Sunday 22nd February 2015 – Week 4

Spring may not be far off in St. Cadou. This week we have enjoyed a number of wonderfully bright days as well as significant showers and a couple of extended wet spells! Most obviously it is evident that the birds, of which there are significant numbers at Kergudon, appear to have started their mating rituals and are ‘pairing off’.

This has given is the perfect opportunity to start the taming of the jungle (garden) and cut the lawn for the first time in our guardianship and, we suspect, the first time in many weeks judging by its length! We are told that grass doesn’t stop growing here and lawn mowing is something that needs to be done year round. I can well believe it.

I started the week progressing the renovation preps in Priory and making additional preparations before painting. I made good progress until I dropped the hammer on the cistern lid in the bathroom smashing it spectacularly so we now need a new cistern. One step forward …

At least the good weather got me outside and able to play with one of my new ‘man toys’ – wearing all the appropriate PPE of course! The hedges around the main entrance had not had a haircut in a number of years and were blocking light to the gîtes as well as spoiling the view of, and from, them.

We took between 4 and 8 Front of Kergudon Before - Gîte Finisterefeet off some of the hedges which has made a massive difference – but more to do with the remainder of the boundary and the end of Granary garden. These ‘avant’ and ‘apres’ phots may give you some idea and will be the first of a series you will see over the next 6 months.Front of Kergudon After - Gîte Finistere


The hedges we’ve cut look a bit bare now but Granary Garden Before - Gîte Finisterewill recover for the summer and, hGranary Garden After - Gîte Finistere
aving done it early, we avoided disturbing any nesting birds but, to make up for disturbing their nest sites I have made a few boxes which we will put up next week. Not the neatest piece of carpentry but I promise work we have done in the gîtes will be of a higher standard!

Bird Boxes - Gîte Finistere In between the manual labour we have now formally registered with the French authorities as a business – which has the advantage of getting us into the French ‘system’ so we can be treated if we get unwell. As importantly, we have registered for French lessons in Chateauneuf-du-Faou – first class next Thursday.

Friday night we went to the village pub, St. Hubert, as there was a band playing in the games room. We’re really pleased we did as we met many more of our village neighbours which allowed us to practice our (sketchy) French – and for some of them to practice their English! We were introduced to the 3 leading lights of our Comité des Fêtes and who asked if we would allow them to use Kergudon gardens for the village Easter Egg Hunt. Of course we agreed – it will be something we will do for clients staying with is at Easter in years to come – but hopefully will help with our integration to the village. Most excitingly, we were told about the 3 regular music festivals held in St. Cadou each year – we will publish details when we know and look forward to you joining us for some. For such a small village there is a lot going on and, to be honest, we never made it into the games room to hear the band!

More progress planned for next week – including speaking to our electricity provider. We always knew the power supply and distribution to the gîtes was ‘unconventional’ and nearing capacity but, having plugged our iron in this week and constantly tripping the supply the task has moved further up the priority list …

À bientôt.