Sunday 16 July – SportsMania

Apologies, this would have been posted earlier had it not been for a fairly epic tennis match!!

Some progress over the last couple of weeks although my efforts have been interrupted by some predictable, and some less predictable, things.

The less predictable has been that the extremely hot weather we were experiencing (I hesitate to say enjoying) when I wrote the last blog broke soon after and, as the UK, things have become much less summery.  In the first week it was more a case of frequent heavy showers chasing me back indoors, but over the last couple of days it has become much cooler and windier with more persistent rain. This is not ideal for the guests we have staying here and is made more frustrating when all the news is of the heat in the south of France and more widely in Europe.

We do appreciate the heat being reported is actually quite extreme, unpleasantly hot and potentially dangerous so we are happy not to have those sort of levels but a normal Breton summer of 20 – 24 degrees isn’t too much to ask is it ?!

We were encouraged with research we saw published in an article in The Local France that, partly as a result of these extremes of temperature in southern Europe, the number of people holidaying in Brittany is on the rise.  Great news for us but further evidence of the changes we have inflicted on the planet.

In between the many showers I did manage to continue, and complete, clearing the brambles and other weeds from the old veg patch and the front and over our ‘temporary’ wood store.  We have not had an opportunity to get the chain saw out, yet, to start cutting up the larger pieces of salvageable wood, but there are sufficient smaller branches I can saw manually or split and use on the firepit or for kindling that will keep me occupied during the next few dry days (whenever they may be!)

Until the wood is moved I have not started to dismantle the walls or the wood store which will have to be added to the other sheets of fibre-cement we inherited with the buildings and are almost impossible to get rid of.  Although we have a couple of ideas neither will be possible for a few months.

The predictable things which have also distracted me are linked to the sporting events that take place this time of year.  While I don’t watch tennis at any other time of year being British, I do enjoy watching Wimbledon especially when there had been some British successes and some really engaging characters and matches.  I suspect the arrival of the wetter, windier weather and the start of Wimbledon may be in some way connected!  Today we invited some friends over and watched the men’s final in the cinema, with the obligatory ‘picnic’. which always makes it a great event.

The large screen was brilliant too when another of the sporting events we enjoy watching was held last weekend – the British Grand Prix.  We follow the whole season with the highlights on free-to-air TV, but it is only the British GP that is still shown live in its entirety so we couldn’t miss that.

With a summer of Ashes cricket too there has been a lot to distract – although at least with the Ashes I can listen online while actually working!

There were other distractions too last week with 14th July being France’s Fête Nationale there were lots of celebrations and firework events being held.  This year, as the actual public holiday was on a Friday, lots of places moved their events to the Thursday night including Sizun.

Normally, we would go to Sizun as their fireworks display is always incredible as it uses the church spire and processional arch as the staging (last year’s event pictures are here), but this year we joined some friends in a neighbouring town, Lampaul-Guimiliau, as they had arranged a concert prior to the fireworks.

The concert was very professionally done. The first group were a decent cover band but the main event was a group from the French Navy playing pipes and drums – think tiny scale Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the Royal Marines Corps of Drums but in less impressive uniforms!  The distant photos are mine but the close up ones I have taken from the event’s Facebook page with the photographer credited.

Evidently, the concert was expensive to stage because the fireworks, in comparison to Sizun, were less impressive!  They had also chosen to stage them behind lots of trees so, unless you were standing on the concert stage itself, you could barely see any of them!

There were some firework displays held on the Friday evening, although due to the weather we know of at least one which was cancelled, and also because of the weather David and I decided to stay home and keep dry!

With Wimbledon concluding today I am expecting (hoping!) for a dramatic improvement in the weather and so more to report next Sunday.