By / 25th August, 2019 / Ben and Dave's Blog / 2 Comments

I ended last week’s blog saying that there were no excuses for not clearing out the garage bays and starting to fill our serre – although I may be able to find some.  Well, here they are …!!

Last week was the last when we had some very good friends staying with us so we wanted to spend time with them.  It was also, unlike the preceding week, another of amazing summer weather so I was able to spend some time outside.

The week was predominantly a number of smaller jobs including plumbing in another water butt; cutting lots of kindling; progressing the hedge cutting that had stalled while it was wet; lawn mowing as the grass has gone wild after last week’s rain; and progressing my wood store on our terrace (photos next week) – but not a lot of serre filling or garage bay clearing!

We even took a day off on Friday to spend with our friends on the beach at Carantec.  Amazingly, and disappointingly from our perspective, despite the amazing weather we have been enjoying this year, it was the first day we had spent at the beach this year.

Carantec is a fun little town which has an excellent beach and great restaurants on the seafront including a favourite of ours which does great Moules Frites and burgers.

While I may not have been the most active this week, other people have.  2019 has seen the running of the Paris–Brest–Paris cycling event which happens every 4 years and passes through the centre of Sizun.

The idea of the event is for participants to cycle the 1,216 kilometre course, unsupported, within a certain time limit.  The time available, dependent on which event within the event is entered, is either 80, 84 or 90 hours.  At its quickest this means cycling an average of 15.2 kmph non-stop for 3½ days!

There are approximately 6000 riders participating in the event, all of whom ride through Sizun town centre en-route to Brest – and then again a day later heading back to Paris.  Being unsupported I suspect the bar and boulangerie should do well from the riders – if not the spectators who travel miles to watch.  Some of our guests bumped into Australians who had travelled here specifically to watch.

David has had a mixed week.  Sadly it started with the bad news that New York Gym, where David taught his group exercise classes, is closing down at the start of September.  David’s classes were very popular at the gym, he enjoyed giving them as much as his participants enjoyed attending and he has met some good friends through them.  He was very fortunate to have found the gym to use his fitness qualifications that was flexible enough to work around the gîtes but all good things …

One of the girls who attended his classes is helping him put together a French CV which he will send off to other gyms to see if he can get anything else.  Unfortunately the timing is not great as French gyms, as many other businesses, focus on getting themselves staffed and ready for now – the end of holidays back-to-work / school time.

The end of the week was better as David celebrated his birthday when our friends were here.  They were kind enough to give him a birthday lunch in Carantec and he and I had a birthday dinner at Au Lac last night which has become a tradition for us.

Our guests left us yesterday morning so next week there is genuinely no excuse for not making more progress than we have done in the last few weeks – including the garage bays …



  • Judith August 31, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I just spent the most enjoyable hour reading your blog posts and marveling at how hard you two work and what you are able to accomplish! The yards and hedges look fabulous, the luggage rack is indeed a great addition to Hayloft (although ours fit nicely under the bed), and the interior of Stable is absolutely gorgeous! Thankfully, you received the much needed rain, and, thankfully, you’ve been able to get out and play a bit! Your Blog makes us homesick for St. Cadou and the Finistère. We’ve just booked our flight to Europe for next March through mid May. If you are anywhere near the Dordogne/Lot region let us know!


    • Ben Dickins September 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Judith,
      Thanks for your message – we’re sorry (a bit) to make you homesick for St. Cadou but we’re delighted that you are keeping up with our blogs. Actually it feels like the last few weeks haven’t been as productive as perhaps they should – we have been enjoying the company of some good friends and may have tipped the work / play balance too far!
      We hope to see you again during one of your European trips and will certainly let you know if we’re likely to be near the Dordogne next spring.
      Best wishes. Ben and David


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