Sunday 09 June – Stable condition

A really short blog this week, and with no pictures, as I want to leave the big reveal of the refurbished Stable until next week.  Partly because it will be a larger change but mostly because it isn’t finished yet!

It has been much slower progress than I had hoped (sound familiar?!) especially painting the ceiling.  From the pictures on last week’s blog you can see that the ceiling was a darkly stained wood.  While this was not terrible, it did make the ceiling seem very low and so room very dark and enclosed.  We have painted this white which has made a huge difference but it has taken many more layers of paint than I’d anticipated.  It is at least now done and I have started to apply the colour to the new lambris that I put up the previous week and were in the pictures last week.

Having said before that we should be able to make rapid progress – I am hoping it will prove to be the case in the next 7 days and it will be re-furnished for this time next week.  It does mean that some guests we have arriving tomorrow get an ‘upgrade’ to Hayloft.

Stable hasn’t progressed as much as I’d have liked as it isn’t the only thing that we have been working on.  The other things have generally been smaller and more routine, although we have started clearing the flower bed behind Hayloft and savagely hacked back some rhododendrons which had become far too large.  They will recover quickly and we will try and keep them more under control, but it also allows us access to some self-set trees that we want to remove at some point to create a hedge and generally make the area tidier.

I have also been watching some of the commemorative events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day and continue to be moved and inspired by some of the stories of courage, heroism, and achievement of the veterans.  The Normandy beaches are a few hours from us so sadly not a day trip, although would certainly be a good stop-off if travelling to us from some of the Normandy ports.  I have not visited in a number of years but am encouraged to do so again sometime to honour this historic event and remind myself, if any reminder were required, how we have all benefitted from that generation’s sacrifices.

Finally, an update on Garratt’s offspring – as much as we can give one.  Last week I mentioned that the mother’s owner had become radio silent, he sort of still is although we did manage to have one broken conversation with him.  From that we understand that the births did not go happily and that at least some of the puppies did not survive.  I don’t know how often this happens although Brandon was one of only 4 who survived from his litter of 8.

We don’t know how many, if any, of the puppies were born successfully, or indeed if the mother is OK, and despite asking a number of times if he could give us some more information we haven’t received anything.

If I were a cynic, there is the possibility that, as our arrangement with him was based entirely on trust, he may now just not want to be entirely honest with us.  Of course we hope not and will give him the benefit of the doubt but we are disappointed that he is so reluctant to communicate with us and we don’t know the full picture.

Something more positive next week – certainly with regards the new and improved Stable as the, very un-summer like forecast, means I am very unlikely to be spending much time outside.