Sunday 24 January – Chaos, Clutter, Clear and Clean

Last week’s blog said that after a slow start to the year we planned to kick back into action with our extensive work list this week.  And we have.

The first tasks have been to do some of the essential things required before we can actually move onto the projects themselves and that is sorting through the chaos that has become my manshed and all 4 of the garage bays!

Spot the workbench!

Since both have been built they have become the dumping ground for the detritus generated from all of our other activities and I had never taken the time between those projects to sort them out.  The refurbishment of Priory last year generated a lot ‘stuff’ that needed to be sorted and either ditched (I’m not very good at that) or retained (hoarded?) if it can be used again.

My workshop having got a bit messy!

As you can see from the pictures my atelier had got to the point that I could barely see, let alone use, the work bench and worktops around the edges.

The garage bays too had been used to store the larger items and all of the spare wood either not used or removed from the buildings.  I never throw wood away – what can’t be used for a project can be chopped up for kindling.

The man shed has progressed well albeit a little more slowly than we’d have liked as, during the clearing, I rediscovered a number of things that I had put in to be repaired which had subsequently got buried.  As I rediscovered them I was able to make the repair needed and clear them out of the shed.

Tidying my workshop so I can actually work!
Working through the chaos in the end garage bay

The same was true to some degree with the garage not helped by our plans evolving mid-way through.  We have kept all of the old kitchen cabinets from Priory as well as those I took out of our utility room in December, which were originally in Granary and Hayloft and removed when we refurbished those gîtes in 2015.  

These, along with a second work bench I have very kindly been gifted from a friend, will become a second work area which was going to be in the garage bay we concreted last year.  However, that bay is the one furthest from the manshed so we have decided to concrete the bay at the other end of the garage and make that the alternative work space.  That space currently looks like this!

Garage bays have become a bit of a dumping ground!

As you can see, we have a lot more to clear before we are in a position to concrete, and probably best not done until the spring anyway. In the meantime we will continue to clear and chop up the huge amounts of waste wood which came from the old Priory bathroom. I suspect we will have a trailer full in the week for a déchetterie run.

Last night we broke our dry January for an early Burns Night.  With the curfew still enforced in France it was just the 2 of us and Dave adapted the traditional to make an amazing venison and haggis en croute to accompany the neeps and tatties.  Delicious.

Dave’s venison and haggis en croute for Burns Night 2021

More of the same next week and, if I make suitable progress, we will start the preparation for our first proper project of 2021 – which I’ll tell you about when we start …

À bientôt.