Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End of September

Monday was all mine...

... so I took advantage of doing a bit more on the roof.

Tuesday morning, and yet more progress. If the weather holds I would have finished this afternoon.

But we had to dash off to LeBono to do more decorating. 

It's still there just to the left of the photo.

There isn't a single spot that we haven't touched.

Walls, ceilings, panelling, windows, doors, skirting. All painted...two coats.

We ended the evening with a fresh pasta meal provided by Clairline and Benjamin before arriving home just after 11pm.

Bev went back to LeBono today to clean the windows, floors, tables and anything else that needed cleaning before they open tomorrow. I stayed home to finish the roof.

All tiling finished and watertight for winter. Just the facia tiling to do, but that isn't urgent. I've been very lucky to have such glorious weather. It was a joy to do this side as the morning sun is on my back to keep me feeling toasty.

I've left the ladder so I can do the flashing around the stack if the mood takes me. I had to silicone the narrow top bits at the base of the stack (the last one is propped by a narrow tile until it dries).

Lots of tidying up to do.

Now I really must get on with some painting.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

There goes another September.

Let's start with Bev's birthday.

The petals on the table are real...freshly picked from just outside the door. The rest are plastic (it's the thought that counts). I made her breakfast and propped her mail against a glass of juice before I called her.  Later, Dave and Annie treated us to a Chinese buffet at Pontivy.

We've spent most of the week at LeBono helping to decorate a creperie for friends. It was really hard work with long hours, but it's coming on nicely. All of the orange is gone. It all looks quite classy now. ( pics).  They open next Thursday and there's still a lot to do.

Our helpers for a few hours back at Bel-Air.

Filling the dips.

More tiling...

but I forgot to put the edging strip along the bottom to raise the first row, so off they came. I've capped the top of the chimney to stop rain from getting in during winter.  I knew those big ceramic bathroom tiles would come in handy one day. Not long now before it's all watertight. I'm looking forward to Monday and the whole day spent on the roof.

We had the Jeromes for lunch today (the Creperie owners). After  two hours at the table we were ready for a walk in Yvon's woods. Yvon was there with his wife so we had a really good chat. The kids loved feeding the goldfish and checking out the different mushrooms.  Yvon told us which ones were edible, so the Jeromes picked a few for breakfast. If they're still alive next week, we'll try some :

The week was difficult but enjoyable, and we are pretty tired now.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A nice week despite the weather.

This is my painting week, but there was still progress on the roof.

The weather was unsettled but I was determined to do something on the roof.

Just look at the size of our molehills! Actually, we are having help here getting rid of that bank of soil. It's handy for filling dips and topping up the flowerbeds.

We took a trip to Leroy-Merlin and bought ridge tiles for the bread oven along with insulation and boards for my temporary studio. I worked on the roof as well as the doorway to my studio... which isn't leaking now. Then I got stuck into painting some commission work.

It's Saturday and the forecast is good, so we drove over to St.Malo for our day out with Dave and Sandra.

We arrived in good time to have lunch, then had an interesting ride on the sightseeing train.

It was a lovely bright and warm afternoon...perfect for a stroll along the harbour...

and beach...

No colour manipulation here.  This is how vibrant the colours were.

and the fortifications.

Then for a walk through the walled city.  I remember painting this scene about 12 years ago.

We were surprised to learn that a lot of it was bombed by the Americans in WW2, thinking the Germans were holed up there...they were elsewhere.  Fortunately they didn't destroy it all.

We visited a number of galleries as well as interesting little shops.

Back onto the wall...

passing some quaint chimney pots..

before making our way down to a little restaurant bar for hot chocolate.

Then to our car parked opposite the harbour, here. The sun is going down and it's been a beautifully long day.
We'll need another visit to take in the things we couldn't fit in this time round.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ticked and Tiled

One of our goals this year was to cycle the Nantes-Brest canal from Josselin towards Nantes and see how far we could go in three days.

I looked at the weather forecast on Tuesday for the rest of the week and it was good, so off we went.

We couldn't see any B+B's advertised on the internet along the canal, so we had to take our tent.

Car parked in Josselin not far from the starting line.

The starting line @ 2:15pm.

Time for a snack at Guillac.

This is where we are.

Montertelot was our next stop. They used discarded footwear as plant pots...the whole village was full of colour.

Our first camp at Le Roc was light when we arrived and the tent is up and ready.
We are on our way back to the campsite from our evening meal at La Chapelle-Caro. Marie-Claire Boulvais was the proprietor who has been at the restaurant since 1961. 

Interesting things to see while having brreakfast.

Our first problem. We walked back over the bridge to La Chapelle-Caro and bought a replacement inner tube before continuing our journey.

There are too many nice photos of the canal to include here, all of them very colourful.

Arriving at Malestroit to a really pleasant atmosphere.

We met FOUR people we know here in the centre.

We were sorry to leave Malestroit but made good progress, passing Saint-Laurent- sur-Oust, and Saint-Congard on our way to Saint-Martin.

Our campsite at Saint-Martin. These campsites are excellent.

BIG problem! I had to set off on my bike at 7:15 am to pick up our car back at Josselin. Bev isn't feeling good. We'll see how she is when I get back. She may be able to continue when I get back around 7pm.

The canal was smothered with mist as I set off at full speed and it stayed with me for another hour before disaster struck at Saint-Congard...another malfunction of the tyre valve, but this time there was no shop to buy a replacement. I had to lock my bike, cross the bridge and try my luck at hitching a ride.

A lady stopped and took me as far as Malestoit.  A few minutes later a man took me as far as Ploermel. I couldn't believe how lucky I was with my lifts. I was in good spirits when, would you believe it, Sydney and Diana (friends of ours) came onto the slip road and stopped to take me to Josselin.

Bev was amazed to see me walk into the campsite so soon.  I'd left the car down the lane, and told her my bike had a puncture and had just walked back to her from Saint-Congard. I'd pretended that someone had agreed to give us a lift to Malestroit in his van, so we walked towards where our supposed lift was.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we could just get in our car right now", I said. She agreed. "How about this one", I said, pointing at our car. She burst into tears.

We spent the rest of the final day visiting the places we had planned to.  Incidentally, when we picked my bike up, we noticed a bike repair shop no more than two minutes away.

Peillac...yet another flower-bursting pretty little village.

Redon...a bustling, vibrant place. The canal goes straight through it.

The incredible Benedictine Abbey.

Guenrouet, with its magnificent panoramic stained-glass windows.

There wasn't a single bare wall. Totally breathtaking.

Fegreac...which has a 15th Century crucifix and the most modern bar interior I've seen in the whole of France.

Pont Miny... we layed down for a snooze right here under this tree.

We'll come here again, next year with the kids.  There's so much to do and see.
Blain was the end of our journey for now. It's not a place I'll want to visit again. Their beautiful chateau was closed, so we visited their museum instead.

Love the clogs...

...and all things old.

It was an interesting three days, but we're glad to be back home.

This goal is now well and truly ticked off our list.

So, what did I do Friday and Saturday while Bev checked the garden, chilled and did some shopping?

I put on my holster and set to work on the roof as soon as the grass was cut.

That's one side completed.

It's not looking bad.

Now for the other side.

Next week I really DO have to paint before slating.