Sunday 24 November – Chop, chop, mow

Last week’s blog started with our frustration that the weather this autumn has been wet, really wet, and ended with the slight hope that there would be a short break in the near-continuous deluge.

Thankfully, it turned out that the start of the week remained dry for 3 whole days!  This meant that, while the photos may not show it(!), I was able to make more progress outside than I’d managed in weeks – and our tree surgeon returned for a day!

The first thing I managed was to make a dent in was the large pile of wood that had been sat outside the Dairy building for a few years.  The wood is the remnants of the apple trees which once stood in the orchard the first of which was blown down in Storm Zeus in March 2017 and the others that we have intentionally felled to create a large flower bed.

We have always been conscious that the pile of wood immediately inside the entrance isn’t ‘the look’ that we want to maintain, although we are in the countryside!  Having bought our serre in July we had created some space to store this wood just as soon as we had an opportunity to cut it!  Last week was the first opportunity.

It may not look like I have managed to make a large dent into the pile but the amount I have managed to stock in the serre should keep us in wood for many weeks – although it will take quite some time to dry out so won’t be being used this winter!  As it is the larger sections of trunk that I have been focussed on, splitting them with my merlin (what the French call a type of large splitting axe), not only has it given me a good workout it has provided me with lots of practice for all the sycamore that has been felled.

Hopefully the remainder of the pile won’t take as long to clear although it is more of a 2-man job as it is mostly cutting with a chainsaw so will be quick but will need David’s assistance.  It will also uncover a few treats that have remained hidden under the wood for a while such as the small old poêle that we removed from Priory just visible in the picture above  – we’ll have to see what state they are in now!

It remained dry until Wednesday night which gave the lawns 3 days to dry out sufficiently to attempt to cut it.  While it hadn’t rained, as it had got soooo long and thick in places it never really dried completely so proved very difficult to cut especially as we needed to collect the cuttings so they didn’t lay on the ground.  Because it clogged often in the machine it took much longer than usual to do and I finished under the floodlights after dark!  But it looks so much better now it is done.

Unfortunately, while cutting I found that the repair I had taken it to a local motoculture shop to complete hadn’t been done, or wasn’t effective, so it had to be taken back so no chance of cutting the lawn again for a number of weeks – although the chances of the weather letting me do so are pretty slim but it won’t stop growing.

Sadly, another repair that wasn’t effective, despite it appearing to be so having tested, was the dishwasher fault that I tried to resolve last week.  We have ordered a new pump and hose to fit so I will have to dismantle it again when they arrive.

I have mentioned in my last couple of blogs that we are really pleased that, this year, despite the rain, we have welcomed more guests to Kergudon during the autumn months.  Last week we had a Belgian couple stay with us in Priory and took advantage of Dave’s cooking for 2 evenings which they loved.  Hopefully the word of Kergudon is spreading far and wide as we have welcomed more Belgian guests in 2019 as we had for the preceding 4 years.

This weekend we have hosted a couple who David first met as one used to attend the gym in Morlaix where David worked.  As they became friends, they were also kind enough to have become our official ‘translators’ for our French website, information packs and any other important material and as payment-in-kind we offered them Hayloft for a weekend which they took advantage this week.  It also meant we could take them to Au Lac and enjoy one of Mercedes’ annual Far Eastern ‘discovery’ menus – Malaysia this week.

It was delicious, and almost as delicious as the Indian discovery we enjoyed last week!