Sunday 2 April – For the Love of Dogs

About the only thing that has changed since my last blog are the clocks!

I ended the blog saying that the following week’s forecast was looking a bit iffy, but hoped that the dry breaks between the rain would be getting longer.  You may have guessed from my lack of blog last week – they didn’t!

The last 2 weeks have continued the pattern of the entire spring so far, wet, blustery and generally miserable weather to be outside.  The 2 week period even concluded with Storm Mathis overnight last Thursday into Friday.  Mathis was the deepest area of low pressure to pass up the channel this entire winter and was due to last quite a long time.  A number of scary forecasts predicted wind gusts in excess of 90 kmph for an 18 hour period overnight topping out at 100 kmph for a few hours in the middle of the night.

I am always fearful of the last remaining apple tree we have in what we still call the orchard, as it is leaning over at a precarious angle – which I am sure is getting greater each year!  It has been on my list to fell for a couple of years but David is reluctant and it hasn’t been done yet.  Because of the angle, I’m not concerned that it will fall onto something and cause damage just that we don’t know exactly where the water pipes and electrical cables run between Hayloft (where we know they originate) and Stable and the Dairy.  I am fearful that if the tree falls it will unearth and break one, or both, of these causing greater problems.

With the forecast I had every expectation of power cuts and loss of phone / internet for a period at the very least but, despite frightening sounding winds when we went to bed, we woke up on Friday still connected to power and phone and with no physical damage.  Which was nice!

The change in the clocks does make a difference here.  Being so far to the west of the time zone, and with the additional hour on UK time, when the clocks change we benefit hugely from the light remaining until much later in the evenings – tonight’s sunset isn’t until 2047.  This is obviously balanced with it getting much lighter later in the mornings but people are here on holiday so that helps too and makes lying-in a bit in the mornings so much easier!

I did manage to achieve a couple of things – no major projects completed – including starting one of the ‘big’ things we need to achieve.  This project is installing an EV charger into our garage which requires a new trench to be dug between the house and the garage.  While the weather was poor, I though I could at least get the part of the trench dug which was inside the garage and so undercover.

I made a start one afternoon but when I came back the following morning what I had dug was completely filled with water showing just how wet the ground currently is as this can only have soaked through from outside.

Because I haven’t achieved so much in the last couple of weeks, I didn’t know exactly what to write about or call the blog.  However, a message from a prospective guest about the dog-friendly nature of the area, and the very public promotion of dogs following the sad death of Paul O’Grady, gave me something to talk about.

We are a gîte business who are very happy to welcome travellers with their dogs.  We know that a dog becomes a much loved part of the family and they deserve a holiday too when their owners go away!

We allow dogs in Priory et Hayloft, we keep Granary and Stable pet-free for travellers who have allergies, and we welcomed lots of lovely families and their dogs.

While we understand that the administration required to being a dog into Europe is a little more onerous that it was before, we still have lots of guests who choose to do so and we think Kergudon is the perfect place to being them.

There are so many places for amazing dog walks near us, a number can be started directly from the gîtes, and even a number of dog-friendly beaches year round.  This was the nature of the question we received from the potential guest – how far is the closest beach that allows dogs in the summer?

While this does appear to be getting more restricted each year, many beaches officially don’t allow dogs between the start of July and end of September, there are still some on the north coast which do. The French are a nation of dog-owners as much as the British so we have found people tend to be tolerant of dogs even on non-dog beaches as long as the dog is under control and best kept on the peripheries of the beach.

Dogs, as humans, get the 5* treatment at Kergudon as we provide bowls, towels, throws for the sofas and, if chef has had the chance, doggie treats.  We were delighted when a guest said that it was lovely to come somewhere which is genuinely dog-friendly rather than dog-tolerant which was their previous experience.

Above all, Garratt and Brandon (whose 7th birthday was yesterday), always enjoy meeting new playmates and having company!

As we try and do each Sunday, today we tried another long dog walk as the weather was dry all day for the first time in as long as I can remember!  Today was a 15 km walk on the north coast, near the border between Finistère and Côtes D’Armor, along the coast and in the countryside around Locquirec.

Locquirec itself is a pretty little port town and very popular tourist destination but the coast and countryside around it is equally beautiful and ideal for exploring.  There are lots of manoir / chateau-style homes, interesting chapels and even some Roman Baths from the 1st century.

Thankfully, the weather forecast seems to have changed significantly for the better in the coming week and spring may have, finally, arrived.  If this turns out to be the case, next week should be so much more productive and so I will have more to update next Sunday.

À bientôt.