Sunday, 15 September 2013

The wanderer returns

Except anyone who knows me could guess that I haven't exactly been wandering, I've been lounging around in my favourite bit of Brittany for the summer hols. Here's a taster:

Best Brittany Weather Ever.  That's official. We've been going there for 9 years, and this year we only had one rainy day. We swam in the sea nearly every day, including at our favourite secret beach.

We walked with the Whippet over sand dunes

Even the roadsides are pretty

Much as we love "our" little bit of Breton coast, we would really quite like to live on the little island of Molene

which only has seven cars and is small enough to walk across in half an hour

Back on dry land (ish) a little bit of local culture: the goemonier (seaweed harvesting) festival

including "embarrassing" photos of seaweed in baskets (Girl finds it deeply embarrassing that her mother takes photos of seaweed)

like this stuff, draped over the oyster beds revealed at very low tides (she also finds it deeply embarrassing that I take photos of oyster beds)

and rusting posts and bits of net

and street art - in this case a whole wall covered in painted bottles - by local school children

and it is of course hugely shameful that I should lean out of the car window to take pictures of roundabouts. (The cycling road championships were held in the nearest town, so there was a definite bicycle theme around).  I found this sphere very inspiring...

Our home from home.  Actually, we all prefer it to our "real" home and wish we could stay all year.  Except of course I think the autumn and winter and spring in a tent in Brittany would be a bit nippy and damp.  After all, it can be a bit nippy and damp in the summer too.... 

But three weeks later, bronzed and windswept and sandy, inevitably we have to pack it all away.  One of my favourite tasks is fitting things inside things inside things, which is the only way we can get everything there in the first place and the only way we can bring it all back again, with added sardines and buckwheat crepe flour and shells.  And every year we marvel that even though our tent is big enough to drive the car into, the tent itself fits into the car.  Well, sort of.  Bits of it have to go on the roof.   

This year I experimented with bringing home some of my seaweeds.  I dried it all out in the sunshine, wrapped it carefully, and the idea is that I can reconstitute it and draw and paint it at my leisure, on a real table, instead of trying to draw and paint it in a high wind on a plastic picnic table.  Well, that's the plan.  The plastic bundle is currently sitting on the back doorstep awaiting its fate...

So home again home again, but back to a real kitchen and luxuries like an oven and a fridge, and dinner with friends who brought flowers to remind of us France

and seasonal sweetcorn scone making (Girl is living off them at the moment) and endless blackberries and scrumped apples

and a chance to show off the Whippet at the Long Dog show (he came fourth; he would rather just lounge about on a picnic rug with Mum than strut his stuff in the ring)

and of course the inevitable planning and preparation for a busy term of teaching.  I sort of enjoy the decluttering and sorting out that I always do when I return from holiday.  Three weeks in a tent does teach you what you do and don't need.  

And then finally today I actually got some time to myself to get creative.  Here are some cling-filmed knitting needles awaiting their fate in their silver-foiled block of oasis...Carole, if you're reading this, you can guess what happens next.  For everyone else, you'll have to wait until next time!  That'll do for now.  


  1. I love Brittany, we spent many summers there, in various different parts, several years ago now when I had young step children. It looks as though you had a wonderful time and I'm glad you managed to embarrass your daughter taking photos! Have a good term, am looking forward to what happens to the knitting needles!

  2. The knitting needles will have to wait for me - I didn't put them in the suitcase for Oz although of course I did bring some sewing! I've done my fair share of embarrassing photos in the past but so far mostly doting grandparent photos this year :-) See you soon.

  3. Fab post! Can see your daughter squirming! You must be so uncool!!

  4. Much as your holiday sounds delightful the thought of three weeks in a tent makes me shudder!


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