Last week’s blog stated that my focus for the week would be to rebuild the fences behind Priory and Granary which had been destroyed by Tempête Zeus last month. What it didn’t mention was that we had been joined by David’s parents that day who had come out to see us for a week and so meant that I was likely to have a more leisurely week than I otherwise would have.
It began on Easter Monday when we visited the annual Marché sur l’eau held next to the barrage on Lac du Drennec (which is thankfully very nearly full now after this amazingly dry winter we have had.) The market is focussed on local artists and artisans selling their products such as the organic pork farm and boulanger in Saint Cadou and the fantastic new soaps we give in our gîtes which are made by our friend in the next village. There are also stalls selling food and drink to be eaten there where you can chat and catch up with neighbours and friends.
It was our second visit to the marché, 2016 being moved inside due to a forecast tempête, and this year was the market’s 20th anniversary so it had seemed to have more of a fun atmosphere with a colourful band playing and lots of old-fashioned children’s games available to play. The fantastic weather helped which thankfully lasted throughout the week.
I did make a start on rebuilding the fences but, not unusually, the task took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. Just moving the large water butts out of the way took a while as, with so little rain, I was reluctant to just tip them over and lose all the water which we need for our new plants from last week especially as some of the plants we have put in are starting to look fabulous including the new hedges and tree behind Priory.
Thankfully however, removing the old uprights wasn’t very difficult (and maybe the reason why the fence collapsed in the first place!) but then digging the foundation trenches was, as again the ground had so much slate in the heavy clay it took me almost all of Tuesday and Wednesday to complete and be ready to concrete.
As it was school holidays, and with David’s parents with us, we took a day off on Thursday to visit somewhere new in the area and headed to Pont-L’Abbé on the Odet estuary south of Quimper. We weren’t aware until we arrived that Thursday is market day in Pont-L’Abbé and we had a good nose around an excellent market before finding a great place for lunch and strolling along the river to walk it off!
All day Friday for me was spent mixing and pouring concrete into my foundation trenches (and finally filling the last bit of what will be my man-shed extension) which, bearing in mind was another 20 degree day, was exhausting and meant the concrete cured a little quicker than is ideal. However, I have made them pretty solid, probably more solid than they really need to be, but I don’t want to have to build all that again after each storm.
The weekend has been a variety of smaller, but essential, jobs and some lovely meals with David’s folks. On Saturday night we returned to the Auberge du Menez in the next village of Saint Rivoal where we ate a couple of weeks ago shortly after it had been reopened by a young couple. We were really pleased to see that they have quickly found their feet and are continuing to develop and evolve the menu which was very good. Today we travelled to Roscoff and had lunch in one of our favourites, Les Arcades, with its fabulous views over the sea, before saying goodbye to David’s parents who then jumped on the ferry for home.
As you will also be aware sadly this week has seen another terrible killing in France. We want to reassure everyone that we have absolutely no reservations about security here. An advantage of being somewhere distant from the capital, is that, while a state of emergency continues to exist in France, there has been no obvious change to life in Brittany. We do await with interest the outcome of the first round of the Presidential election today and the candidates who will make the second round in a fortnight determining the direction of France for the next 5 years – although evidently election ‘fever’ will also ramp up in the UK now for 7 weeks – nobody saw that coming …..