Sunday 04 October – Ice Cold in Alex

So, having said in my last blog, posted 2 weeks ago after a couple of week’s hiatus, that I would get back into the habit of writing a weekly blog.  However, it did have the caveat that it was ‘assuming we don’t get diverted to Au Lac’.  You will have seen there was no blog last week …

Looking back at the last couple of weeks, I cannot say that it has been the most productive of periods during our time here.  In fact, both David and I have started to feel the fatigue that comes at the end of a long and, despite everything going on, busy summer so we have probably had more downtime than in the previous few months.  At least I have, David has been going into work as normal but has taken some leave for the coming week so can wind down too.

The last blog did mention that a change in the weather was due so that we could scarify the back lawn and lay some grass seed.  While it has been wetter over the last 2 weeks, the last 3 days have been exceptional and, with Storm Alex passing through we have been deluged.

Thankfully we didn’t have the same amount of rain as other parts of France and northern Italy where it was devastating, and we didn’t have the same strength of winds as our neighbouring département of Morbihan or Ille-et-Vilaine, also in Brittany.  The strongest wind of 186 km/h (115 mph) was recorded on Belle Île, just beyond Lorient, which broke all records, but we did have a sufficiently strong gust to snap a tree on our boundary which promptly fell through the power lines and onto our neighbour’s car.

The days preceding the storm we had a couple of tree surgeons visit to quote to cut down a tree which we thought was particularly vulnerable to a storm and is sited where it would certainly break through power lines.  Of course this isn’t the tree which snapped and it remains standing and perfectly OK!

Having lost power to our own home and Granary gîte, it surprised us to see that Priory was completely unaffected.  Thankfully we had some very understanding guests staying in Granary who, while there was no heating, quite enjoyed their last evening by candlelight.

Evidently, when we had the new power supply installed for Priory as part of the refurbishment earlier this year, the power comes in a different way to Kergudon and Granary, despite them all coming off the same electricity pole!

The advantage however, was that we were able to rig an extension cable from the socket on Priory’s terrace through our back door so we literally could, as the old joke goes, watch television in the dark during the power cut!  It also meant we could plug in our freezer and prevent that defrosting overnight.

We were then very impressed that despite all the damage in the area, the electricity company were able to come yesterday afternoon and, almost exactly 24 hrs to the minute after we were cut off, we had power again.

Also very thankfully, we believe that our neighbour’s car has got away very lightly and with minimal damage his wood shed, and the power cables, having taken most of the weight of the falling tree.

The last week has been pretty sociable however.  On Friday 25th September we had some friends stay in Stable and went out to Au Lac for dinner to celebrate their birthday.  When we were there, Mercedes mentioned that she was closing for the winter after service on the Sunday lunchtime.  Of course, this meant that we didn’t continue our new routine of a Sunday walk exploring the area as we had to go and have our last supper (well lunch) of 2020 at Au Lac.

As it turned out Sunday lunch wasn’t our last meal in Au Lac this year as, having closed, Mercedes was kind enough to invite us to dinner last Tuesday evening to eat what was left in the fridge.  As Merc has amazing dishes with fantastic ingredients, we were spoiled with a lovely meal of fois gras and delicious beef.  Our thanks again to Mercedes for a great night – we’ll miss you over the winter.

This evening we also have a social event with Kergudon’s second annual end-of-season film night.  Last year we invited a number of friends around to celebrate the end of the busy summer season and watched Bohemian Rhapsody in our cinema.  Everyone enjoyed it so much we are doing the same again and, to follow the theme, we are watching Rocketman!

Hopefully, will get a bit more achieved in the coming week, especially with David on leave I have a work mate to assist although suspect that he may want to relax a bit during his time off!!

À bientôt.