Sunday 28 July – Going Potty

This week’s blog won’t be terribly long as, while we have done lots of small, bitty little jobs there hasn’t been any great strides on any major projects.  This is principally because, again, it has been so hot I wanted to avoid being outside for extended periods.

One day was impacted by a morning wasted mostly shouting at a printer and cussing HP.  We have always had fragile internet connectivity which has become even more frustrating recently with frequent short outages.  David has undertaken a lengthy Twitter discussion with SFR, our internet provider which, eventually, resulted in a visit from an engineer to check our line and set-up.  Frustratingly, he couldn’t definitively identify what was causing the problem so just changed the router in the hope that was the reason.

Thankfully, changing the box does appear to have fixed the problem but it also meant that we had to reset all of the things that work using the wifi and the HP printer proved really difficult.  David has always been better at techy stuff so I thought I’d try doing what should have been a really easy thing.

HPs website proved useless as too their online virtual assistant so David resorted to Twitter again.  It does now seem to be the only way you can get ‘big business’ to respond – public humiliation!  They did respond but, sadly, their help didn’t.  David did however, eventually make the printer work, but admitted that he doesn’t know how.

Another day was spent in Brest partly shopping and partly starting the research for our planned work in Priory next year.  We wanted to have a look at some bathroom and kitchen options to begin our thinking and we needed to buy some material for one project.  What we didn’t need to do was buy 2 enormous garden pots – but we did!

Being old slate buildings, the rear of Kergudon and Priory is very dark so we have spent a lot of time brightening the terraces up with planting.  We have also bought a number of blue pots in a similar colour to our ‘Kergudon blue’.  These were very popular in the UK a number of years ago, and we have heard Alan Titchmarsh sniffily refer to them as ‘a bit 80s’ in a recent programme.  However, being a bit 80s in the UK means they are all the rage here(!) and so available but these were a shape we hadn’t seen before so are unlikely to see again. So we treated ourselves.  We have put them on our own terrace and they will look great when we plant them up.

The project we bought the material for is also something for our terrace – a wood store for our chiminea wood.  We completely revamped our garden in Balham were giving it a Moroccan / Arabic style which we really liked (probably a bit 1980s!)  We want to do a similar thing with our own here so the wood store I am building will have an Arabic style and will be the same colour as our back door above.

The advantages of this project are that it gives us space to store the wood which we won’t use in the gîtes but also uses up some of the large amounts of spare wood I have in the garage.  Starting to clear the garage is one of the tasks we have progressed this week – a bit.  This is how the central bays looked at the start of this week – we will return to these in the coming weeks!

I did manage to revamp our bar stools in the games room, another job we have wanted to do for a while.  The stools were in Priory when we arrived and we replaced them with others but, knowing that we planned to build a bar we thought we’d keep the bar stools.  Perhaps not a massive change but they definitely look better, and are much comfier to sit on, and the bar is almost fully operational.

Thankfully for us, if not our guests, the weather is due to change next week and it should be cooler and we should be getting some much needed rain.  If it stays dry long enough the plan is to start cutting some of the hedges – they desperately need a haircut.