Sunday 21 April – Chickened Out

Happy Easter.  We hope that you are enjoying the long Easter weekend especially with such fabulous weather.  Today we have rewarded ourselves with a day off and enjoyed a cheeky drink on the terrace of Au Lac overlooking the Lac du Drennec in 20+ degree heat but we have had a productive week.

A couple of weeks ago I said that I intended to break the largest job I had on, clearing the old chicken run, into more manageable chunks of a couple of hours.  Having done that, this week I did all those couple of hour chunks consecutively so that now, the run is completely clear.

There were a number of reasons for the change of plan.  Primarily as the weather last week was absolutely fantastic and I wanted to make the most of being outdoors.  Also, we thought that the sooner the run was cleared, the sooner we could level it off, build the serre we want to get and then start clearing the random piles of wood we have lying around as well as in the garage bays.

I also thought that the 3-tined fork I was using would eventually break in some way and I would have to change jobs anyway.  Amazingly, the 3-tiner has proven more robust than any other fork I have had (with the obvious exception of the snapped tine!) and saw the job to completion.  However, a friend who reads the blog took pity on me and has kindly gifted me a couple of UK spec forks for which I am very grateful.  Honest, my comments weren’t there as a plea!

Clearing the old run generated a lot of burnable waste which gave me the perfect opportunity for a bonfire – I enjoy bonfires!  So as not to upset too many of our neighbours, I wanted to find the best day with the least amount of wind which, according to the forecast was either Good Friday or today – another reason to press on and get the run cleared.

Burning the bramble from the chicken run

Dismantling the old coup took a little longer than I had anticipated.  The previous owners of Kergudon had built it in April 2008. I know this as they were so pleased with it they had named and dated it.  In the ensuing 11 years it had become increasingly rotten so, while we had offered it to a neighbour they kindly declined and I had to take it apart.  One of few things that I have yet to locate in the move of items from garage to new man shed is the charger for my cordless drill so I had to unscrew everything manually.  While this has given us a lot of wood to use in the chiminea for this coming barmy summer(!) it has also given me a blister!

Burning the bramble from the chicken run

This delay meant I didn’t light the fire on Friday, which was windier than forecast anyway, and as we thought it best not to do it on Easter Sunday, we put a match to it yesterday which was pretty breeze free.  Having been so dry the fire burned fiercely and the enormous pile was rapidly reduced. Sitting here now, writing my blog in the garden, I can see it continues to smoulder so there should be very little left in the next couple of days.

Chicken run bonfire complete

The weather has been so amazing we have spent most of the week outside and had our own BBQ last night and lit the chiminea for the first time this year so we could sit outside until very late and watch the amazing starlit sky.  I may have mentioned before that the chiminea is one of my all-time favourite things – I am easily pleased – but with that and the fire, it did mean that perhaps yesterday we contributed more than normal to climate change!

A couple of weeks ago, when I was tidying up the orchard bed, I mentioned how pleased we are with how the garden is changing.  With the chicken run being in the back garden means that we have spent more time looking at that and it too is looking excellent.  We have a crab apple tree in one of the champignon beds we have created behind Priory, which has the most spectacular spring blossom which was at its peak this week.  Sadly it tends to only last a few days.

Our amazing crab apple in bloom

We stumbled across this photo we took when we brought Garratt home for the first time in 2015.  While these 2 are not taken from exactly the same place it does remind us how much has changed!

Kergudon rear lawn in 2015

Kergudon rear lawn in 2019

With the chicken run cleared we have plans to fell a few more trees, some potentially next week but not all this year, and replace them with some more interesting and attractive varieties.

David has been busy this week and prepared his first 3-course supper of the season for guests.  David has refreshed his summer menu to make use of some fabulous local ingredients but the goats’ cheese tart and beef in Coreff stew are perennial favourites.  The guests thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dave preparing the first 3 course supper of the season

As we continue to invest in and improve Kergudon, this week we have also taken delivery of 4 new single mattresses and 25 new pillows.  When we arrived we replaced all the double mattresses and some of the pillows which were well beyond their useful life.  Now, we have been able to replace the remaining single mattresses which are starting to get tired and the rest of the pillows so we hope all of our guests have a comfortable night’s sleep.

David’s parents arrive with us tomorrow morning for a holiday so, weather and activities will determine my activities for the next week – although the list doesn’t seem to get any shorter!