Last week’s blog said that with far fewer distractions I would be able to make great progress on our outstanding projects. That was half true! I have at least managed to complete the 2 tasks that I started about 3 weeks ago which has meant that we have been able to make a start on a couple of other things and we have added more to our ‘To Do’ list!
One of the tasks completed was recommissioning the boot room. While we were building the garage I allowed my existing man-shed / workshop to become a rather disorganised mess so did some building projects in the boot room instead. Having cleaned it out thoroughly I was able to do a couple of tasks that were outstanding from the original conversion and rectify a couple of snags we’d discovered.
With more storage and work space available in the garage, and with a plan to demolish and rebuild the man-shed in the next 6 months, we hope that the boot room will remain just that from now on!
The other, larger, project was to complete the bin and recycling area on the north end of Grange. Having cleared the space of stone and weed, I was able to build a more organised area to keep the bins and one of the three 800 litre water butts that we bought last year. Perhaps in the future I will make some gates for each section but that can wait, for now we are very happy with the change from a couple of weeks ago.
Having been so dry over the last few weeks we have made use of the village lavoir to refill our existing butts while the 3 larger ones had been stored next to the man-shed. We have now positioned them all where they will live permanently and benefit from the run off from the large garage roof. We still need to plumb them in and had we managed to do so before yesterday we would already have a few hundred additional litres of water from a much needed downpour yesterday afternoon.
As in the UK, the weather has been incredible for the last 5 or 6 weeks and, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this has meant, where we have been able to water the garden and hanging baskets are looking great as too the terrace in front of Hayloft.
The heat, humidity and rain (when we have had them) have meant the jungle bed that we re-built and planted in the spring is starting to look great. We love the vibrancy of the hot pokers and canna lilies but evidently the slugs particularly enjoy the purple banana!
This week we have 2 families staying in our large gîtes as the first with children of an age when the games room will be used since its completion. It is a bit of an experiment for us too! Having been our ‘baby’ for so long we are very protective of it and, a bit, nervous for the things in it. We don’t want to impose ‘rules’ for those using the room and hope that children, or more probably their parents, respect it, but the first breakage within 24 hours of arrival doesn’t bode well!!
I should probably also explain the choice of title for this week’s blog. It stems from an ongoing discussion we are having with GoogleMyBusiness over a review we have received. We are well aware that most of the world lives life online (although another blessing of being in rural France is that they don’t!) and certainly use the web to find holiday accommodation. As such, David has spent a lot of time and effort understanding how to get Kergudon ranked as high as we can on Google pages – a process called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
One of the, many and ever changing, things that the Googlebots take into consideration when ranking you, is the ratings and reviews you receive on a number of platforms, not least their own.
We have been very fortunate that we have received some really lovely comments from our guests and some very positive feedback across lots of platforms, with the exception of one. A few months ago we received a 1-star Google review with absolutely no textual comments. None of our guests had raised any complaints with us so David responded to the reviewer, who had posted under a name that we did not recognise and did not resemble any guest that we had stay, to understand what the issue was but received no response.
We completely understand that we cannot be perfect but, as we didn’t receive any response from the review (whose name had subsequently changed online), we believe this was a malicious review from someone who has never stayed with us. As such we spoke with GoogleMyBusiness to ask for the review to be removed.
GoogleMyBusiness have been responsive but have maintained the line that they cannot remove the review as, because it has no textual comments, it doesn’t break any of their ‘policies’. However, being a 1-star review it has an adverse impact on our rating average. We have continued to outline our case to GoogleMyBusiness but without success.
As, perversely, I can’t review GoogleMyBusiness anywhere, and I am slightly nervous that the GoogleBots will use the content of this blog to punish us(!) perhaps I may ask for your assistance.
If you have stayed with us at Kergudon, and enjoyed your stay, please can you help redress our rating average by leaving us a Google review? And, while I find it strange, as evidently you don’t need to have stayed with us at all to review us, if you haven’t stayed but want to say nice things about us, that would be nice too – if a little unethical!
After yesterday’s downpour the weather look set fair for the next 10 days, and a little cooler, so definitely no excuse not to make good progress!