Like the UK, the position of the Atlantic jet stream has had a significant impact on our weather this summer. While we may not exactly be enjoying an ‘Indian Summer’ now, after a disappointing August, September is thus far turning out to be a rather better month weather-wise which has allowed us to get out and about a little with the dog as well as complete a few jobs in the garden.
Early in the week we took Garratt out into the Monts D’Arree for one of his walks and climbed up to the Chapelle de Saint-Michel on one of the highest points of the region overlooking the Reservoir de Saint Michel. It is good that we are able to take Garratt for more, and slightly longer, walks as he gets a little older although we still limit his exercise as he continues to grow.
Garratt has found that, like most Springers, he enjoys playing in water. On one of our local walks from the house we arrive at the Elorn river which feeds Lac du Drennec before passing out through the barrage. There is a lovely little bridge that looks as though it has been there for centuries – it probably has – and there is an easy access point to the river where Garratt enjoyed his first dip.
We also took him for his first experience in a city when we visited Brest. We needed to make our (hopefully) last major purchase from Maisons du Monde as we have always wanted to replace the wardrobe which was in Stable for something a little smaller and more in keeping with our new furniture. However, as our closest large city we also wanted to explore a little and see if it is worth a trip. I don’t think we had any major expectations as we knew that, like Plymouth, it had been heavily bombed in the war and not redeveloped very attractively in the centre.
However, we were pleasantly surprised to find a part of the city centre, overlooking the old fortress and boat pontoons, which was attractive to walk round and enjoy lunch. We walked through the formal gardens past the Naval museum and American memorial, watched a French destroyer sail into the naval base (very slowly) and enjoyed it – to the point we will go back and explore some more – may even visit the museum!
At home, I finally managed to clear through the large pile of debris which had accumulated outside my man-shed. In the rush we tended to find ourselves finishing most of the gîtes, all of the accumulated detritus tended to end up dumped in a large pile. I had started to weed through this over the last few weeks and taken most of it to the dump leaving only wood for chopping for firewood. With the amount of old lambris we had ripped out and furniture we had broken up I now have sufficient kindling for the winter – and probably the next 3 – and we don’t look out of the kitchen onto Steptoe’s Yard! In fact, as I mentioned in my blog last week, we have now taken delivery of Philippe’s Sheelin boat which can be hired for use on Lac du Drennec for fishing so we have a much better outlook in the yard.
I made a start giving the hedges their third, and final for this year, shave and am really pleased that they have bushed out so much in one season they are starting to resemble proper hedges which you can’t see straight through at the bottom. Sadly, I didn’t completely finish and that task rolls over to this week.
On Saturday we went to Commana with one of our neighbours to visit the annual Foire à l’ancienne. Originating in the old Horse Fairs where livestock was bought and sold the event has become more of a large annual market and party but there are still some horses, goats, rabbits and any variety of poultry for sale. It is our intention to have some chickens and other animals in the future so was an interesting place to visit and make some contacts.
As for the business, we had some lovely guests from Ipswich stay with us last week with their own West Highland Terrier, Bonnie. Bonnie, as Rory who stayed with us earlier in the year, enjoyed playing with Garratt – when he wasn’t being too boisterous. Our guests took advantage of Dave’s catering options frequently when they were with us. Having pre-ordered a 3 course supper and breakfast for the day they arrived and first morning, they evidently enjoyed them so much they had 2 other suppers and another breakfast when they were here and left some very kind comments on their departure. Not normally one to blow our own trumpet, on this occasion I will blow David’s (no sniggering at the back!) The feedback comments for David’s meals were, “The food was exceptional delicious, plentiful … We looked forward to every meal with relish and were not disappointed. David is a fantastic cook!” and, “Excellent value for money, meals compared favourably with eating out, but were so much better than many restaurants and so convenient”. We are both really pleased to get this feedback but, while I am biased, I agree that David is an exceptional cook.
This week, weather permitting, we will continue with more outside tasks as we continue to plan out the gardens although, according to the met offices, the jet stream appears to have resumed its previous inconvenient path so we are expecting showers verging on downpours!
Sadly, despite promising last week, no room to cover another excellent out of season opportunity to visit Kergudon, I will do so next week.