It’s over. After around 8 years of work, we finished the renovation of a barn into a gîte (holiday cottage to rent) with just 30 minutes to spare before the first holidaymakers arrived. As it got more and more busy and stressful towards the end, with not a day off for weeks and progressively longer days, we asked ourselves how we got into this situation. Maybe it had to be like this as without a deadline, I’m sure other jobs would have intervened and diverted us from the barn and we’d still be working on it at Christmas.
We now have the opportunity to start catching up with a long list of things that have been ignored, like separating the sheep from their winter coats. It’s never a job I look forward to as, with only a few to do each year, I never become really expert and I’m always wary of cutting them. That’s easy to do, especially as our pint-sized local breed Ouessant sheep are too small to hold between the knees, Bowen-method style and, being a rustic breed, they seem to resent being manhandled and wriggle more than normal. Happily for me and him, the ram was particularly easy this year as the wool had already detached itself in several places. The belly neck and legs were already clean and with a quick whizz up and down both sides, he was shorn for another year.
I’m hoping to have a little more time available now for my pastimes of writing and photography and shall make an effort to keep this blog updated much more frequently. I also need to update the “Magazine Articles” page. My latest forays into print are a couple of articles in the current edition of Les 4 Saisons du jardin bio aboutkeeping pigs and dangers in the garden and in the autumn edition of Permaculture Magazine is an article discussing Zone 5 where I suggest that it’s not actually a place but rather an informing idea.