We are back. Hurrah for us. Since you saw me last, I have been to France and to Kerry. A full debrief follows. Hang on to your hats.
Saturday, July 28
We arrived in good time for the ferry – the trauma of 2010 still, even now, fresh in our minds. Having faithfully attended the on board entertainment for several years at this point, Daniel was chosen to be the magician’s assistant. The excitement. “What’s your name young man?” asked the magician. Before poor Daniel could reply, Michael piped up from the audience, “He’s Daniel.” Who’d be a twin?
Sunday, July 29
Aside from some mild concern when we couldn’t find our car on the car deck, the day was uneventful. We had a long drive to our holiday destination which allowed us to note, yet again, the “deserted village” phenomenon in small towns across Brittany. Have you ever noticed that, if you go to a small French town at lunch time, there is no one at all on the streets? It’s quite bizarre.
Monday, July 30
Oh the thrill of sunshine after a long rainy summer in Ireland. We went to the beach along a coastal path.
We swam happily only slightly put out by the French people who pointed to the pollution evident on the shoreline.
In the afternoon we took a walk through the forest to the little port of Brigneau where we saw a trawler unloading fish and bought some crab claws. The appropriate holidayness of it all.
Tuesday, July 31
It was market day in the local town and we went in to have a look. Inevitably, we lost Michael but we found him again, so all was well.
In the afternoon we went to Quimperlé which is a pretty little town.
The visit was not a success. The children were uninterested and cranky. We were cranky. It was hot. The highlight was probably seeing herself try some Perrier.
We did find a small park where the boys played football with some French children. When it was time to go, Daniel, ever the chameleon, called out to his brother, “Michel, tu viens?” He doesn’t like to stand out, if at all possible.
This was also the day I learnt from local newspaper Ouest France that 70% of holidaymakers to Brittany don’t pay for their accommodation as they stay with friends and relations. I felt mild bitterness.
Wednesday, August 1
We went to Concarneau which, for some reason, we had never visited before. The guidebook describes it as having more tourists per square metre than any other site in Brittany. This would appear to be correct. Our timing was poor. We arrived just in time to partake of an over priced lunch and then had to hotfoot it back to the children’s pony camp. This was a huge success for two out of three of the candidates but Daniel was kicked by a horse (no serious injury sustained) and hadn’t liked any of the offerings for the afternoon snack. When we collected him, his lamentations were equally divided over these two points. Mr. Waffle and I had been to Quimperlé for tea and new shoes so were able to sustain complaints with reasonable fortitude.
More tomorrow, if you’re feeling strong.