Thursday, 26 March 2009

St Malo Beach

I like this picture and not sure why. I took it whilst waiting at St Malo for hubby to collect me.
There is alot in the picture. The groins, people walking, a kite/sand surfer, an island in the back ground and just a little part of a fortress on the right. It was a glorious day and if I had not had my holdall and supplys of salad cream for a neighbour in tow I would have kicked off my boots and been on the sand. I have a strong desire to always place my feet on the sand when I see it. Maybe because I spent so much time as a child on the beach it is a comfort thing! I cannot imagine a child going through life and not feeling sand between its toes, even if it is only in a sand pit!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Fitness regime

For years I had been a very fit person indeed. Won't bore you as to why I am not so now but that is about to change!!. However during this trip in the UK I have been looking forward to a yoga class ( not on the beach like this piccie but will be at least be at coastal location!)!

I may even be bouncing round my friends huge living room in the South of France inbetween wedding appointments to a dvd to keep up the regime.

Many would think this mad and would be going out for lunch and walking it off along the canal! Expect I will find some time to fit that in too!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Brittany-Brighton- Languedoc

I will have limited access to internet from this weekend for the following 9 days week so my updates maybe scant

I am going to be a student and a confident/translater/chauffeur.

I am heading for the UK and staying with a dear fabulous fellow 'Leo' friend in Hove near Brighton somewhere I have spent alot of time when I lived in England. I used to live down the coast and have friends in the area and many brilliant memories. This weekend will be adding to memory lane.

Together we are continuing our holistic studies and probably will be laughing alot along the way.We are like peas in a pod. We should be twins. We met on a train from East Croydon to Central London one morning years ago, standing room only in 1st class. There were no seats in 2nd class anyway. We got chatting and became firm friends since that chance meeting, though,.... I believe it was not chance, it was MEANT TO BE!

Included over the weekend itinerary is discussing ideas for the future, a yoga class, catching up with 2 ex work colleagues and a wedding party and that all important laughter!

I will then be heading to Hertfordshire before flying south to the Minervois to help a friend who has a daughter getting wed locally in June.

I hope to be able to catch up with friends at some point but the schedule will be full on.

I am sure there will be time to fit in a lunch or two between discussions with caterers, hairdressers, car viewings, florist discussions and maybe some wine tasting just to be sure the correct vintage and cave is finally is decided on with the help of our expert!
I must look for my vitamins to keep up the pace!

Slate less

The first building at the hamlet has now no slate on its roof. The boys have been up there disposing of the old ones and making a big mess as they lob them off onto the land below. Forget seeing the wood for the trees, cannot see the land for the slate!
Anyway, wind and water tight we shall be before too long as far as the roof is concerned anyway.

Next task, putting in the septic tank. Am dreading what a mess they will make of the trees and bushes infront of the place when the JCB gets its claws into the soil but it has to be done and will be worth it in the end.

I am trying to be helpful but realised that I had a hidden fear of being on roofs like my husband. Not much use there then am I? I am happy staying on terra firma getting shredded by brambles. Almost there with the clearing of those but do think I should have got a goat to do it.
I am going to be very busy with other things in the next week or so and they do not include attempts of looking like the Milk Tray man on the roof!

St Malo restaurant

I took this photo inside the old walls of St Malo ( home to the Jacques Cartier who discovered Canada) whilst I took a wander waiting for my lift back to the Morbihan. Such a pretty sign I thought and along with the pretty striped awnings made the restaurant look very inviting. I will let you know how it was if I ever get back to try it!

What people say!!

On my ferry journey back to St Malo I met up with a couple of friendly and chatty travellers. One was en route from Weymouth to Jersey via Guernsey.

I reflected after my first chat with the initial traveller at how amazing it is what people will tell you. I met a lovely lady when I was going off to Guernsey on the evening Friday ferry. She lives 4 hrs away and was from Jersey but lived in France 16 yrs, family back in Jersey, divorced, married a French man, works for a Finnish company....It reminded me of a time I was delayed at a packed Gatwick airport and got chatting to so many people and how friendly people are and how much of their life info they will divulge!. Maybe I have that kind of face (whatever that is) that people spill their life stories too.

This is what I learned from traveller who boarded at Weymouth and was heading for 4 days in Jersey and I still did not catch his name. I am sure he won't mind me sharing this with you as he shared it with a complete stranger, yours truly.

He lives in Oxford in the oldest cottage in his village. He has lived there 38 years. It backs onto a graveyard where 2 monks are buried with chained bibles.!

He used to be in the RAF.
He drove 27 ton trucks at one point after he left RAF.

He trained German Shepherds for the police force.
He worked for the Duke of Malborough at Blenheim Palace.

He charges 16 pounds an hour for his work, painting and decorating.
He has owned 70 greyhounds. It was his hobby. He has no pets now.

He won 10 grand on the lottery and put 4,000 into premium bonds
He has visited Orlando 13 times or maybe 15. ( I was trying to take in all the info!)

He has just come back from a weeks cruise that included a stop at the Bahamas.

His wife left him for someone he knew and he has to pay her a remaining percentage of his asset ( he stated the amount too!) ( already paid her off a lump sum )if he dies, goes into a home or marries again.

He is 72 and looks about 52.

He gave me his lucky stone to hold for 5 mins that a gypsy gave to him years ago and he said he believed it had brought him luck.

Maybe some of it will rub off on me. He had a lovely 'karma'. Goodness knows what I ended up telling him!

Fascinating stuff hey??!!

Baliwick bound

Well life may slow down a bit for a day at least now Papa has gone back to Guernsey and pre my work role recommencing at the Hamlet.

I assisted my Dad on his journey back to Guernsey at the weekend and managed to grab a couple of busy days there before heading back to the Morbihan via St Malo.
I never really forget how beautiful an island it is but my love for the island is deepened when I am on its soil drinking in the flora and fauna and the beautiful clear light. No wonder Renoir came here to paint and Victor Hugo chose this as his place of exile for many years.

I visited my new born great nephew, attended the local Eisteddford with the added bonus of seeing one of the great nieces be part of the performing group that came 1st! I walked on the cliff paths through Bluebell Wood down to one of Guernseys beautiful beaches called Fermain Bay where there is a great restaurant I want to go back and try. The views from the cliff tops in this part of the island are stunning. One can see the sister islands of the Baliwick. To own one of the properties on this cliff elevation with the magnificent views to the islands, I can only dream of affording. I won't give up hope however!

This picture is of Castle Cornet in St Peter Port with the island of Sark in the background. The Castle was build in the 1200s by the Enlgish Crown after King John lost Normandy and then it was taken by the French in 1338 then later occupied by the Germans in 1940.

My sis and myself enjoyed a sundrenched refreshment whilst having the opportunity to feast our eyes on this view complete with water skiers and reaffirming how privileged we are to have this as our birth home. Am I biased? Yes, of course, and with every justifiable reason!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Lorient U Boat Stations

I took Papa to see the U Boat stations at Lorient ' Base de Sous Marines'.
He lived through the 2nd World War but never had reason to seen these buildings thankfully.

Whilst there we witnessed a team of men rebuilding a U Boat. Not sure why. There is one in dry dock and it really makes one think about those who were on board and the life and times of those years.

I met a sub mariner whilst I lived in Brazil. A very jolly fellow. I think indeed that those that had such a life would indeed have to maintain a sense of humour. A claustrophic existence.

I will stick with travel that takes me above or on the sea rather than under. I will be travelling on Friday with my father on a ferry to Guernsey. Hardly the height of luxury but I find it relaxing. I have been on a cruise ship but only one used for school trips many years ago. The SS Uganda that ended up being used in the Gulf War. Maybe one day I may go again on an up to date floating palace but in the mean time I salut those that are brave enough to be stuck leagues under the sea.


My sister in law has just spent a colourful holiday in India

I am in the process of completing an Indian Head Massage course

An ex work colleague and friend is taking part in a gruelling crossing of the Indian Ocean in a rowing boat!

Take a look at his task ahead for charity. Rather him than me. My gosh, what a challenge ahead they have but all in a very good cause.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Pretty as a picture!

I took this picture during the first week of February whilst in the Minervois. What a glorious and cheery sight this tree was.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Papa and sis are here

I have been very excited as my father and sister arrived this weekend from my birth home of gorgeous Guernsey. The day they came was my Dads 85th Birthday. I cheated and bought him a brioche creamy raspberry creation and not much was left. He has a sweet tooth! I am so pleased he can now see where we are and where we will be living! However the weather did not hold in our favour the day they arrived and luckily the pansies I planted the previous day at the hamlet helped cheer up their first viewing of the place.

My father used to go to school in France at Fougeres. I am looking forward to showing him this area and drawing on his knowledge of what bird is singing and what plant is growing and where best to put the veggie plot. I wonder what he will make of the UBoat Station at Lorient? Perhaps will be a bit haunting. He was evacuated to the UK from Guernsey during the 2nd World War. Lots of stories to tell. He was based at an army camp with Hughie Green for those who remember who he was!

He loves nature and animals so my cats are getting more spoilt with love than usual. The Ginger one slept with him on his bed the first night. She deserted us!

I have had the extended pleasure of my sisters company. She was returning the next day on Aurigny Airlines ( or known locally as Joey ) a little 14 seater prop plane that serves inter island of the Baliwick but flyes Dinard to Guernsey. Long story but we saw it taking off without her on it. It left 20 mins early as sis was not at check in by about 2 mins delay so they let the plane go. Grrrrrrr. Anyway we spent Saturday night together. Lucky for me. Not ideal for her as she had places to be but c'est la vie though I still think that the plane should not have left 20 mins before schedule. Mind you that is what makes this successful and safe island airline service initmate and not like production line of travellers.
I am off back up to Dinard again today. This will be the third round trip in as many days to that area of France. I will be doing it again on Friday as am going back with Dad to 'Sarnia Cherie' Gem of the Sea as it is affectionately known. In the mean time I must work out a schedule for Papa and pray the weather picks up!

Sunday, 1 March 2009


I love Vannes. It is sooo pretty and charming and the fortification is just fabulous. Timber framed houses, a port, interesting architecture, winding alleys with chic boutiques. So much character. I think it is my favourite town in the immediate radius.
Founded over 2,000 years ago at the inland edge of the Gulf of Morbihan, the growth of Vannes was based on its harbour.

The Romans provided the basis for the medieval fortified town. Towards the end of the 14th century the town became one of the favourite residences of the Dukes of Brittany. I am not surprised. The battlements were extended towards the port, doubling the area within the town walls. They are most impressive.
Within the town walls many timber-frame houses can be found in the narrow streets and I just love looking at them and imagining life in the 'old' days. They surround the Cathedral, which was rebuilt from the 15th century onwards. This is a very impressive Cathedral with many many confession boxes! This “wooden town” is also complemented by a “stone town” dating from the classical period.

If you get a chance go! Have lunch at one of the cafes near the portal gate to the old town whilst listening to the yachts masts tinkle from the gentle movement of the water.

Fishing on the Blavet

There are many pursuits to partake of on the Blavet River which can be accessed from the Hameau within 2 minutes walk. They include ..kayaking, cycling or walking along the tow path and fishing or sitting having a picnic sipping Breton cider. Yep am sure that is a pursuit!
My husband is quaking with excitement at the thought of getting the fishing gear out (still covered in mud from when we had a flood in our previous home to 2. 5 metres!) and cast his line. When he has time of course.!

The Blavet provides excellent fishing we are told by the locals. The Blavet is famous for its trout, salmon, zander, pike, perch, carp, bream and tench. Well that is as maybe and I can see the appeal of sitting quietly for hours on end away from the renovations but not the appeal of eating any of these.

I don't like much fish which is most unfortunate as there are a wonderful array to choose from fresh water and salt water and fabulous shell fish. If he gets a salmon I will eat it but don't even think of asking me to look the whole thing in its beady eye before prepping it. YUK!!! Present it to me head and tailess and I may just cook his catch!

Flora and Fauna

The brambles have got the better of me!

I have given my muscles and patience a repose and I have decided to take a friend up on his offer of going in with his JCB and getting the from the roots instead. It does not matter that the chicken area will be messed up, the chickens won't know if it is all pretty or not and am sure will appreciate some nice soil to mosey around on

I am keeping my focus on getting the chickens and my friend here took me to view some of these birds located at the home of one of her friends. They are very relaxing and amusing and so many people seem to keep them. They are also a practical asset. I will be baking like mad and eating alot of omelettes!

I am also looking forward to seeing the hydrangea I uncovered from the dreaded brambles which is in bud and I am told will be blue - hopefully like the one in this picture! The land is looking a bit sad and of course after yearning for all this outside space I want it to be lovely toute suite but I must wait and just take solace in what will be and try not to think of the JCB digging up the other parts of land that are necessary for future development of the renovations! Eeek!