Monday, July 28, 2014

Visitors to the wild west

Céline, Greg, Beverley and Daragh
Delighted today to give a tour for some special visitors to the Monts d'Arrée, and make the acquaintance of journalists Beverley Morrison, Daragh Reddin and Greg Ward, and their escorts Lionel and Céline. Great for Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to meet together on the Breton summit. I hope they all liked what they saw in the wild west: this little known area has such potential for original experience of a different sort of Brittany. Just wish there had been more time to talk aside from 'business'...they were all such lovely people.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On the top

The moors take on a new and uncharacteristically tender appearance in summer, green hues punctuated by colour bursts from gorse, heather, broom and this year the greatest profusion of orchids I've ever seen. Here is the highest spot in Brittany, the rock to the right of the mast, on a beautiful morning.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The allure of Nantes

Nantes Cathedral
Working in Nantes this week, with temperatures in the city centre up to 32° as I caught the train home yesterday. Altogether a scorching interlude and not really conducive to rushing about checking things out, but there were some great moments, like being shown round the fabulous new OKKO hotel and being upgraded to a spacious appartment at Park&Suites where I was staying.
The usual fun and festive atmosphere prevailed around the city, with new works of art and exhibitions everywhere - a creative vacuum in Nantes is unimaginable.
Even the chateau and cathedral are constantly re-inventing themselves with new expansion into old spaces, like the crypts beneath the latter, which are not only beautiful in themselves but made functional by a stylishly simple exhibition about the chequered development of the church ever since the Vikings destroyed an early version in 843.
All this seduction is almost irrestible. Maybe I will do that book about the city after all...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Playing games - the Chateau de Landal

I have been in Combourg for a few days and on my way back stopped off at the Chateau de Landal which has come up with a creative way of raising money for restoration. The entry fee pays for a roof tile which you can sign and illustrate, thus forging a permanent personal link with the chateau and its progress towards new life. The whole place - courtyard, towers and basement rooms - is devoted to games, mostly of the simple, traditional variety, but pretty addictive and endlessly fun for kids and competitive adults. I spent a long time throwing stuffed socks at these medieval heads. For a surcharge you can even get locked in a room and try to solve clues to get out - I didn't risk it on this occasion. They also offer gourmet picnics. Great family visit - highly recommended.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Le Guilvinec

Pavé de merlu followed by a café gourmand at the Poisson d'Avril in Le Guilvinec on a boiling summer's day in Pays Bigouden.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

New website

After a lot of work in recent weeks my new website is finally up and running. An overhaul was long overdue, so I decided on radical change to make a better showcase for all aspects of my work. Please have a look!