Another weather affected week which has led to sporadic progress on the garage. While, in a perfect world, we would have preferred to build in the drier months the builder we have chosen to use is in high demand so wasn’t available, and we were conscious that we didn’t want to make too much noise and mess when we have guests staying with us. As such we are building now and we need to expect that we may be subject to delay while it is too damp to work outside.
The start of last week however was dry, and almost warm, enough to work outside and we had a useful day’s activity on the two end bays which are the ones that will be fully enclosed. The first now has most of the joists for the upstairs room secured and the second has the front and rear posts up to roof level.
The rest of the week has been too wet to make any worthwhile progress which, while frustrating, wasn’t disastrous as we are waiting on another delivery of wood so we couldn’t have continued very far anyway. Had the weather been better I think our builder would have been more forceful with the timber supplier! We hope it will arrive early next week so I can get on with a bit as the forecast is due to improve from about Tuesday although our builder is away for a couple of weeks from the middle of next week. The 16 week project timeframe is going to slip!!
Thankfully our To-Do list has sufficient tasks on it to keep us occupied when we aren’t able to work on the garage and I have been able to progress the ‘dry’ stone wall behind the building. (As my man-shed isn’t yet large enough, until we have been able to create a dry space in the garage we can’t work with electrical tools but I can work outside on and off between the showers / downpours!)
I am really pleased with how it is looking and am only upset that it isn’t going to be very visible as we have chosen to build an enormous garage in front, but I will see it every time I go around the back to collect logs and it will allow us to smarten up the boundary hugely and replace another area of untamed bramble and knotweed with proper hedging.
The pictures give you an indication of how much rock and slate are in the ground as the pile in front of the walls is a fraction of what I have dug up since starting the foundations for the garage.
The skeletal frame of the garage had its greatest challenge yet last night as storm Angus passed close by as it headed east along the channel. We were very concerned as the lovely couple who had stayed with us for 2 weeks in Priory left yesterday and were due to sail from Roscoff overnight which, if it sailed at all, would not have been very comfortable.
Thankfully, despite extremely strong winds and torrential rain, we haven’t suffered any damage although amazingly one of the bay tree standards outside our front door was blown over which was the only significant impact for us other than lots of dead twigs leaves coming down.
Today has been the real post-storm calm with barely a breath of wind so we thought we’d take the dogs for one of our usual walks around the Lac du Drennec to see if there was much damage and also to see it at its lowest point for a couple of years.
Early in the season it didn’t appear that they were using the water of the lake as it remained much higher than last year. However, in September the level started dropping, and dropping, and dropping to what is now the lowest we have ever it seen it. Although we have only been here 22 months an article in the local paper said that it was at its lowest since 2003 and 2011 as this year has seen the driest October since those years.
We certainly remember that there were many weeks in October without rain and this has evidently caught out the people who manage the level of the lake, which is a reservoir for Brest, Landerneau and Landiviseau. Walking around it today was therefore eerie as the shoreline was a long way from the 2 beaches and about 8 metres down (looking at the depth gauges) from the top of the ‘plug’ and the floating bridge across the Elorn is now sat firmly on the lake bed.
While there was no village or significant habitation lost when they created the lake in 1980, there was a farm, a number of agricultural buildings and a road that was flooded the remains of some these being evident. However, if the last 24 hours (and forecast for the next 24 hours) are anything to go by the lake will be full again in a few days – certainly the feed ‘streams’ were near raging torrents this afternoon!
More jobs to be ticked off our list next week and, wood delivery and clear instructions from our builder permitting, some progress on the garage and outdoors later on next week. As I write the next Atlantic weather front is passing over with its heavy rain falling but the fire is lit, a bottle is open and there are amazing Christmas smells coming from the kitchen as David is making his Christmas chutney so all is good!!