Sunday 28 August – We’re still alive!

I cannot believe that it has been 4 weeks since I last wrote a blog.  I did say that I am far more productive in the periods outside of the high season and that is certainly true this year.

We have been very fortunate to have all of the accommodation full for the whole of August – as we will do for September – and, for each week in August, we have had some good friends stay with us which provides another great excuse to relax and do things other than progressing on our projects.

One of the major challenges the area was facing when I last wrote, was the continuing threat of fires in the Monts D’Arrée as the weather remained hot and dry.  Thankfully, despite having had a second heatwave, albeit shorter than the first, the long period without rain was broken last week when we had a couple of days of drizzle which was ideal to wet the ground before a few heavier downpours.

We hope any areas that had continued to smoulder under the heather will now be totally extinguished, and it has certainly benefitted the garden that was really suffering.  Next week I will be able to mow the grass (it can no longer be called a lawn) for the first time in many weeks which, considering that is something I would be doing at least twice a week in a ‘normal’ summer, has been a change.

The beauty of having friends stay with us, especially with children, is that we are encouraged to get out and about and do things.  A couple of these are things that we do relatively frequently, others we haven’t done for a while and also somethings we have never done or places we have never visited.

The places we often visit when we have friends include Concarneau,

a sort of mini-St. Malo with its fabulous walled city; Huelgoat with its fantastic geological formations and amazing forest;

and the Crozon peninsular with miles and miles of sandy beaches.

Somewhere we always eat is Au Lac restaurant with its fabulous views over the lake, and something we always do is walk through the Monts D’Arrée – this time where it has not been burnt.

With our friends this time we went back to the Feel Good bar / restaurant in the town of Brasparts (about 15 minutes from us) which we hadn’t been to for a few years but will definitely go again more regularly.  We hadn’t stopped going because we didn’t like it, just that there are lots of other places.  But the Feel Good has amazing pizzas, which the kids loved – as too the adults – and we will definitely return.

We took our friends to the Dossen beach on the north coast, which now has a couple of new café / bars opened where you can grab a drink and something to eat; and they took us to Pentrez beach and Lestrevet next to it.  Both are HUGE beaches to the south of the Crozon peninsular with a number of little shack-type eateries behind. They are great fun.

We went to Lestrevet for David’s birthday because they had found a brilliant restaurant, l’Oaisis, where David could get his birthday oysters (we have them ourselves less frequently as I have developed an intolerance).

Another of the things we had never done was to walk across the Térénez bridge.  The bridge is the easiest way to get to the Crozon peninsular from us and, as such, is one we have crossed many times.  It was opened in 2011, before we arrived in France, but what we watched them do over the first few months of us being here, was to demolish the old, stone bridge which used to be adjacent to it.

For the walkers and cyclists in the area, the bridge has a walkway either side, and the old, previously shabby, brocante next to that has been converted into a restaurant / bar and smartened up considerably and looked like a good spot for a drink.  It was – especially as it was a beautiful hot day.

The Térénez bridge is more than a means to cross the Aulne, it is a thing of beauty and an impressive feat of engineering definitely worth seeing close up where you get a much better appreciation than you ever would just driving over.

As you can imagine, I haven’t made much progress on projects here.  I did manage to get a couple of hedges cut before my hedge cutter decided not to start.  Thankfully, it has now been repaired so I can pick up that next week.  I have also made progress with the barrel project I write about in the last blog but I won’t show you pictures as they are not quite finished – but we are really pleased with how they are going to look.

Our friends left on Friday so there are no excuses not to get back to project work next week and share some more progress!