Despite my comments in last week’s blog that we haven’t progressed as many of our projects as we would have liked in the previous 3 weeks, all for good reason, this past week probably hasn’t been as productive as it should have been either so this will be a short blog and I’m afraid pretty much photo-less.
I didn’t mention last week that, the previous evening, we had welcomed David’s aunt and uncle back to Kergudon and, as their previous visit, they were kind enough to bring Cancale oysters that we enjoyed last Saturday night. Also, as their previous visits, we enjoy spending time with them and, while they spend their days enjoying Brittany’s roads and seafood, we enjoy breakfasting and dining with them in the evenings, and the occasional lunch.
Our efforts have therefore been on smaller, although no less necessary tasks than getting our teeth into one of our larger projects. For David, this has involved a lot of laundry as we were lucky enough to have a lot of guests immediately before we left for Ireland, and, for me, I have been trying to get on top of the irritating weeds which had appeared, indeed thrived, while we had been away in Ireland despite it having been hot dry weather, and predictably damp since we have been back!
The new flower beds that we have created in the lawns have not suffered from an invasion of weeds so much as there was nothing growing in the grass and so there were no roots to germinate once we had removed the turf. However, the beds which had existed previously and been left to naturalise again, and where we have hacked back masses of overgrown bramble and Japanese knot weed had both begun to regrow unwanted vegetation.
Throughout the week I have been digging, forking, pulling and stripping barrow loads of root from these beds while trying not to disturb the new shrubs we have planted. Ground elder proved the easiest to pull out with, what looks to be its full root system, while bramble and knotweed are a real challenge and it is amazing (distressing!) how little root is required for a new plant to germinate. Anyone advice and top tips about how to get on top of these nuisances would be gratefully received – please do comment via our website.
In the gites, as well as David’s aunt and uncle, we had a lovely Welsh couple with their 2 elderly labs and, in Priory, 3 generations of a French family for 2 nights, all of whom live in other areas of Finistère but wanted to come to the Monts D’Arrée for a relaxing break. Yesterday, change-over day, David’s aunt and uncle departed to be replaced by 2 couples who are fly fishing during the week, and our Welsh couple were ‘replaced’ by an Australian couple and their younger Lab, who currently live in Belgium. Our season has truly started.
Our only other piece of ‘news’ is that the planning permission we had requested to build a garage has been approved by the Mairie at Sizun. In reality, we learned that our plans had been approved amazingly quickly and were granted in March only a couple of weeks having been submitted, but, we misinterpreted the letter we received from the Mairie at the time so didn’t go and collect our ‘permis’! This gives us another major project to work on – if we can now find an artisan / builder who can construct it to our budget!
Tomorrow is a public holiday in France for Pentecost, so there have been a lot of activities taking place in and around the region over the weekend. Saint Cadou’s Assomniak association have organised one of their amazing festivals on the beach of Lac du Drennec over 3 nights which concludes this evening. There are some amazing pictures on the Assomniak Facebook page taken by Guillaume Le Mer where I have taken these.
Tomorrow is a major cycling race in Comman and there is a motor racing hill climb event in Loc-Eguiner. It seems this public holiday is (yet another) great time to visit Brittany.
Projects start this week!