Last week’s blog mentioned that I hadn’t had the most productive week as we were enjoying the company of our friends – thankfully this week has seen a lot more achieved. While it did say that I had completed the wood store, I said that the plan was to continue digging around Grange so that we could, eventually, lay gravel and that the forecast was looking good for me to be able to do that.
As it turned out the weather was beautiful for late October / early November and I did spend all of Monday and Tuesday continuing with my digging and levelling. One of the things I most frequently say in my blogs (other than the ‘it hasn’t been a very productive week’ thing!) is that I underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete something. This has certainly turned out to be the case with the levelling around Grange although, while it has taken longer than hoped for, I still think it will have been worth doing and will make for a much better job when complete – not to mention the training I am getting for another future project – building a pond, although that is way down the list … When we get the gravel down I will be able to ‘plumb in’ some water containers that we have bought and sort out the downpipes properly!
I am now in a position that I can start building a new slate wall against what will be the edge of the new man-cave when built, and using some of the large slate slabs that we have unearthed. The latter will need to wait until the end of next week when David has a friend around to do PT together – I reckon lifting a couple of hundredweight of slate should make for a good training session!
While I was digging the animals seemed to take pleasure in watching my hard labour while soaking up the sun on their new favourite vantage point of the Grange stairs. Mouse has always been more affectionate than we had anticipated as she is an outdoor cat, and she has even made friends with the dogs – when they are not being too boisterous. I managed to get this photo of them together, sort of, although it’s not as good as Millie’s were last week.
I am also on the lookout for a number of old railway sleepers to construct a couple of things around the area and, while thought that we may have sourced some last week, sadly that didn’t come to fruition and they are proving harder to locate than I had anticipated.
You may have seen on our Facebook post that we took delivery of 206m2 of lambris on Friday so, the other job which I was able to switch to when the rain did eventually arrive, was starting to fit out the interior of Grange upstairs.
The first thing I need to do is insulate, not so much because it will ever be accommodation, but more to prevent condensation and damp which may occur. Thankfully, so far, this job has gone rather quicker than I had anticipated (possibly the first) and I have completed the games room end already and made good progress in the storeroom. Should only be another day maximum for me to complete.
Tuesday was of course Halloween, and this year, Saint Cadou’s Comité des fêtes organised a ‘Trick or Treat’ activity for the children of the village. I am not sure why but we weren’t called on, possibly as our thick curtains make it difficult to see lights on in the house, but our guests in Priory had a visit and managed to rustle up some treats!
All Saints’ Day is also a big occasion in France, Toussaints, and it is a public holiday here when families visit the graves of their relatives to remember them and lay flowers. As such it is always a lovely time to visit French cemeteries, although not French florists at least until 2nd November! This week’s ‘guest photographer’ is a friend who lives in a neighbouring village who takes excellent photos including these of the flowers in a local cemetery.
More lovely smells have been coming out of the kitchen this week again as Dave continues with his Christmas cooking, fig chutney, piccalilli and the Christmas pud this week – yum.
The coming week will be more of the same for me – progressing the interior of Grange and anything outside that I may be able to achieve if the weather allows – and I can source some sleepers.
We hope, if you are enjoying a bonfire tonight, you have a lot of fun but, most importantly, stay warm and safe.