Sunday 27th October – Danshari

Last week I didn’t post a blog as the ‘Breton’ weather meant that we hadn’t made any great leaps forward.  In the apology I posted on Facebook I said that the forecast for the last 7 days was ‘actually pretty good’ and so I had hoped to have a lot to update.

However, the fair forecast has dramatically changed by the time we woke up on Monday morning and the last 7 days turned out to be as wet and Breton as the previous 7.  As such, again, there hasn’t been the major progress on a number of tasks that we would like.

In my last blog, I said that we had started to sort out our store room for the first time since I built it and that we would probably need to do the same thing with the space above Dave’s gym.  Indeed the title of today’s blog has been taken from the advertising associated with the rugby world cup currently taking place in Japan.

For those who haven’t been watching, some of the advertising during the coverage includes Japanese words and their English translations.  Danshari is translated as ‘there is art in decluttering’, which I thought was absolutely perfect for this blog.  While it took a day to empty the store room into the games, it took best part of 3 days to put it all back!  It was so much easier just to take things out and find some floor space than it was to look at it critically; decide if we need to keep or throw, if to keep how often we use it and so where to store it; and finally to store in it’s new, easily accessible place.

The previous blog also mentioned that we would need to do the same decluttering to the space above Dave’s gym as well as it will be where we can store items that we will probably need but very irregularly.

That space had also been used to put lots of things that we didn’t want to dispose of previously but had left in an even more disorganised state.  Lots of room was taken up with the boxes all of the items we initially bought when we refurbished the gîtes including televisions, stereos etc.  As that was almost 5 years ago (doesn’t time fly!) they are all out of warranty so we felt now was a good time to dispose of them all.

Other things that we had chosen to hang onto from before our time were many unmatched wine glasses (added to with some of our own); old crockery; throws and blankets; kitchen items and anything that we thought we might, even vaguely, use in the future.  Not having used any of it in the last 5 years we took the opportunity to clear it out.

The storeroom is restocked, and looks like a mini-mart, while the gym space needs another morning’s work.

About the only other major project that I have managed to progress is priming and staining what will be the new door for Granary.

The existing door, and frame, have been on our list to replace pretty much since we got here and we have had to make a couple of repairs to it.  Unfortunately, late this summer, the latch bolt, which had previously been stuck inside the door and so was ineffective, chose to spring into the recess in the frame, where it should have been, but not so it could be retracted with the handle.  The only way we could access the gîte was to cut a small piece out of the door frame and cut off the latch bolt.  Not the look we strive for!

Rather than make another repair to the door, we have made the decision and asked a friendly carpenter to make us a new door and frame which we think will be more attractive than the existing one anyway and allow more light in the gîte.  He delivered these, in kit form, last week and I have started to paint and stain the relevant sides before it can be fitted.

David’s Christmas preparations have continued this week and today he has made 6 Christmas cakes.  Unfortunately, while the fruit was soaking for 24 hours I have been unable to enjoy the lovely smells as, for the last 2 days, I have been suffering from the first cold of the season.  With David having a similar bug last week hopefully we will now have our immune systems strengthened up for what the rest of the winter brings!

Assuming I can shake the bug off completely, next week looks to be a busy one as we have a number of guests arriving for our busiest autumnal week yet.  Unfortunately the weather forecast looks terrible for the next 7 days – let’s hope it is as inaccurate tonight as it was last Sunday!