Saturday, November 29, 2014

A very good day.

After helping out friends with decorating we both fell victim to the flu, but today we feel fine.

Our newest old car...a Peugeot 307 SW 1.6 HDi 16 v Sport. One young Breton lady owner from new, left-hand drive, tow bar, cruise control, roof bars, panoramic sun roof, turbo and chain belt replaced and a full Peugeot service history. What more can you ask? It has a scuff on the bumper but we're more than happy.

The seller, a charming young professional, lives in a beautiful large house with a turret just east of Rennes. She had maticulously cleaned the car, filled it with premium quality diesel and baked a traditional Breton cake for us and offered drinks. On leaving, she presented us with an expensive bottle of wine. We've never experienced such red carpet treatment before now. On top of all this she had a new MOT carried out and paid for additional work that wasn't really needed. We do not drink alcohol, but thought it uncurteous to refuse such warmth and generosity.

Stopped off at Ikea again for some more bits.  We got home to find we have a bag of daff bulbs which didn't register.

All we need now to complete a really good day is for Sunderland to beat Chelsea (not very likely). 

Off around the corner for a Dave's 65th birthday party.

It's also our sons birthday today back in the UK...he isn't 65, and he ain't our little baby any more. Wish we could be with him all the same.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two journeys.

After our French class on Friday we drove all the way from Vannes to Brest to see a car which was for sale, then to Radenac to see Gary. We didn't buy the car and we didn't see Gary.

Near Brest. Three windsurfers were just preparing to launch. They were in for a treat with conditions nigh on perfect.

Near Radenac at sunset.

On Saturday we drove to Acigne which is the other side of Rennes to see a car for sale, then to Ikea which is located to the west of Rennes.  We bought the car as well as a batch of stuff...more than we should have, from Ikea.  We also dropped in at the Comptoir Des Rue in Ploermel on the way home and picked up four items for three euros.  Why can't everywhere be like the Comptoir Des Rue?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Almost there.

At last! I've finished the top of the wall AND the rendering. Just a little bit of pointing to do before covering it for protection against frost if we ever get any.

Hopefully I'll be able to clear everything away before it rains tomorrow.

Although it wasn't a cold day, we lit two fires in the house at opposite ends while Bev baked some goodies in the kitchen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ready for the cold winds.

Our winter set-up...

We have enough logs to keep the fire going. The patio table is now inside for us to play games and eat without having to go into the breakfast room and I'll be painting indoors where it's warm and  comfy until the spring comes. 
Ah, I've just noticed the rug. I had it made for my studio at Patchings when I was a resident artist there many years ago.

It's still nice to have around even though my web address has changed.

The sideboard is by the front door for now and the guitar is ready to play on those long winter evenings. Sorted!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

End of the week review.

So here we are at the end of a very wet week. Two good points...managing to squeeze in finishing the top coat of the bread oven and watching the final two films of my goal to read three books and watch the films that came out in 2014. Rainy days aren't always dreary.

The colours are surreal when it's about to chuck it down.

After the memorial service we were treated to refreshments from the mayor and a display of memorabilia from the two world wars.

Bev is centre (blue coat) and I'm just behind her.

I've never seen a genuine German flag.

Our local flag.

Guess who used to live here at Bel-Air (born 1st March). The grandfather of our old neighbour Joseph lived next door, so Pierre Le Bidre must have lived in our house as we are the only two houses here.

And this is what happened to him. He was one of qhite a large family and they all survived the war.

I would have loved to have been able to read that diary.

Yesterday we drove over to Mauron for the Anglo-Info exhibition. This is Dave and Sandra from our French class.

Today we stayed on at church for a celebration meal for Gaell-Morgann Calves who has just returned from her mission in USA. She is such a lovely girl and is over the moon to be speaking English so fluently. If after 18 months I can speak French as well as she can speak English, I will be very happy.

As this blog will now be part of my art endeavours, I thought it best to mention something about art, so here it is...I'm seriously thinking about getting stuck into painting again now that I'm being forced indoors. I do wonder if it's where my heart really is when I'm forced to paint, but if truth be told, I have missed it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It rained yesterday...and today.

Monday was rain all day so I took the metal shelves down from the kitchen and replaced them with a solid timber one. I also moved the cutlery drawer from the right of the sink to the right of the cooker and oh, what a difference. Then I moved on to the bathroom and Bev is over the moon. And so ended a tranquil and eventful day. For all you husbands out there, getting on with a few little things around the house does wonders for married bliss.

Dave and Annie made us a lovely meal last night (Tues) along with a trifle dessert to die for, and we had a game of 10's while the fire roared. It ended up a late night as we also watched TV when we got back home. Didn't get up until 8:30 this's nice to have a lie-in from time to time.

The forecast was good so we nipped to Plumelec for the sand to do the rendering.
We had to fix the wheelbarrow first and by the time it was finished, black clouds had gathered.  I decided to go ahead with rendering seeing as the French are generally quite accurate with their forecasts. By the time I'd done a mix the heavens opened with a vengeance and I had no option but to carry on.

Scratch coat finished and protected. I'm so glad I decided to push on and get the job done. Just the top coat to do and it's finished for winter.

There may be holes in the cover but it does a brilliant job.

And there's plenty of room inside.

Ready for another day.

It seems very strange that it's barely teatime and I've showered and in my PJ's already.

We love living in France.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday to Monday

We can go ahead and officially put a roof on the bread oven, but would you believe it, new legislation means we pay 320 euros for permission to go ahead. Now isn't that just dandy?

It'll take a lot more than a day-long downpour to stop me working outside when I really need to. It's brilliant when the dark evenings force you indoors before you get too tired...only to find there is a list of inside jobs to get through.

Today is a much better day and we split and stored a batch of that timber stacked under the trees that Martin gave us.  I wanted to get on with the bread oven but only managed one mix before running out of sand. Although tomorrow is the bank holiday, the building suppliers were closed today as well. 

Last Monday was a rainy day so we took a drive to Ikea. By the time we arrived back home, some of the things we bought didn't survive the journey. We have plates that have been with us for three moves and have survived. I'm wondering if Ikea dishes are made to last.

We had lunch here after our French class for a standard 5 euros each. Bargain!

The view from our French class window above the cinema in Vannes....and there's my teacher.


Our Cruguel French class meal at Chez Marie-Annick in Tredion. Bev was ill in bed just a couple of hours after this photo was taken. Nothing to do with the food I hasten to add.

Shaping the bank in the back garden.

Sundays are as busy as ever but I'm loving being involved at church in the morning and chilling out in the afternoon before FaceTime with the family.

Progressing nicely with our goal of sorting out our personal histories in front of a cosy fire. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Soiree D'Automne

After raiding Yvon's woods for some good sized leaves, we were ready to decorate the hall for the party. I couldn't find my poster paint so I used quick drying oil for the posters.

Benjamin ready for action.

I really enjoyed creating the questions for Les Z'amours, and was thankful for David for asking them (and Sophie for translating them into French).


Simon and Corinne getting stuck in. 

The kids loved this. 

Odelia was obviously quicker than Naomi.

We had a great time and didn't get home till way past our bedtime.