Sunday 21 February – Thawing Out

Apologies for not posting a blog last week.  The previous blog mentioned that we were due to experience a period of sub-zero temperatures as the ‘beast from the east’ made a return and so we did.

Thankfully, I suspect we didn’t suffer quite as much as many people further north and east but, for us here in Brittany, it was a relatively unusual cold and icy period.  Sadly, we didn’t get any significant snow but the light dusting we had looked pretty, briefly, as too did the icicles formed everywhere with the temperatures although was far more hazardous.

It did at least prove the success of the air-source heat pumps we had installed last year.  We had a lovely family staying with us for a week in Priory to attend a wedding during the coldest of the weather and they were able to stay warm and toasty.  Previously, warm and toasty was possible but it meant using the wood-burning stove all day which not everyone is comfortable with.  The heat pumps are a huge success and our guests left us a lovely review on Trip Advisor.

We also had guests in Hayloft who came for a couple of nights together over St. Valentine having left their children with family nearby.  Hayloft doesn’t have a heat pump and, after the coldest night, we found its hot water pipes had frozen (the Mpemba effect in action.)  Thankfully, we managed to thaw them out prior to our guest’s arrival and, using Hayloft’s super little wood-burner, the gîte was warm and cozy for them.

The weather was far too cold (and hazardous!) for me to work outside and continue clearing the garage bays so I was able to do something that had needed to be done for a while – admin and paperwork!  For those who have been here, I have a desk in our house that is generally piled high with things waiting to be sorted.  While we are (generally) able to keep on top of the essential things (mostly bills and tax related) it can take a while to file and archive things properly.

Personal admin!

The last time I was forced to go through the paper mountain was early in 2019 when we applied for our residency permits and had to put a dossier together supporting our application.  Since then things had got a bit ‘messy’ again!  Now however, all is filed and done and I have resolved to keep the desk clearer and do my admin in a more timely manner!

How my desk should look

Last weekend as well as being St. Valentines, was Dave and my anniversary so David cooked an amazing meal.  It is great living in Brittany if you love seafood – and we both love lobster.

Lobster anniversary dinner

This week has been back to garages when I can but I’ve not made the progress I’d have liked.  I won’t therefore show any pictures and hope that next week will be a greater change – but I said that last time …  At least the weather is looking much more favourable for the next couple of weeks which gives me an incentive to get it progressed as we may then be able to actually concrete the second garage bay at the start of March.

The drier weather next week is also a bonus for our guests as, hugely encouragingly for February, we have families staying with us in Priory, Granary and 3 sets of couples in Hayloft as it is French half-term.  While Brittany can be a little damp at this time of year, it is always a better holiday if it stays dry!