I can’t believe we are already into July and the summer season is well and truly underway. Another couple of weeks since my last blog, why I’ll explain later, and our focus has had to move away from the major projects, especially any noisy ones, and spend more time cleaning and preparing the accommodation as guests change over. While this is generally not the most productive time I am hoping that this season we will be able to make progress on a couple of long-awaited things!
I’ve not perhaps in the first of the last 2 weeks however, which was extremely hot, too hot for working hard outside, but enjoyed some social things. We had our, now almost weekly, Wednesday walk with Belinda and Andrew but this time we stayed very local and walked from their campsite into Sizun.
We have always known there was a footpath from Saint Cadou into Sizun following the route of the Élorn river, but in our 8 years here, we had never walked it.
It is a really pretty route – the dogs enjoyed the opportunity for a paddle in the heat – and we came across some very attractive hamlets and houses you’d never see staying on the main roads. One of these was another building built to the same ‘design’ as Priory. We knew that there were other buildings almost exactly the same, including one which is now a museum in our neighbouring village of Saint Rivoal, but they are obviously more numerous that we knew.
The Saint Rivoal house dates from the 1670s and we understand Priory is 1640. We didn’t see a date stone on this building but assume its origins are probably late 17th or early 18th century too.
Wednesday 21st was the France-wide Fête de la Musique when lots of towns and villages hold musical events where amateur and professional musicians perform. Being a Wednesday, it seemed that locally to us (despite what we read on an-ever-so-reliable French website) many of the events had been moved to either the preceding or following weekends.
A few years ago we had gone to the event in Irvillac and really enjoyed it so we returned. This year they had a sea shanty group as the warm-up act, with their own ‘actors’ providing some unusual entertainment; a light-rock (their description) cover band; and a DJ and laser show (we’d left at this point!) It was good fun again but we need to try another town next year – sadly, we don’t think Sizun does anything for Fête de la Musique event.
Saint Cadou didn’t either but principally because on the Saturday was our tantad (bonfire) with its own Breton musical acts and, of course, dancing!
The fire, as previous years, was huge and built to burn quickly and generated lots of heat forcing the Breton circle dancing around it to expand rapidly!
On Sunday we hosted our own party and, as Priory was empty for a couple of nights, we used the large terrace behind the gîte as our location. It was the ideal spot as it meant we could spread out a little and not disturb our guests staying in the other gîtes. It would be the perfect communal space for larger groups staying with us across the accommodation.
Sadly our party prevented us from going to watch the annual triathlon held in and around Lac du Drennec (TriBreizh) but we are pleased it continues to run and we will be back to support, probably from the comfort of the Au Lac terrace, next year!
My principal project focus of the last week has been one I have started a number of times before but never completed. Now, we hope, there will soon be a reason and deadline to get it complete if we get permission for our next major, major, project and investment in Kergudon having submitted a planning request a couple of weeks ago.
More of exactly what that project is later (if we get permission and planning approval), but it will be in the area of the garden that is, still, the old vegetable patch that we have been using to store wood we have felled over the last 7 years but not managed to cut up and store in the dry.
As it has been outside for a while much of the wood can no longer be used although I will recover what I can either for the burners in the gîtes or the firepit. In the summer we are not allowed to have garden bonfires so anything I cannot use I am having to take to the déchetterie. I am making good, if slow, progress and I hope to be able to finish in the next week so I can start dismantling the breeze block wall surrounding the space. However, we will need to choose our time carefully to get the chainsaw out and cut the salvageable wood!
More next week (hopefully) …