Sunday 11 October – Canal Turn

My last blog said that the preceding couple of weeks weren’t perhaps the most productive of my time but that David had a week off work, from Brest at least, so I would have a work mate and we may be able to get more achieved.

I’m glad I said ‘may’ and not ‘would’!  Who would have thought that David would want to relax during his week off and not do any major heavy lifting during the week?!  That said, we haven’t been as slack as previous weeks and have managed to make progress in a couple of things.

When the weather allowed most of those things were outside and included David starting to change the hanging baskets from their summer to winter planting and, sadly, cutting out a number of privet plants in the Granary hedge which have been killed by Honey fungus in the soil and replacing them with griselinia plants.

The honey fungus has been slowly working its way along the privet hedge in 2 places around Granary’s garden killing the plants as it goes.  This was the reason we planted a number of cuttings in the hedge earlier in the year having had success previously.  Sadly, with such a dry spring and summer, these cuttings didn’t take so we have decided, at least where there is effectively no hedge now, to plant some more established plants.  We will still take some cuttings and root them over the winter to add in as the remainder of the privet is likely to die.

While it has been fairly damp over the last couple of weeks, I did manage to get the lawns cut and, while Granary and the orchard look great, the back lawn less so.  Sadly, not much of the grass seed we laid having scarified a couple of weeks ago has germinated although it’s not been helped by the mole which is back and causing as much damage as it can!

When it was wet I (re-)started the major task of clearing, emptying and tidying my man shed and the garage bays.  Having finished the refurbishment in Priory the day we welcomed guests, and having been booked ever since, I never started the sort through of everything that we cleared out of the gîte and deposited ‘temporarily’ in the garage and shed.

Frustratingly, as I empty space in the end garage bay (where we laid a concrete floor earlier in the year) precisely because it is concreted we use it when we buy things that need to be kept dry.  We have a couple of projects happening next week (hopefully) and we have had to buy some new plasterboard and concrete for them.  The end bay is the only really acceptable place to store them – this time at least just for a short period.

This one may last most of the winter but at least I can press on as the weather gets wetter and cold.

Today, we have picked up with our new habit of taking the dogs for a walk and exploring the region we live in.  That said, today we revisited an area we have walked before although walked a different route starting and finishing in the town of Châteauneuf-du-Faou.  While the weather wasn’t as clear as we’d have liked, as you’ll see from the pictures, it was at least dry (mostly) and lovely weather to walk in.

Châteauneuf was where we used to attend French lessons and we often walked along the banks of the river Aulne that snakes on the outskirts of the town where it forms part of the Nantes-Brest canal.  We have walked the canal in a number of places, and it is beautiful everywhere but we hoped by going today we may see the amazing autumn colours as the canal is flanked by large deciduous woodland.  Sadly, we were a couple of weeks too early and the turn hasn’t begun in earnest but it was a lovely walk anyway – and finished with a couple of pressions in a canal-side bar.

Next week we have a target to meet as we are something lovely done to our own home (or hope too if the company turns up when they said they would).  I will tell you about that next week but it will focus my efforts for the first couple of days.  David is back in the gym too so all that work that needs both of us will have to wait a little longer …