Sunday 28 August – Another Week, Another Wall

At the end of last week’s blog I was about half way through clearing out my man shed and re-discovering a number of tools and items that I hadn’t seen for some time!  This week I have progressed or started 4 new projects as well as had some fun time with friends.

Monday saw me continue with the man-shed clearance so I could remove my tools from David’s gym.  I progressed the former well but the latter less so – although I did manage to clear all of the work tools that had been stored in our lounge next to the poêle.  As I haven’t yet managed to get to the déchèterie not everything has been cleared and there remains some residue in the gym – where I hope there are some of the other items that I haven’t yet relocated!

On Monday evening, as the eve of David’s birthday, we went with our friends from Commana to Milin Kerroc’h, a crêperie on the outskirts of Sizun in a renovated water mill, and had a celebratory meal.  Ideally we would have gone to the beach on David’s actual birthday as the weather was fabulous but, as David was working in the gym, he had to content himself with me making him breakfast in bed in the morning and getting a take-away meal from the St. Hubert for David’s birthday dinner.

On Tuesday I shifted from the man-shed to the garage project.  Our builder had popped in on Monday evening to tell us that he would be able to mark out the footings on Wednesday which gave me a target to work to – and more clearance at the boundary to complete.

Many of Kergudon’s boundaries are ancient embankments, part dry stone wall part earth and soil, which, over the years have supported trees, hedges and of course bramble and weeds!  Although I had completed dismantling the old wood store much of the old wall behind had collapsed as tree roots and stumps had forced the rocks out and it had encroached into the area where the foundations were to be dug.

I spent most of the remainder of the week clearing the vegetation from the wall and digging into where it had collapsed to recover the stone, remove all of the roots and stumps – no easy task – before starting to rebuild the wall and gain a few vital inches behind the garage plot to make sure that I will be able to get a wheelbarrow around the building.

Rebuilding Wall

Rebuilding Wall 2









Rebuilding Wall 3

While hacking back at the brambles and weeds I revealed a beautiful looking old wall in parts which, while sadly it will be hidden again behind the garage when it is built, I will always see it when I work round the back where the new wood storage area will be.

Stripping the wall

Our builder arrived on Thursday and marked out a couple of the trenches that would need to be dug for the foundation.  Knowing that we had a bit of time before we would lay the concrete, I volunteered to do the digging – a decision I may yet come to regret!  Also, knowing that we have a little time I didn’t start digging until yesterday afternoon after we had turned around the gîtes and realised that it may take a little longer than I had anticipated.

Not only is the ground rock solid as it has been so dry recently, the area where the wood shed used to be has a solid layer of embedded gravel and slate which has proven really difficult to break through – I had hoped that as I moved along the trench the digging would become much easier however, while the gravel and hardened earth reduced so the amount of tree roots increased and the small pieces of slate got progressively larger replacing 2 difficulties with 2 others.

Today has been more relaxed as we hosted a BBQ for people from my French class, as we had last year.  Unfortunately, unlike last year, today was the worst weather we have had for a couple of weeks and while I gallantly stood outside in the rain cooking the gathering took place inside!

Early next week will be focussed on finishing the first garage foundation trench and hopefully complete the side wall – and maybe do something which affords some more interesting photographs!