When I wrote last week’s blog we hadn’t seen the extent of the damage caused in the north west of England and especially areas of Cumbria and Glenridding in the Lake District. This is a town that David and I know well from our annual trips there with David’s Dad and friends and it is a rare trip to the Lakes when we don’t stop in Glenridding or Patterdale as we did last September. Our thoughts are with the people of the town, and all who have been affected by the recent extreme weather.
This week has been another gentle week for me as I continue to ensure a full recovery of my back and has, where possible, been spent completing the work we started in the garden. I am pleased to say, I have managed to clear the area of the boundary I have been working on including a pile of branches that we cut way back in February and have been lying on the lawn since preventing us mowing that area. It is always satisfying to clear something that has been outstanding for some time and we can now really see things progress and get an idea of what we want to achieve.
Another project that we have been planning as early as we can, is to build a garage at Kergudon to allow guests secure covered parking and also to replace the kid’s games room that is now David’s fitness suite. We managed to get the ball rolling with this, at least start to see if it would be possible, this week and spoke with our local architect who will liaise with the planning authorities for us, cost the work and draft some plans. Being within the natural parc of the Monts D’Arrée there are some limitations on what we can build where and our architect is going to assist us to see if what we want is likely to be approved – then we can assess if we can afford it!
Speaking of David’s fitness suite, I promised some pictures in last week’s blog, and here they are.
We have also made a promise to ourselves that, during the winter and off season, we would try new restaurants and bars in the area so we can extend the list we recommend to our future guests with some personal experience. This was helped on Wednesday evening when we were invited by our friends to dinner and a wine tasting event in a bar in Brasparts – Le Feel Good.
The wine tasting was a lot of fun, all Saint Émilion Grand Cru from one chateau but different years and dinner was an amazing pizza. The bar is a popular destination for the locals and has a good menu, principally pizza and crepe, and definitely one we will be able to recommend to guests. The owner is a real wine connoisseur, hence the wine tasting, but has also recently established a cave at the back of the bar which looks to have an excellent range of interesting wines, spirits and digestifs.
Mouse took a great interest in some of the gardening we were doing this week, especially as behind the old chicken shed it disturbed a couple of her name sakes! For a short period we could have filmed an extra episode of the BBC series ‘The Hunt’ as Mouse honed the skills we keep her for. As in the BBC series it does seem that hunts are unsuccessful more often than not and when you watch the cat tease and ‘play’ with the mouse, and, bizarrely, the mouse stop being played with to wash itself(!) it is no surprise that they manage to get away!
This week we have also received the December edition of the commune’s regular circular which importantly contains dates for the diary in the first half of 2016 for village events including the regular Fest Noz parties. You may have read in my blog of the times David and I have attended these evenings, or the review of one of our recent guests who joined us at the most recent, and see they are a lot of fun and definitely to be experienced.
A Fest Noz is a village party and the Saint Cadou parties appear to be the best attended of the local Fest Noz as they attract people from all of the surrounding villages. There is always music and dancing, Breton naturally, local drinks and are generally focussed around another activity or cause. We have attended a soup contest; a Tantad (a huge bonfire) for the Fete du Saint Jean and a fund raising Fest Noz for the local hangar project.
For those who want to experience Breton culture at its best and attend one of these unforgettable events, there is no better way than to plan your holiday at Kergudon around one of these events in 2016. Those dates, with other activities that may be of interest, are:
12 March Soup competition
28 March Annual Market on the Lake by the Drennec barrage
24 April Ramble in the Monts d’Arrée
09 May Motoring Festival
20 May Spring Concert and Fest Noz
04 June Moules Frites and Dance
25 June Tantad and Fest Noz
Next week’s activities will be preparing the house and Priory for Christmas and the arrival of our Christmas guests on Saturday. We have removed the old pôele (wood burner) from Priory today to install the new one early next week and of course, the all important decorations.