I mentioned in last week’s blog that we had been enjoying the company of family visitors for the previous couple of weeks and that continued last week with David’s parents staying with us. As such, it has been a mix of social and productive with some fabulous meals enjoyed at home and in some of the many excellent restaurants around.
The early part of the week was fairly productive as Dave is at work for longer periods Monday to Wednesday his parents were happy to explore the region independently. On Monday I went into Brest with an electrician friend who is doing the wiring in Grange, with yours truly as his ‘able’ assistant again, to collect most of the material that we need to start the electrical work.
Having picked up the material and agreed to start ‘first fix’ wiring on the Tuesday, most of Monday afternoon was tidying up the first floor of Grange and making sure that it was clear to start the work the following morning when our sparky friend returned.
Over the next couple of days we threaded over 250 metres of cable throughout the building hopefully making sure that we covered all areas where we want sockets, lights and switches. As we also want to use what will be the games room as a private cinema for families to have film nights when they are staying with us, we also threaded conduit throughout the games room area where I will thread speaker cable for a full surround sound experience!
We received our first delivery of material to complete the fitting out of the first floor rooms as well on Tuesday which was everything except the lambris (pine cladding). It will at least mean that I can start fitting the insulation in the coming weeks when it is wet and cold but sadly we can’t complete the electrical work until the lambris arrives in early November.
On Thursday, David and I worked but not on our own place. We have some good friends in a neighbouring village who needed some ‘muscle’ to help lift large wooden beams into the roof space of a building and, on the offer of lunch as payment, we when offered our services. There will be lots of opportunity when we will ask for similar favours!
With David’s parents we have had another social and cultural week. David took them to the Picasso exhibition on Monday making it his second trip in as many weeks, and we all had a couple of days out at the end of the week as we have been enjoying fantastically warm and bright weather.
On Friday we went to Quimper, a city that we really enjoy but one that David’s parents hadn’t visited for many years. About 45 minutes from us, Quimper is the prefecture for departement of Finistère and so the main of the area with very historic origins. The centre of the city is mainly pedestrianised with some fabulous old buildings and lots of interesting things to do and see including, a little out of the city centre, a visit to the cidrerie and distillery of Manoir Kinkiz – our favourite Breton cider.
Kinkiz make various ciders, including one that we give to guests as part of their welcome baskets, and a number of other apple based drinks including the only 2 AOC drinks of Brittany – pommeau and lambig (apple brandy, Brittany’s calvados). We had a tour of their cider museum and their distillery before a tasting session. All highly recommended.
On Saturday we visited Pont-Aven again to the south of us, and strolled around the fabulously pretty riverside town which has been a magnet for international artists for many years such that it had its own ‘school’ in the late 19th century of which Paul Gauguin was the most well known. Our walk allowed us to work up an appetite for a great lunch and our culture continued with a visit to the Musée de Pont-Aven which houses a number of Pont-Aven school artists in its permanent collection.
Today was a quick trip to the fantastic market at Daoulas, one of the best we have found near us, for David’s Dad to stock up on some of his favourite Breton specialities including the fabulous smoked trout that David uses for his very popular tian.
As the weather has been so good for the last few days I have even been able to cut the lawns this afternoon as they have not yet stopped growing. Of course, all this wonderful heat is associated with ex-hurricane Ophelia currently barrelling northwards in the Atlantic and due to pass to the west of us overnight tonight. Strong winds expected – we hope nothing too damaging but it looks like south west Ireland will have a miserable time tomorrow. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
David’s parents are with us until Tuesday and then it is back to work properly after our family visits – will be quite a shock to the system!