Sunday 20 September – An Indian Summer

Apologies that it has been three weeks since posting a blog – it seems like so long ago!  At least there is lots to cover as it has been a reasonably productive period at least the last 2 weeks have.  The first week less so as I was struck by a pretty nasty bug that knocked me out for a while.  I don’t think it was THE bug as my symptoms weren’t those generally expected and, thankfully, I managed to shake it off in a few days.

Most thankfully I was able to shake it off to join some friends in visiting a local brewery at the end of the week.  We had heard of a craft brewery in the village of La Feuillée about 15 minutes from us but had never visited.  Recently we got to taste some of their brew – and see the impressive containers you can buy to take some home – so we had to visit.

Having got back to fighting strength I have managed to complete a couple of tasks that had been outstanding for a few weeks including finishing the staining of Grange and my man shed.  They look great and should now be protected for a few years (when I’ll have to do it all again!)

I also managed to progress the hedge cutting but still not quite finish as my hedge cutters chose not to pack up but to cut out frequently when I tried to use them.  Of course, when I took them to our new repair shop they chose to work exactly as they should and show no sign of a problem – grrr.  Thankfully, I managed to cut the vast majority of the hedges – some manually – and the little remaining could even wait until next year …

In the last blog I wrote we had just changed a tap in a gîte having had to clear the drains and said things came in threes.  The third, not the same gîte thankfully but plumbing related, was a problem with the boot room pipework.  Not yet resolved but will at least be something I will be able to do myself and not get the professionals in this time.

Having taken my hedge cutters to the repair shop I was able to see if a chainsaw I had dropped off before was able to have been repaired.  It hadn’t so I was given the bits in a box!  This meant that in my efforts to clear the garage and tidy by clearing a couple of piles of wood last week, I had to do the cutting manually and have invested in another chainsaw.

The other major task we have started, having taken the opportunity of a change in the weather at the end of last week, was the autumn lawn scarifying.  The back lawn, the largest, we scarified in the spring but just before it got very dry for a long time and it never recovered properly.  Seeing that we are due a damp couple of weeks, we have scarified it again and we have bought some new grass seed to lay with a more durable type of grass that should perform better in drought.

In the short term it has made the lawn look even sparser – but you can see the nicely cut hedges in the background of one and the very large pile of (bramble covered) wood I need to clear in another! For another few weeks!

We have at least managed to maintain one ‘habit’ that we started a few weeks ago on David’s birthday – a day out exploring our lovely region.  We have always said that we need to take the opportunity to take time and explore around us as, if you love the outdoors, there is so much to offer.  In David’s birthday week we, accidentally, went on a long, but beautiful, walk in the Monts D’Arrée and for the last 2 Sundays we have chosen another area to walk.

Last week, we revisited a part of the coast we had actually walked first a few years ago.  From previous blogs you will know that we love the Sunday market in Daoulas although, in this odd year, we hadn’t visited at all in 2020.  So, as we had no guests we went back and continued onto the peninsular of Logonna-Daoulas for a coastal walk.

The weather was amazing – blue sky, very hot and zero wind – which made the beautifully clear sea seem more Caribbean than Breton.  The coastline there has some fabulous shingle beaches and hidden coves which provide some great private bathing as well as some dramatic scenery.

The dogs love swimming in the sea but, again, haven’t been able to at all this year, so made the most of it.  Having got them salty we thought it best to detour to the Lac du Drennec on the way home so they can swim in fresh water and clean off.  Of course, being at the lake we thought it rude not to pop to Au Lac and have a quick half.  In Mercedes’ always generous manner, the first half led to another and another and … well, as you saw, no blog last Sunday!

Today, as the weather was very different from last Sunday, low cloud which gave poor visibility, we chose a woodland walk rather than anything we would do for the views.  We returned to the Fôret du Cranou which, while we had visited for the first time earlier this year, we explored a different part of and loved it.  It reminded us that we are so fortunate to live somewhere where we can choose such different walks depending on mood (and weather) from fantastic coastal cliff walks; open moor and heathland; woodland and forest walks or canal or lake side strolls all within easy reach.

We’ll have to choose something else for next Sunday and, assuming we don’t get diverted to Au Lac, I will get back into the habit of writing a weekly blog!