Monday, 15 June 2009


I had to cancel the carpenter last week, the weather was so awful. He sets up his workbench outside on my front terrace, so unless it is fine, it just can't be done. Now he can't come before mid July...

I've been in sandwich mode the last few days, warmer weather I suppose, not hungry for much more. So on Saturday I took a Picard Surgelés baguette out of the freezer, and while it was cooking I mashed up an avocado with tabasco, salt and pepper, and fried up some streaky bacon. When the baguette had cooled a bit, I spread the avocado, slapped the bacon on top, and it was simply delicious. Yesterday, Sunday, I did some organic chutes (how do you say that in English? bits and pieces, ends of slices, I don't know...) of smoked salmon with a large handful of watercress blended with a little butter, and shishimi togarashi (japanese 7 spice pepper). Delicious again, except that I overcooked the baguette and the crust was so... crusty that it took the skin off and even made a fair sized hole in my palate. So today it's slops for me, while it heals! But classy slops! I just had a large bowl of chicken and noodle soup with fresh shiitake mushrooms and ciboulette from the garden.
Here are the pottery photos I took last week.

A little soliflore in the shape of a pomegranate, of which I'm quite proud, hence the three photos!

A sort of touareg woman sculpture, which I don't quite know what to do with. In fact the number of bits and pieces of pottery I don't quite know what to do with is mounting up!

A flower pot or two

and a beach sculpture that is not quite this colour, but for some reason my camera just won't get it right, which is going to be a kitchen clock. The mechanism, hands and battery, are in a desk drawer that is blocked by the pile of wood the carpenter left, so putting it together will have to wait until July.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


That is, it's been over a month since I posted anything on my blog? Is it laziness? Nothing left in my time budget? I tell you, mostly it's because the photos I want to show are still in my camera, and it's such a business getting them into my machine and publishing them.

I have a new computer, a small Toshiba laptop, which Yves kindly bought for me... thank you Yves! I love it, it's light and aesthetic and works brilliantly well, and quickly and all that. But I don't much care for Windows Vista, and can't find anything I've downloaded, such as photos for instance. Well, I can find them but it takes ages to sort them into folders. Maybe I just haven't found the button.

So. What have I been doing since 11 April? I had the carpenter in to do the plinths and the strip of wood which holds up the ceiling in my bedroom (I mean really holds the ceiling up, when I removed the old one prior to papering, the ceiling nearly fell on my head). And he found some terrific looking cheapish wood to do it with. Sort of rough and vaguely painted white, really nice beach-looking stuff. So I decided on the spur of the moment to redo the hallway with it too, since the red wood that's there at the moment is starting to look a bit shaky and the hall is very dark. So while I was redoing the hall, I thought I'd change the door to the garden, which is not see through and also makes the hall very dark, so I ordered a window door... etc., etc., all of which I can't afford. But it'll look really good when it's finished. So anyway, the carpenter started off in April by redoing the loo (WC, toilet, john) which is off the hall and which was a different colour again, and it looks fantastic in this white wood. He's coming back on Tuesday to put in the door and do the rest of the hall.

Then I had my little brother Steve to stay, the first time he's managed to find time since I moved in a year and a half ago. I'm very partial to my brother Steve, well, to both my brothers, of whom I don't see enough, and was delighted to show him my house and Quimper and have dinner at Ste Marine (which is the fate of every one who comes to see me, wonderful place Le Café du Port right on the harbour). He was only here two days, so we didn't do much, and it pissed with rain all the time. That's what one forgets about Brittany. We have just had a week's heatwave, but really a heatwave, far too hot, temperatures between 28°C and 30°C. But now the weather has changed and it's chucking it down and it's freezing cold again. Sometimes I think it's wetter here than in Bangladesh... but then again sometimes the rest of France is under clouds and we have sun, so it's not all bad.

Then beginning of May I had a visit from my daughter Cécile over from the States with her son Marius. That was fantastic, they stayed over a week, and the weather was not too bad, and I really got to talk to Cécile who is expecting another baby end September, and to interact with Marius, two and three quarters, who is a little terror, but has his good sides: he'll eat anything, escargots and choucroute, and seafood, crevettes grises heads and all, wonderful to see him eat. And he goes to bed with no problem in the evening. Read him a story, give him a few books, and he goes to sleep with a book on his nose like a little old man! So that was really good fun. Last time Cécile was pregnant, I didn't get to see her at all. Lots of photos, but not the same as seeing your daughter with a swelling tummy. Very moving really. We had some good meals (one at Ste Marine of course), and walks on the beach, and trips into town to the manège and to eat ice cream. The photo above is Marius reading to Oslo, and below at the Jardins d'Acclimatation, with Papé Jack, meeting his first barbe à papa (candyfloss).

Then I had a visit from my old friend Patti with whom I was at college in London a couple of centuries ago. Hadn't seen her for a few years so we caught up, chatted a lot, and went for a meal at Ste Marine (I have a special table there now! no only joking). Only a couple of days, but good fun.

That's all on the visit front. Then I have brought loads of stuff back from my pottery class. I'll put pictures in a following post (yes, they are still in my camera). And did a day's course at the calligraphy workshop near me. I'm useless at calligraphy but it does allow one to do some interesting things. The theme was Planches Botaniques, so I feigned practising writing in the morning, then in the afternoon went wild with watercolours to do my planche botanique of oriental red poppies, and just added a couple of words to justify the calligraphy bit! I'm very proud of the result.

I've been knitting, started about 15 different project as is my wont. I'll do a separate post on that subject too.

Gardening, my terraces are looking terrific, but they did need a lot of watering in that heatwave. My bamboo are in very large black pots which soak up the heat and dry out fast.

My hair is growing, I can put it up in a twist with no difficulty and it's getting easier and easier to manage. I'm regretting less the 18 months of hell to get to this stage.

Yves came up this week for a couple of days. During the hot weather, bliss, we could eat outside on the terrace and went (of course, you've guessed) to dinner at Ste Marine. They do wonderful seafood and one never tires of it. We came back after dinner, fetched the dog (too hot to leave her in the car, even in the evening), went down to the beach and walked for half an hour (22H15 to 22h45, all that in daylight. It's quite fantastic how late it gets dark here at the very Western end of Europe.

That's it, that's what I've been doing since 11 April! I'll try not to leave it as long next time.