Sunday, 15 January 2017

A Wintry Return

So we're back in Brittany and all wrapped up for the wintry weather!

We arrived back on Tuesday 10th January after a smooth overnight ferry crossing from Portsmouth to St Malo.

It's always a bit chaotic when we first arrive!

Lots of unpacking, cleaning and sorting.....

.....whilst trying to warm the place up with the gas fire.....

Our arrival was not made easier by the fact that the pantry had been taken over by cute furry animals...mice! We had to empty it completely, clean it thoroughly and throw lots of food away. We have taken some temporary measures to stop them and have decided that the back wall of pantry is now a priority for renovation. This back wall is also the farmhouse wall and is boarded only by old insulation batts. The mice have been entering the pantry via holes in the stone wall and holes they have chewed in the insulation! We now plan on removing the insulation, making good the stone wall behind and then boarding the wall to stop the mice gaining access. Wish us luck!

In the meantime I have had to find other places to store our foodstuffs!

Another little problem we encountered on our return was concerning the wood panelling that we had installed during the summer. The cottage is always quite damp when we return especially at this time of the year. The damp has affected the panelling on the bedroom ceiling causing the wood to expand and protrude and even fall down in one place.

Another job on the list then! Renovating the renovation work!

Max, you look very cosy there but shouldn't you be off catching mice?!!

No way, he says, I'm nearly 18 years of age and I only go mousing for pleasure, when it's warm outside and when I feel like it!!

Despite the couple of little hiccups on arrival, it didn't take long to get the cottage spic and span and cosy and warm inside.

We haven't had as much snow as in this picture but we did have a smattering overnight.

Generally the weather has been pretty cold with lots of rain. Yesterday, when we went for a walk with Spencer, there was a gorgeous blue sky.....

...and, when we returned from our walk, there was a pretty rainbow at the end of the barn.

When it's too cold outside and I've had enough of cleaning, I do some crochet!

So lovely to have your company again!

Maggie xx


  1. The mice and moisture problems would have been a major downer for me, but you seem to have handled it with your usual sunny disposition!

  2. Glad that you are back and look forward to your continuing reports of improving your property !!

  3. Amazing that Max is almost 18. You are very good pet parents! And he looks just beautiful. Sorry about some of that wood paneling. I wonder if you won't perhaps have to put in some electric heaters and a thermostat to keep an even temperature when you're gone? I always delight in your visits back to this Brittany house. Might we be treated to a recipe or two?

  4. Oh it's wonderful that you're back in Brittany and also back at blogging - I definitely missed your updates :)
    Sending you warm greetings from Germany!

  5. You really picked a chilly time to return and it is going to get colder. At the end of this month if all goes as planned we are off to the sun for a month :-) Sorry about the renovations and the mice but hope you can sort it all out quite quickly. Take care Diane

  6. So glad that you are back, I love to read about your adventures in Brittany.

  7. You guys are such busy bees/good workers! You have just the right attitudes for the work you are doing!
    Max! How funny! Bored with mouse catching! Who can blame him? He's a senior citizen.
    Stay bundled! Don't catch a cold! It's so nice to "see" you!

  8. I hope you enjoy your time this visit in France and that you can resolve the problems and move on to fixing up new things that need doing!

  9. Lovely to see your blog pop up again, Enjoy the house even with its little annoyances. Look forward to the next post.

  10. Oh Maggie I remember it well, coming over and finding things had gone wrong but it has such a good feeling to get it sorted, we eventually installed electric heaters that we could leave on frost for when it was really cold, I love reading your blog and hope you will pop along and follow mine x Roz at

  11. Good luck with the mice....they can chew through just about anything but steel wool is good for stuffing holes. Good plastic containers or glass would be good for storing foods. Bait stations are nice and less messy than traps. Glad to see you back blogging where ever you are and love whatever you're crocheting! Does Chris have a beard? Take care and stay warm!


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