Sunday 18 August – More play than work!

While I didn’t post a blog last week, I can’t say that the previous fortnight has been the most productive of our time here.

There are a number of reasons for this, not just because we’ve been lazy(!)  Sadly, at least for our guests if not the garden, it hasn’t been the most summery of weather so we haven’t been able to work outside often.  We have also had a fairly social couple of weeks including hosting, and being hosted, by some very good friends who have, and are, staying in our gîtes.

In the last couple of weeks we have experienced 2 mini-storms when some deep low pressure systems have passed to the north west of the UK.

During the first we had been invited out to a mini son et lumière in the village of Saint Thégonnec.  The village is celebrated for its parish close or enclos paroissial which is one of many in this region.  The enclos paroissial is the enclosed area in front of the church which often includes an ossuary but always has a calvary, an elaborate sculpture depicting the crucifixion.

When originally built, generally in the 17th century, they were highly decorated and very brightly coloured, each parish attempting to prove their devotion with a calvary larger and more colourful than the others.  Over the years this decoration has faded so they are all the colour of the stone they are engraved from.

Every year a son et lumière is held in a couple of the enclos paroissial where the calvary is lit to represent how they would have looked originally with an explanation of the architecture and history of the close.  We were very impressed with the illumination which is amazingly detailed and able to pick out eyes, buttons and decorations on clothing.  We were less impressed with the weather which was monsoon rain!

The, briefly, autumnal conditions led to a postponement of the annual fireworks on the lac du Drennec but only by a day.  The fireworks are run by the Commana commune as their Fête Nationale celebration but are always about a month after 14 July – possibly so as not to clash with everyone else’s events.

As Sizun, Commana put on a really good show and make the most of the location.  We took our friends for a lovely meal at Au Lac before enjoying the show.

The following day we took a day off to visit another group of friends who were holidaying in Carnac in the south of Finistère.  Carnac, approximately 2 hour from us, is renowned for its many prehistoric standing stones (menhirs) and henges and is well worth a visit but we chose to meet halfway in Concarneau.

We love Concarneau and describe it as a mini Saint Malo because of its old walled city, but the day we chose to visit so too did every holiday maker in Finistère, or so it seemed!  That, coupled with it being market day and the start of a major summer festival, meant that the town was heaving with people – quite a culture shock from the calm of Saint Cadou but worth it to see our friends albeit briefly.

With more rain recently than we would have expected I have been able to lay some grass seed on the rear bank we created a few weeks ago which should germinate quite quickly as it remains warm.  It has also meant that I have continued to clear out the garage principally so that I could put the rotary clothes line in one of the bays and continue to dry the laundry!

After the second storm had passed through we recovered the serre with its original bache but have also added a second sheet which we have bungeed to the frame and then anchored the whole frame to the ground with some ratcheting straps attached to spiral ground stakes usually used to attach dogs to.  Hopefully that should keep it secure through the worst of the storms we encounter.

With the serre covered and able to be filled I now have no excuses for not clearing the remainder of the garage bays out – although I suspect I’ll find some!

Assuming I don’t, that may be the focus of next week’s activities.