as look at the French meteo site to get an accurate forecast!) which may mean that I can get on top of our lawns again and start cutting the hedges – although we have some good friends staying with us in Granary as well so we will take the odd day off too.