Sunday 3 March – Animal Hospital

Apologies for no blog last week.  As previous years, we took the opportunity of the quiet season here to go back to the UK and walk in the Lake District.  While we said 2018 would be our last Lakes visit as we want to explore more of France, this year we were invited to spend the week with Dave’s family as an early event to mark his parent’s 40th wedding anniversary.

While we were away, Finistère, as much of the UK, experienced record temperatures and dry weather for February which would have been perfect for lots of progress in the garden which is springing back to life.  The Lake District however, seemed, for the most part to be unaffected by this seasonal anomaly and while it wasn’t wall-to-wall sunshine while we were there it was considerably better than it could have been at that time of year – with the exception of Thursday.

On the Thursday, due to an improving forecast, we chose to climb and walk some of the Kentmere horseshoe which gets to above 2,700 feet.  When at the summit, we were above the cloud base and almost getting blown off the hill!  Unfortunately the promised improvement didn’t come until we were off the hill so, despite Wainwright detailing the amazing views we should be able to see, we never saw much more than 100 metres in front of us!

The following day could not have been more different, clear, bright and warm with no wind and we climbed Crinkle Crags in Great Langdale which was amazing.

Crinkle Crags

We got back to Kergudon last Monday with a long list of projects to attack – not least completing the man shed(!) but, while the fine weather lasted we did a few of the more routine domestic chores and, amazingly cut the grass at the end of February!  Probably a first.  As we hadn’t managed to cut it since early autumn it was long and thick and so was a 2-man job which took rather longer than usual and filled the trailer with cuttings.  It looks so much better although continues to grow rapidly and is probably going to be destroyed by this year’s mole efforts!

One other issue we had to sort was a worrying lump that had grown under Brandon’s jaw.  With typically great timing, we first saw the lump the day before travelling to the UK but thought that maybe he had been bitten or stung with one of the buzzy insects waking up in the warm sunshine.  As with most things our initial action was to wait and see if it goes away. It didn’t!  Brandon didn’t seem bothered by it as he was as hungry and active as always charging up the fells.

On our return we thought it best to get it checked out at the vets – you can just see it under Brandon’s left jaw.

Brandon's abscess can just be seen under his chin

Thankfully they were able to confirm it was nothing more sinister than an abscess which they were able to drain with a minor op.  During which they found the cause – a tiny, no more than 5 mm long, piece of wood that had pierced his skin and become infected.

As a result of the op Brandon has 4 large stitches and must wear the ‘cone of shame’ until a week tomorrow.  While he hasn’t yet quiet worked out the space he needs to manoeuvre around the house without knocking into things and is using his cone as a weapon!

Our poor little soldier post-op

I have managed to progress the man shed too and have, eventually, managed to empty it out of everything I can so I can now plan the space and … fill it back up again!

My new man shed cleared and ready to be 'stocked'

My new man shed cleared and ready to be 'stocked'

My new man shed cleared and ready to be 'stocked'

My new man shed cleared and ready to be 'stocked'

This may not look too remarkable until you compare it to how it was a couple of weeks ago.

Looking too at all the ‘stuff’ which is currently resting in the garage bays, as well as the mowers in the bike shed, it really is going to be a case of getting a quart into a pint pot – I may have mentioned before that I am reluctant to throw anything away that may be useful in the future!

'Stuff' to be stored in the new man shed - somehow!

'Stuff' to be stored in the new man shed - somehow!

Finally, last night we were spoiled with a dinner at Au Lac, although the restaurant doesn’t open for the season for another few weeks. However, Mercedes spent a few weeks in January and February in Thailand, a country she knows well, travelling and attending cookery school to hone her Thai cuisine skills and she wanted to show off her new recipes – it was fabulous and a really fun evening with lots of friends old and new.

Sadly, the amazing weather of February has definitely given way to a more usual late winter / spring feel – we are sitting now in the middle of Storm Freya blowing through and hopefully won’t cause too much damage.  This means that progress outside next week may be minimal but at least I can make a start filling the shed!

À bientôt.