Another productive week this week but has been a great mix of work and play. The weather was much better than it has been in previous weeks and allowed us to get back to work on Grange for a couple of days but I also managed to tick off a number of other tasks that we have wanted to do for either a week or a couple of years!
Monday was a dry day and allowed us to get back to the Grange roof. We had left it a couple of weeks ago almost ready to slate the roof but needed another day to finish the felting and adding the volige (wooden planking) onto which the slates would eventually be secured. Our builder had ordered the slate while we were in the UK but, turns out that due to an oversight at the shop, it had not yet been delivered so, while we finished and ready to go at the end of Monday we couldn’t progress.
The break did allow me to get back to clearing the apple tree that had been blown over during Storm Zeus, especially as we had guests arriving on Saturday and we wanted the orchard cleared and mown. It took me all day to cut the tree up and move it off the grass, although only as far as in front of the boot room, which just left the huge root ball and stump that poses a completely different problem – to be dealt with at some point in the, not too distant, future so that we can plant the new bed.
While no slate delivery appeared on Wednesday, our builder had taken the decision to use his own trailer to collect sufficient slates to make a start, so on Wednesday we were able to start the tiling on the front.
As my first experience of slating I really enjoyed it and got quite a sense of achievement doing it, but, it was pretty slow and, as it is such a large roof, it will take quite a few days (weeks?) to cover the whole area. By the end of Thursday we had managed to get a number of rows of tile on the roof that I will be able to infill at my own pace.
Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far and we were slating in shorts and tee-shirts but, more importantly, it allowed the grass on the main lawn to dry sufficiently to give it the first cut in many months. We had let it grow much longer over the winter this year than we had last and were assisted by our neighbour who was kind enough to come and top it for us so we could use our smaller mower to cut it properly – I think this is the start of the twice weekly mowing for the next 9 months!
On Thursday night we were invited to dinner with one of our neighbours on the excuse that it was (almost) St. Patrick’s Day and had a lovely evening with proper Breton hospitality and a lovely combination of Breton and Irish food – and is always a great opportunity to use our French language!
The ‘play’ continued on Friday when we had some very good friends arrive for the traditional culmination of the Six Nations rugby championship. When we lived in London we hosted a Super Saturday party for our friends which we thoroughly enjoyed – and we hope our friends did too. Certainly some did as, in the last 2 years having moved, we had been joined by one couple for the Super Saturday weekend. That couple became parents for the first time in February this year which is great news but of course meant that they couldn’t join us for the rugby. However, we were delighted that another couple of our great friends wanted to join us with their young daughter, and we were especially pleased as it was their first visit to us in Kergudon.
We had a great couple of days with our friends walking around the lake, in the forest and of course watching the rugby but it did mean that we missed this year’s Soup Fest which took place last night – the first Fest Noz of the year but there will be others.
Sadly it was just a flying visit for our friends who left us this morning which allowed us to progress one other project which we have meant to do pretty much since we moved here – and that was to replace the signage at the front of Kergudon to show people who we are. We had kept the sign from the previous owners but they had called their gîte business by another name and their ‘corporate image’ differed from ours.
Over the last few weeks I had been building new signage (it was the second woodwork project I had previously said that I wanted to surprise David with) and today was the first opportunity to put it in place. It isn’t quite finished but we are really pleased with how it looks – and I have included lights in the roof so it can be illuminated at night which looks even better. We have a second (at present without roof or lights) that we have permission from the Mayor to put at the end of Hent Gorreker to help people find us a little better – hopefully I will be able to put that up next week too when not working on Grange!