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.

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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

Thursday 24 August

I’m definitely getting into the holiday time mode now: late nights and late mornings!

I’m lazing about in bed catching up with writing my blog over a cup of coffee when theres a rat-a-tat-tat on my front door. Quickly pulling on my dressing gown I answer – its Martin & Jennifer popping round to say Hello, obviously expecting me to be up as its 11 am! Oops!

After they’ve gone, after a quick chat on the doorstep, I get dressed and do my chores…another coat of primer on the front windows.

In the afternoon I ride out to Rochefort-en-Terre.

I take a slow, leisurely walk through the cobbled town centre, stopping to browse in the many gift and artisan shops- some new ones to visit, but many have been here for a few years.

Always great flower displays here, as in many of the Breton towns.

Look up as you walk round, you never know what you will spot.

One of the new shops sells these rather gorgeous trendy wellie boots, but at 90 euros they are a little pricey.

The basket and bag shop has gone to be replaced with umbrellas.

One of my favourite artists is still here. This lady makes the most amazing sculptures out of wire- skulls, keys, birds so many different items all made so beautifully and crafted using the minimum number of lines possible.

I have a piece of her art- a pair of shoes – that I bought the first year she was here.

The Pelican Hotel

More stonework, this time used as a flower pot shelf

My favourite of the day, a happy face, with a rather knowing smile.

On my way home I detour to have a cuppa with Ken and Lesley at Mototaranis.

The road from Maelstroit to Reminiac is such a joy to ride.

They are waiting for new guests to arrive. These are regulars- as are many of their guests- this is their second visit this year.

Back home and its back to my chores, putting the first coat of gloss on the windows.

Friends, Paul & Tracey are coming to stay for a few days on Monday so I need to have the painting complete by then and it needs a full 24 hours between each coat – its gard work being on holiday!

Wednesday 23 August

My late night stargazing meant I didn’t wake until late this morning.

I decided that I ought to do my chores and start painting the front windows, otherwise before I know it it’ll be time to go home and they won’t be done.

Its up in the high 20s so time to hit the beach.

This is another one that my friend Sara and I went to earlier in the year ( but not the nudist one).

It’s much busier this time of the year and the fields at the back of the beach are all now offering paid parking, but I manage to squeeze the bike in at the side of the road.

Happiness is…

…riding your motorbike to the beach.

I have a swim, then lay sunbathing and reading a Harlan Coben book, The Stranger, for an hour or so.

Then its time to head home.

I decide to go the scenic route.

Through Auray, then to St Anne d’Auray, the most important pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes.

Then I criss cross country roads. The setting sun lighting up the cornfields.

I reach the village of Plaudren.

I smile.

Why?

Well, this little squirrel marks the start of a little bit of country road that I just love. The D133 to Tredion, past the cross for St Bily, or Billy as I call it.

I can’t explain what it is about this short stretch of road.

Most would probably ride it and think nothing of it.

But I love it.

Tuesday 22 August

Where shall I go today?

I can’t decide, so choose to go with the flow and head north.

First stop Josselin. The château on the river never fails to impress.

The shop, front left, and the flats above it belong to my friend’s The Greens. They used to run an English Bookshop. Like their house, this is up for sale

Heading out of Josselin, I decide to go to the Brocante which has always fascinated me with its windows full of coffee pots.

It is huge, with three large rooms packed full of random furniture and stuff.

Old 1950s magazines…

Even older newspapers. This one is 1895.

A washing tub- state of the art in its day

And the very random painting of Jesus next to a green sink.

Random is the word of the day as that’s how my ride goes.

I’m just enjoying the moment, enjoying the ride with no destination in mind.

In Meneac, I stop for a cold glass of coca cola, sitting outside tbe bar in the shade, admiring the church.

One big wiggly circular ride, back to Ploermel where I pop into SuperU for a couple of bits of shopping.

I drop the shopping at home and ride to Guer, as iwts the last of their weekly evening events tonight.

I queue up for Moules Frites, a bargain at 6 euros.

And manage to squeeze into a space on one of the communal tables, next to a couple of old ladies, enjoying some local cidre with their Moules. They motion to me to help myself, but I point to my bottle of water, explaining I am riding a moto.

There is a band playing traditional Breton folk songs.

I love that people of all ages are up dancing and know all the steps. Hete they are dancing a traditional Breton circle dance.

I ride home through Montneuf.

Stopping for an “Outlander” moment at the standing stones.