Saturday, 30 August 2008

Busy Week !

I've just realised that it's a week since I last posted - where does the time go !!

It's been quite a strange week really, most of it filled by follow up appointments after my surgery (all OK) and general appointments trying to sort out the 'chest' ! Then there's been a scrabble to try get the house into some sort of order before going off to Paris on Thursday. DH has done his best (bless!!) whilst I've been ill, but there are just somethings us gals do better !! Friday - well that was recovery from Paris day and a chance for the feet to stop aching :-) and yesterday has to have been the hottest day we've had all summer so not a lot was done !! Temperatures were as high as 40 in our garden , which admittedly is a little sun trap at the best of times, but it was still 27 when we went up to check Megan at 9 pm!! Today - well that's a different story as the grey oppresive skies are back and it is so clammy that it feels as though there is no air to breathe!

Before I post about Paris, I think I'd better finish with Ile de Brehat, so a brief explanation before I leave you to the photos.

Brehat is actually 2 islands joined by quite a small bridge, in fact when we went looking for the bridge we 'd crossed it before realising what it was (!) and at high tide the islands become seperated. It has a population of around 420 most of whom live on the south island which is less exposed to the elements. A very popular tourist attraction, it lies just 1 mile off the French coast and is a prime example of the 'Pink Granite Coast' as that part of Brittany is known. Being fed by the Gulf Stream produces a very mild micro climate which is reflected by the plants on the island. There are only only 4 cars so I understand , the Gendarmes, Doctor, Fire Brigade and I think the Mayor being the proud owners,so other than a couple of tractors, the only way to move about the place is on foot or to cycle !!

So to the photos !

If some of the photos look a bit fuzzy or not quite upright (!), it is because they were taken ( with difficulty ) from the boat .Now just to finish off some of the flowers & plants !

One day soon I will get around to showing some quilting :-) , and before I tell you about Paris, I really need to find out how to use Picasa or Flickr , they've got to be quicker to upload !!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Trip Around an Island

My day out treat this week was a bit of a change of direction ! Instead of the canal, we decided to head for the open sea and a day on l'Ile de Brehat which is situated 1 mile off the north coast of Brittany and just under 2 hours drive away from home.

It wouldn't normal take that long but ...... the sun was shining , a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK causing an influx of visitors, as well as the last week of the main summer holidays in Europe, it shouldn't have been such a a big suprise that once we hit the coast road we became part of one BIG traffic jam !! This is what happens when you break your own rule of keeping away from tourist hot spots on August weekends , and in spite of being tempted to turn around and head home (!), we did stick at it and eventually arrived at the ferry crossing.

The original idea was to cross to the Island and do some walking , but because of the age that it took to get there, the weather had sort of deteriorated and we were faced by this

Oooops !! Not nice!! Plan B anyone !!Luckily the ferry operators were running 'Trip around the Island' option as well as the standard crossing, so it seemed only sensible to spend the next 45 minutes under cover even if it was at sea!! It actually turned into a very pleasant experience and though it was a little gloomy and the water was just a tad choppy, the rain held off and we did stay on deck and and I took a few blurry (!!) photos - not an easy thing to do ,as I discovered there is no way you can stop the boat from moving !! So my apologies in advance for the quality of some of the pics!!
Grey seas & skies

followed by better weather
Ship(s) Ahoy !

Look out for rocks!!

After a very leisurely trip, it was back to the small harbour, dry land and lunch overlooking the bay !

This is now starting to turn into a long post (again!!), so I'll take you around the island another time !!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Another Safe Arrival

My Miniature Booty 2 quilt has arrived at its new home in Oregon with Dorothy ,so now all can be revealed !

I wasn't quite sure which of Dot's colour preferences to use and then I came across this pattern for a 1890s Reproduction quilt and decided to go with the 'Patriotic ' scheme ! It did turn out slightly larger than the Group dimensions ( Sorry Toni !!) but it would have been such a shame to try and alter it in my opinion ! Anyway, Dot seems pleased with it and I certainly enjoyed making it ! Thanks again to Toni for all her work in organising the Swap !

As this is a short post , I'll just take a minute to update the 'chest' situation ! After 10 days of the (hated!!) nebuliser, steroids and jabs (my rear end feels like a pincushion at the moment I can tell you !!!) it seems I still have some congestion lurking so more medication and more tests looming up to try and get to the bottom of things ! I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice to say that I am breathing a lot better, managing to walk a bit more and slowly getting back into my normal routine ! I am so glad to be feeling better as we are due to go to Paris for the day on 28th and I would hate to have to cancel that !

My weight - well that went by the board with all the bedrest, lack of exercise etc, but although I've not lost any weight at least I haven't gained either so at least I can start off again weighing a little (!!) less than last time. One thing for certain , off it must come !!!!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

....And Another Abbey !!

Because of the restrictions placed on my normal way of life recently, I am trying to keep occupied without making too much of an effort and this is why we've been running around the countryside a little more than usual and also why I am now blogging about another Abbey !

Abbaye de Bon Repos - Founded in 1184, uninhabited and a virtual ruin, is as different to Timadeac as you can possibly imagine .

It is situated some 3 miles upstream from le Lac de Guerledan on the banks of the River Blavet , to the site of a once Roman bridge, (which gives you some idea of the history in the area) extensive renovation programme has been in place for some 20 years and there is still a great deal more to do as the photos show !

Renovated Cloisters

Original kitchen - fancy cooking lunch here !

Three stories high but not many floorboards left (!)

...just a few new windows and roof timbers!

The remains of the original abbey church are still to be seen, and the proposed renovation of this area alone is formidable !

Like Timadeuc, the atmosphere was peaceful and calm

...... until we came across this !

Son et Lumiere !! A Light & Sound display, usually historically based, and something that is very well done throughout France and well worth seeing if you have the opportunity. There is no language barrier at these shows, so don't worry about not understanding the commentary, the story is so well told through the acting, lighting and sound effects that you'll understand every word !!
The grounds around the Abbey had been staged as a medieval village.

and I am just sorry that we couldn't go back on Saturday night to see the show, but it is down in the diary for next year !!!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Another Fete Day !

Yesterday, as I mentioned, was a National Holiday here in France and as the weather did turn out reasonably fine, off we went with our picnic to Lac de Guerledan .

The largest lake in Brittany, stretching some 7 miles down the Blavet Valley to where a hydro-electric dam has been built across the river, it is also the reason why the Nantes-Brest canal is no longer navigable from end to end !

In an idyllic setting surrounded by the Quenecan Forest, the lake is a very popular spot for tourist and locals alike, and the whole place was filled with people from most of Europe judging by the accents !

Boating and water-skiing are obviously the most popular past times, but there is also some fishing as demonstrated by these 2 little German girls !

Swimming for the 4 and 2 legged varieties !

and even a Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration!

Phew!! After a good walk along the lake and all the other excitement, time for lunch, a few pages of my current novel (The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell - an amazing book !) and a quick snooze for DH, it was off to the second Abbey in 2 days - but I will post later about that!!