Thursday 31 August

Because of the rain yesterday I have to rethink my plans on where I was going to take Paul and Tracey- so difficult as there are so many good places to go and so little time as they head home tomorrow. They will just have to make a return visit.

Decision made. First stop Josselin. It takes a lot to beat that first view of the château as you come down the hill.

Heres one taken at the bottom.

We park at the top of town- for a moment I thought I’d lost them but Paul had dropped a glove.

Another pretty town with lots of half timbered houses.

The restaurant ( above) I’d planned to go to is closed, but we manage to get a table at another.

Top tip if you are ever in France, don’t just plonk yourself down at a table to eat, you should always stand and wait to ask the waiting staff- apparently its considered very rude just to sit down.

The menu

The tartine for starter. I thought it was a quiche…wrong!

Tracey looking pensive.

Paul with a happy french frie

Halfway through lunch the heavens open. Luckily our table is under a large umbrella and the staff quickly put up another round one at the side to catch the overlap.

This gargoyle on the church does his work splashing the rain onto the stones below.

The rain eventually stops and after finishing lunch we walk it off.

Paul climbs the church tower…

Tracey and I sit and watch!

The view- photos by Paul, obviously!

We then take a look round the church- it is deceptively large.

Tomb of Olivier d’ Cuison and Margarete de Rohan from the 1400s.

The mourning monks on the side were destroyed in the French Revolution.

This creature, allegedly a greyhound, keeps guard at the feet of Margaret.

After Josselin we ride to Porcaro to visit the Oratory/ Bikers Chapel.

We also wander round the exhibition showing the history of the Biker Blessing which is still in the church. Its amazing to see hoe its grown from 38 bikers to 20,000.

Below are photos from when the Pope sent a crown for the Madone statue.

Then it’s back to the house as Martin and Jennifer are coming round for an aperitif.

They leave around 8 and I cook merguez sausages for supper.

It ends up being a long night ad Paul and I sit up chatting till gone 1am, with the help of a couple of bottles of wine!

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Wednesday 30 August

The word of the day is rain.

All day up until early evening. Rain.

It’s days like this that I’m glad that Im not staying in a hotel and can slob around all day in my own place.

A couple of damp patches have shown up in the bathroom and Paul kindly takes a look for me- seems the insulation has not been rolled back properly, which he duly sorts.

Then going above and beyond, he cleans the ceiling patches off, then decides to paint the whole bathroom ceiling with gloss paint – what a star! Thanks Paul.

At about 7pm the rain clears, but as drinking had commenced earlier we can’t go out on the bikes, but just enjoy some fresh air in the garden

Would you let this man stay in ypur house?

Tuesday 29 August

After a nice, slow relaxed start to the day we leave the house about 11 to take a curvy route to Port Foleaux for lunch by the river.

Non- alcoholic beer is a welcome accompaniment.

It is turning into a very hot day…32 degrees,so it is a welcome ride to feel the breeze to Rochefort-en-Terre.

I manage to spot a couple of quirky items, I’m sure I haven’t seen before, or maybe I’ve just forgotten that I have!

This is only about two inches high and is to hold open wooden window shutters.

Little and large!

Large sporting the “its too hot to walk round in biking trouser” look

We have a nice wander round, and as it is so hot enjoy an ice cream.

I have a minor panic as we near where the bikes are parked, as there is a lorry that looks like it is offloading roadwork material OVER our bikes… but phew it’s just the angle we are looking from.

We ride home via Maelstroit and pass these workman covering the bottom of this lovely white wall with plastic, so it won’t be marked by the tarnac pavement they are laying.

These shots of me, are stills taken from Paul’s helmet cam.

This bit of road is just before getting back to Caro.

It always makes me smile when you can see the totally clear road and know you can really go for it 😈

Such a fun bit of road- short but sweet

Back at my #little frenchhouse

and our Tigers safely parked up in the garage.

After dinner we get to meet

Paul’s new french girlfriend

Monday 28 August

I have visitors arriving today, Paul and Tracey – two up Tiger riders.

They have come the long way down, the tunnel to Caen yesterday, then down to me today.

We’ve arranged to meet in Paimpont for lunch at 1pm.

I get there early hoping to grab a table at the Logis hotel, but when I arrive it’s closed on a Monday – damn I did have a little niggle at the back of my mind this might be the case- many businesses- even in high season- close on Mondays.

Whilst I wait for them to arrive I wander down to take a photo of the lake.

Paul and Tracey arrive, and we go off in search of somewhere to eat- could be tricky as its now nearly 1.30pm.

I spot a crêperie with a free table outside, but by the time we’ve parked its taken.

We go to another place on the lake, busy but with free tables. We are told 30 minutes, so decide to wait, but then in English the owner says crossly “Come back in 30 minutes”

Hmm, I’m not really happy with that type of attitude- it bloody hot, we’ve parked up and you have space for us to sit and wait but tell us to go- I know when I’m not wanted.

So change of plan…we will eat at home!

We stop of at SuperU and buy some additional food.

Then a quick detour into Ploermel for a Tabac- I’d forgotten how annoying it is that you only buy cigarettes at a Tabac here!

We gladly get to the house- it is now up in the 30s, so quite sticky. So we all take a quick shower

The rest of the day is spent in Bar du Jardin -eating, drinking and chatting.

Sunday 27 August

Orginally I was planning to go home today, instead I’m going to enjoy an extra week here and with guests for a few days too.

So it’s time for some household chores.

The windows are now all painted so I put back up the fly screen netting.

Then it’s a quick rearrange of my Mum and Dads room for Paul and Tracey who are arriving tomorrow.

I think it looks much better like this, but will put it all back in place when they leave.

Then theres the usual vacuuming, mopping the floor and general tidying up.

At 4.30 I watch the Moto Gp on my phone-it uses about a GB of data, still hopefully got enough to last me until the 9th. Good race!

Then its out on the sun lounger listening to The Archers Omnibus.

After all my hard work, in the evening I decide to test the €3 pink bubbles.

Very nice they are too.

Think I will bringing sone bottles back when I come over later in the car.

Saturday 26 August

The day doesn’t start well. My inside ear is throbbing, I think I have an ear infection, so will need to see a doctor. But itws Saturday, this could be tricky.

But turns out it isn’t! Thanks to Google

I use Google to look up a where the doctors surgery is- I know it’s in Ploermel, but not where.

I manage in my best Franglais to explain my situation to the receptionist. She says a time. I look confused- she writes it down, along with the Doctors name, 11.45.

I ask, astounded ” Aujourd’hui? ” Oui,she says as though I’m stupid.

Well thats only 30 minutes time, AND its Saturday!

I decide to wait outside, where there is a bench seat and write my postcards to Tillie and Patch.

I can hear the sound of many car horns beeping, and a calvacade of cars comes past… This is how they celebrate weddings in France.

And instead of tin cans on strings there is usually a broom and sometimes even models of the happy couple.

It’s nearly time for my appointment so I go back inside, spotting the waiting room.

When the next patient arrives I realise my mistake – I didn’t say Bonjour on entering. They will think me so rude.

The doctor comes to the waiting toom to get me. I have come prepared with my health issue translated on my phone with the use of Google Translate.

After a brief examination he writes a prescription, charges me 25 euros for the consultation – he’s a bit of a comedian as tells me its 250 euros – just to get my reaction I think, and gives me the reclaim form I need.

And with that he wishes me, in french, Good journey, Good health and Good eating! Again I think hes being funny!

The pharmacy is opposite, and isvery efficient. 18 euros for the penicillin and cream and again a reclaim form.

It is now too late to go Josselin market, as I had planned to do, so I head off on another random ride, with the thought of stopping somewhere for lunch perhaps.

I don’t see anywhere I fancy.

I realise when looking at my map that I’m now only 35 minutes from Rennes- why not? Its been ages since Ive been there. Gps set on curvy route, off I go.

Once in the city centre I spot a couple of bikes parked in front of a large church so join them.

It has turned into quite a hot day, so I decide as I’m going to be wandering around, to go for the natty biker tourist look of bike boots and cycle shorts- my mesh bike trousers from the USA are fab with their full length zip on either side- so easy to take off!

Once undressed and ready to wander I realise that there is a large wedding party congregating outside the church- which turns out to be the Cathedral – oops, but its too late to move it now!

I find the Tourist office, purchase a tourist map in English for 20 centimes and head off on a wander.

The city has a mixture of majestic and medieval buildings.

I stop for a rest and a cola. The bar has snack menus on the tables, but when I ask for a Croque Monsieur I’m apologetically told they are no longer serving food.

Suitably refreshed I wander on.

How about this for a public swimming pool? Very swanky.

Opposite the pool at just below waist level I spy a purple object.

I have to say, it has the look of a breast about it! I can’t make out what the wording says but take a photo anyway!

Down a few streets more and I spot another one, this time in a small alcove that houses wiring.

This one definitely looks like a breast…

… intriguing?

When I get home I do some research…ok I type” Green Breast Rennes Street Art’ into Google and this is what I learn:

“As a traveling urban artist, Intra Larue has decided to mold her breasts, from hand painter to offer them to the eyes of passers-by. “It is an invitation to dwell more on the world around us and to renew our hurried looks on the arts and representation of women in the city”

Its amazing what you see when you look, as I also spot a couple of giant radishes.

I ignore the first one, like you would, but when I see a second I take a photo

Again I learn ( thanks Google) that I haven’t been seeing things, in fact its suprising I haven’t seen more:

“Fake radishes have been sprouting up all over the city of Rennes in recent months – about 600 so far – in a jokey project to make the city la plus radieuse de France (a pun on ‘most radiant town’, which could also mean ‘most radishy’). Local artist Ar Furlukin says the radish is a “symbol of our common roots” and adds: “There’s an idea that we’re all part of the same bunch, even if we’re all different.” His name means ‘the King’s jester’ in Breton, and the self- titled ‘world radish specialist’ says he became obsessed by them 37 years ago while in the UK. He paints them, sculpts them and even writes poems about them. The radishes have been going up by consent, with shopkeepers especially keen. Anyone can ask for one, free, and the artist, who is also a restaurant maître d’, is receiving at least five requests a day.”

How can I follow that? I can’t!

I leave the most radishy town of Rennes, riding home via the motorway as its getting latish.

A quick shop in SuperU for tonights dinner and a nice pastry for pudding, seeing as how I didn’t get any lunch.

Then whilst dinner is cooking I put the final coat of paint on the front windows.

Well today didnt turn out like I thought it would but its been a good one all the same.

Friday 25 August

Today I’m going to visit L’art de les Chapelles

But first lunch in St Nicolas d’eau.

There is a beautiful new piece of art work on the riverside

Vénus de Castennec

Rather than go to my usual Gallette restaurant here I decide to try a different place at the far end of the village

The staff are lovely, but I find the food disappointing and overpriced, and I dont understand why the fixed price menus are not available when they are displayed on the wall. I wont be eating here again.

Before starting the Chapel trail, I ride to the other side of the river to investigate the statues there.

Luckily for me the guy in at the info point for the trails speaks very good English, and is very helpful. He suggests I can do some of the yellow and all of the green trail- there are four in total. That way I get to see all the art installations that I like the look of.

I do like the look of the older road signs with their Breton blue surrounds.

Chapelle Notre Dame Des Fleurs, which dates back to the 15th century

Au- Delà du Violet: Beyond Violet

Violet coloured blown glass representing invisible wavelengths.

Seen here with reflections from the Chapel itself

Le Gohaze- 15th century

Betrand Rigaux

A handwritten poem relating to the possibility of an event, ordinary or extraordinary occuring.

With a measuring jug engraved with a space-time diagram containing a peony frozen inside a preserving liquid

In Sainte Trephine a chapel dedicated to a young woman who was decapitated in the 6th century by her husband the tyrant Conomor- the story is told in the 8 ceiling medallions.

Henri Jacobs- Mise en Abyme

The geometric shapes, evoke the oassing of time and echo the ceiling medallions. The model of the chapel pursues the dialogue with the paintings.

In addition the gaps in the stone floor have been filled with silver and gold glitter.

Chapelke ND Moustoir

Akain Fleisher les Paroissens

Photos of villagers from Malguenac, past and present, are reflected by mirrors held by the visitors – in effect they are waiting fir the artival of the visitor.

Chapelle Saint Meldeoc

Erwin Ballan La Defaite

A chariot transporting abstract shapes is under attack by indians with a “cubo-futurist Yankee in the middle.

The arrows paroding the chapel art in a humorous fashion.

Chapelle Saint Jean, Le Sourn, rebuilt in 1892

Last but not least, in fact my favourite.

Polly Apfelbaum Life is not black and white.

A series of suspended ceramic shapes, symbolising notes. Seven shapes stand for the seven notes of a scale.

This notation system dates back to the same period as the chapel.

Finally,

Click here to see a short video of what

they sound like