Thursday, 4 September 2014

A Visit from a Friendly Neighbour

We woke up to a lovely sunny morning.

After yesterday's exertion, especially for Chris cutting the branches of the oak tree, we decided to have a gentler day. We were also anticipating our visitor. I had not caught his name on the phone yesterday. At 10ish, I put the kettle on and put some flapjacks on a plate in readiness.

I did a bit of cleaning in the cottage and Chris worked on the double doors. Sorry about the piles of rubbish bags but that's the reality!

At about 11ish, a car pulled up. Spencer was already there greeting our visitor. I welcomed him and shook his hand. He handed me a magazine called Central Brittany Journal about all sorts of things going on and it was in English. He told us his name (I will call him Henri for now. I'm sure he wouldn't mind being blogged about but just in case). Henri was very friendly and talkative. We showed him around and he gave us advice about this and that. He told us all about himself and how he was retired now but used to farm nearby. He mentioned the huge wood cutting machine in the barn. The concrete structures that we had thought were animals pens and feeding troughs were actually part of this machine.

Concrete structures in the barn...part of the huge wood cutting machine.
Henri also told us that the farmhouse had once been a bar a long time ago and the horses used to be tied up outside on the rings that are still there on the front of the farmhouse.

The time went quickly and Henri's English was good. I gave him a pack of flapjacks to take home and he seemed pleased. He asked us if we would like to come to his house on Saturday. He was keen to show us his garden. We said we would love to. He drew us a map of how to get there....none of the addresses in this area have road names.  I'm glad we doubled checked the time as he had said noon but had meant afternoon......2pm when the sun would be on his garden.  Chris and I were thrilled to have been invited.

After Henri had left, I didn't want to go back to cleaning so I went around to the front of the farmhouse with Spencer. I wanted to clear the ivy off the farmhouse wall (something Henri had pointed out needed to be done!)

It was pretty therapeutic, sitting on an old beer crate, snipping and scraping at the ivy......

......whilst keeping Spencer happy by throwing the ball into the empty pond for him.

Spencer having a rest
Soon the wall under one of the windows was clear....

It was a good hour and very peaceful. I felt very happy that we have this beautiful house, to renovate and enjoy, in such wonderful countryside.

Later on I found Max asleep...he was curled up in a nice new spot in the grass behind the barn.....

In the afternoon I returned to my cleaning in the cottage. I pulled out the two remaining kitchen benches and cleaned them outside in the sunshine.

I then cleaned the walls that are behind them in the kitchen and mopped the floor.

Chris was busy doing carpentry to fix the guttering at the front of the cottage.

It seemed quite technical but it worked.

I went upstairs and enjoyed pouring a bucket of water onto the roof from the velux window.

Cheeky face!
The water ran straight in to the gutter and after a bit of adjustment ran in the correct direction.

I took a photo of the view across the fields whilst I was upstairs.

It was a hot afternoon and Spencer enjoyed the cool kitchen tiles that I had cleaned earlier.

Late afternoon I spoke to my son George who told me he had got the job he had applied for! So thrilled for him.

Now the kitchen furniture had all been cleaned, I laid the table and we ate our first meal in the cottage.....still no electric so no iron to press the tablecloths and we used tea towels for placemats!

It's definitely progress though!

So lovely that you could join me!

Maggie xx


  1. Love the new header photo! And love your house even more now that I know that – in my dreams at least – I could ride my horse over for a visit and have a place to tie him. ;-)

  2. Isn't it lovely when neighbours are so willing to become friends? Our neighbours across the square are so delightful and friendly they have really made a difference. So yay! for Henri and his lovely veggies - I've read the other posts too! Michel often gives us loads of veggies from his plot. (too many, sometimes!)

  3. Wow, what a nice neighbor.....I have not had luck in that area at all. You are very fortunate. I think mine are all in the "witness protection program" because you never see them! LOL! I'm about the only one that works outside, the rest hire other people to do it.
    Your kitchen looks lovely now with your scrubbing and some linens it looks really "homey".
    I had noticed the rings on the outside wall and figured it must be pretty old to have those for the horses. Why is the ivy bad? I thought it looked lovely....and ivy covered cottage?


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