Tuesday, 31 August 2010


I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and was waiting for photos of menhirs and stuff, but I can't get hold of them so I'm publishing this very late, without changing anything.

The weather still isn't really summery, we have the occasional few hours of sunshine, but mostly it's a bit grey and cold. Yves was here for a week and we got out quite a lot considering. We took a picnic to the estuary of the Aulne at a place called Le Passage, near Trégarvan;  it was beautiful and very quiet.

We also went back to the Montagne St Michel to get another shot at the chapel, the scenery around there is so complex, so many greens.

Last Tuesday, we went for a walk with Ellie around the Anse St Laurent, near Concarneau, she loves that walk through the forest with all its smells, and I love it because you follow the sea most of the way. I took some good photos of mosses.

We also went to three exhibitions of paintings, there are lots around here at the moment. One was at Bénodet, of paintings by official Peintres de la Marine. Some were absolutely wonderful. And we went to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Quimper to see Meijer de Haan, a contemporary of Gauguin, who lived around here with him for a while. That was very good too. And on Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Manoir du Moustoir, about ten minutes from here, where there was an exhibition of Mathurin Méheut, and a contemporary painter called Bonnot, and a few others, wonderful stuff, all so different.

de Haan

We ate out several times, once by the sea at Kerity, Chez Emma (Le Doris), no surprises there, all good fresh fish and friendly service, and at Ty Coz on the northern edge of Quimper, which I had wanted to try for ages. Nice place, quiet, tables well spaced apart, a fairly short menu but good food. I had a feuilletée de petits gris and mushrooms with garlic butter and Yves had smoked trout with a millefeuille of tapenade and frothy pea mixture, then porcelet confit dans son jus pendant 7 heures, which was simply wonderful, with lots of veg for a change, and pièce de boeuf which was also declared very good.  And then profiteroles and crème brûlée. Menu at 29€. There were much more complicated menus. The drink was very expensive though. Apéritif was exorbitant, but we had a good Chinon.  The only fault to be found was that the carafe of tap water was strongly javelisé, they should invest in filter jugs!

We also went out hunting for prehistoric burial chambers, unsuccessfully at first, but later, having parked the car roughly where the plan said we should find one, we walked for ages along an ancient sunken track, and eventually, having asked an elderly local lady for directions, found it in a field of wheat. There are so many around Brittany, that the farmers don't pay them much notice, and often they are covered in brambles and surrounded with crops. Only the more important ones, or those standing in places that cannot be cultivated, are kept clear of vegetation.

I've done a teeny bit of work on the bathroom, painted the ceiling, one coat at least, before I ran out of paint and had to go up to Audierne today to get more. Looks good though, pale shell pink instead of that awful varnished wood colour.

I've finished another painting,  of a hypothetical bit of the Finistère coast in winter at low tide, with a lighthouse and a village right in the distance, seen through pine branches. It all sounds complicated, and it is, far too complicated. I'm not happy with the layout or the subject matter. But it's all in a good cause, and  each time I learn something.

I picked a large bunch of wild flowers, with a bit of russet fern and some reddened dock leaves, on my way back from Audierne this afternoon, when I stopped to walk Ellie a bit. I'm going to try and still life it tomorrow. I put them in the silver christening mug I brought back from Compton last time I went.

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