I hope that you all had a very good Christmas break and your New Year has started well.
Helen and I have been trying to squeeze in a bit of down-time since my last blog and very sociable it has been too, we had friends and family over for Xmas, and we went to friends for New Year, Helen managed a couple of weeks in the UK to catch up with her shopping, and, even I managed to get back to Blighty for 2 days.
My first trip back to the UK in 3 years so I thought I would make the most of it, while I was there I made a visit to Specsavers and bought myself 4 pairs of new glasses, what a treat, now I can see what I am doing !!
The main reason for my trip was to get home to visit my Mum and to add to the occasion my big brother Paul was over from New Zealand. Little brother Matthew, who is actually the biggest, organised a family party down the Pub and 22 of us had a great get-together.
This is a very rare photograph of my Mum with me and my 4 surviving brothers :
Mark and Paul on the left and Glen and Matthew to the right. My Mum is looking great considering she is 89 in the spring. Bit of a shame that my sister could not join us.
Other than a bit of extra social life the work continues at a normal pace, I am going to start dropping the water level on the lake tomorrow so the following week will see the start of the annual trim and tidy along the far bank and around the swims. I am going to be a little more “climate conscious” this year and instead of burning the waste wood cuttings I am going to chip it all, hopefully Helen will be able to use all of the chippings for bedding for the horses.
I have been promising to upgrade my workshop for the last 8 years and at long last I have made a start, you all know the one I mean :
Unfortunately as I progressed other jobs around the place, of which there has been many, the tools and the rubbish seemed to gravitate toward my workshop, shamefully it looked like this inside and I was struggling to find things :
The heavy bit has been done, that was taking down those hideous steel folding doors. Just to do that I had to sort out the true rubbish from the bulk rubbish, I hate throwing things away as they always come in handy at some point. It now looks like this :
Once the rest of the facade has been stripped away it will be replaced with an all wood facade which will have double garage doors, my intent is to be able to park the ride-ons inside and clear some space in the other barns and garages.
I will let you know how that develops.
The more pressing project at this moment is the Gite. So far it has turned out to be one of those proverbial cans of worms that one regrets opening.
It sounded so simple; replace the kitchen, and strip out a couple of stud walls to gain a little extra space. That was relatively easy :
from this :
to this :
The damage to the original walls was so bad that it suddenly became clear why they were studded out in the first place, on top of that the wiring was inside the stud walls so the whole place is having to be re-wired and re-plumbed.
Anyway, no point in moaning, it was simply a case of “get it done”, I am pleased to say that all of the hard stuff is finished and it is now at the stage of being ready for a coat or 2 of paint :
I am waiting for the January Sales to start next week and that is when the really difficult task will have to be tackled; shopping with Helen for a new kitchen, aaaaaaargh !!
My target date for completion is the end of February but I do have a bit of wriggle room in the event that any of the lake work gets a bit complicated.
Our first guests arrive on the 27th of March so it will have to be finished by then.
Watch this space for further updates, till then ;
Happy New Year