Sunday 28 February – Spring has Sprung

Since last week’s blog the focus has been on continuing the garage clearout and preparing gîtes for guests.

We continue to be encouraged by the number of guests who are joining us for a spring getaway as last week Priory and Hayloft were occupied and they remain so for another week with Granary having guests next weekend.

I haven’t shown you pictures of the garage clearout for a couple of weeks as I wanted it to show some sort of progress from the chaos at the end of January.  While I can’t now show you a fully finished garage with graveled and concreted bays and doors fitted where they are planned, I hope you can see that we have made significant progress.

Central garage bays – much clearer and more organised than before

I have (finally) managed to kindle all of the wood that I am unlikely to use for anything else, although this has still left me with a healthy number of planks and lengths of good usable material.  I have also managed to do one trip to the déchetterie trying to be ruthless in what I am throwing away with at least one more to follow.

The southern end garage bay, the one we will plan to concrete as we have the northern end, is almost completely empty, and should be cleared next week. It does looks like I may need to dig it out a little to make sure we have a sufficiently thick base that shouldn’t crack when we drive a car in.

Final garage bay to be concreted nearing empty

Thankfully, the weather for the last week has considerably warmer than the freezing snap we had 2 weeks ago and things are starting to shoot furiously in the garden.  It was positively hot yesterday when I gave the wisteria it’s winter trim and, judging by the number of buds already on it, hopefully this year it will have lots of flower.

Sadly, the freeze thaw action of the last few years have weakened one of the old stone walls on our boundary with Hent Gorreker to the point that last week it has collapsed.  It has looked a little unstable for a while and was on my list of jobs to do.  It has now moved further up the priority scale!

Weather damage to the boundary wall needs a rebuild.

With the beautiful crisp, clear weather we joined some friends this morning for our weekly walk and headed out beyond Saint Rivoal to walk for a couple of hours through the Monts between the Chapel and Réservoir de Saint-Michel.

Monts D’Arrée from Monts Saint Michel de Brasparts (left) towards Réservoir de Saint-Michel

We parked in the Ferme d’Antea which David and I have never visited despite having driven past it frequently.  It is an art gallery and, in non-COVID times, a teashop.  There are so many artisans and creators in and around the Monts D’Arrée it would be difficult to know where to look for their work but this space seemed to have many represented displaying pottery, painting, sculpture and jewellery.  It’s well worth a visit.

The warm dry weather is forecast to continue for a couple of days yet, so we will shift focus to the garden and cut back all of the hydrangeas, probably reduce the height of a couple of hedges and, hopefully, get the lawns cut for the first time this year.  I just need to flatten the many molehills that have frustratingly appeared in the last couple of months before the annual battle of mole versus man resumes!