Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Campervan, book club lunch and some very good news

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post, mainly due to problems with the internet connection, but also going into hospital for a large vein and a few smaller ones to be removed from my right leg and disappearing back to England for three days.
The operation on my leg at Clinic du Littoral went well and I finish my three weeks of anti-coagulant injections tomorrow.  The vein was removed because after a Doppler test it was found to be dead and likely to clot.  It had actually clotted after my mini gastric bypass last year, so I was pleased to get rid of before my next operation, planned for January, although I am considering cancelling that operation.
I went back to England with Andy, friend and worker, to collect a VW Camper from England via the Channel tunnel rather than the easier ferry route, as he doesn’t sail well.  Over 1200 miles altogether and too much driving at once for me, necessitating frequent stops for coffee and fresh air to stay awake for the next hour or so.  The best part was that I got to see three friends - Tricia W, who I hadn’t seen for five years, June, with whom we stayed the first night and finally Tricia H.  We couldn’t remember when we last saw each other it was so long ago.  We also passed by the Olympic stadium, shard, the sculpture thingy and Milennium Dome, none of which I’d seen before except on the television.  I did a bit of essential British shopping too, for items which are either impossible or too expensive to buy in Brittany.  So altogether the trip was very worthwhile in spite of being so shattered and, of course, I ended up with a camper in what appears to be very good condition – thanks to the seller for being so honest about it.
The kittens have had to be renamed as they were wrongly sexed.  The white one is now Claude and the tiny grey one is Grace.  This makes more sense as Claude is about a kilo the heavier and much more outgoing. 

They obviously missed me during my three days in the UK and were very pleased when I walked through the door again.   I seem always to have one or both of them on my lap – they like to be in constant contact and are quite high maintenance on the affection front.
The weather is bizarre.  Snow in Folkestone and Calais on Tuesday.

Wednesday, morning rain freezing as it hit the ground and impossible to walk safely up the slope to do the animals until it had started to thaw.  By contrast, Thursday morning rain, rain and more rain but mild at 10°C at 09.00hrs.  The nurse didn’t arrive early morning to do my anti-coag jab which wasn’t a problem for me as I did it myself, but I worried about her having had an accident as it was so icy.  When she did arrive at lunchtime it turned out that she had skidded on the ice into a ditch along with six other cars and they had to w ait for a tractor to tow them out.  Luckily neither she nor her vehicle was hurt. 

My lung specialist had written to me asking if I would talk to another of her patients, J, about my mini gastric bypass who was being referred to Dr Lechaux for possible surgery.  She had been coming for lunch with me on Thursday but the roads were too dangerous with the ice so we postponed until Friday when the temperature was much milder.  J was very up for the op - unlike me – I knew I had to have it, but didn’t want it.  She seemed very positive about it all and it was good to meet and spend some time with her.  We got on well and hardly stopped talking for the time she was here.  I’m sure she’ll make a great candidate for the op and that she’ll reap the benefits just as I have - I sent an email to Dr Lechaux and she now has an appointment for 5 March.
Saturday morning saw more rain followed by a hailstorm in the middle of the day.  At lunchtime, seven of us from Book Club plus five assorted husbands were having our Christmas lunch at the restaurant, Veronique & Jerome in Lanrivain.  It was excellent – a typical long, French relaxed lunch.  Here is our group with a photo of me alongside taken before I left for the restaurant.

Homemade vegetable soup followed by either salmon marinated with shrimps, and mushrooms served on a bed of salad or crêpe with ricotta cheese, and ratatouille, in a tomato sauce.  I had the salmon which was lovely, and those having the crêpes thoroughly enjoyed them.  Next came roast turkey, carrots, sprouts, roast potatoes and gravy or fillet of haddock with prawns in a sauce served with rice and vegetables.  This was followed by a fantastically moist fruity Christmas pudding with crème Anglaise and a generous slice of chocolate fudge cake, then coffee and little Christmas biscuits which were from a region in the east of France.  There was a delightful impromptu performance on the harp by one of the young daughters of the restaurant and then the still younger daughter played the flute accompanied by Virginie on the harp.  These are the lovely moments which make good memories of an occasion.

Earlier in the week I cooked a gammon joint which I had bought in England for £10 – it was much too big for me living alone so I cut the cooled meat into two and put one half in the freezer for another time. The first day I had it sliced with lettuce from the polytunnel and little plum tomatoes slathered with mayonnaise and alongside sautéed potatoes.  For supper I had it on two slices of hot buttered toast with English mustard.  A couple of days later I had gammon and poached eggs with mushrooms fried in butter and garlic, and for lunch today I had it the way we used to when I was a child with well-seasoned parsley sauce – I added a little mustard to mine -  and broad beans which I’d grown on the field this year and frozen. 

There is still lots left – I may chop it up now and freeze it for putting in a pie with left over chicken or duck after Christmas.

I have saved the best news until last.  I am to be a Grandma for the second time.  My middle child, Oliver and his partner, Emma are expecting a baby on 20 July – congratulations to them. 

I am so excited and happy and how lovely it is to have something so good to look forward to in 2013. 

Three things I like:

1.   Being back in touch with Oli again and now with Emma too.
2.   Having a massage this evening with the woodburner making the room so warm.
3.   Finding cooked crab claws at the fishcounter for lunch tomorrow.  


  1. Congratulations on the new baby. Sounds as though you have had quite an adventure since you have been gone. Nice to see you back. Merry Christmas.

  2. Hello Ann - good to hear from you. It's so good to mend the rift that was in the family and especially for such a lovely reason. I wish you a Merry Christmas too and a Happy New Year! x

  3. Good to read your blog again:)

  4. Thanks, Paul - sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to sit down and sort out photos and do the text. My New Year's Resolution will definitely to post every week. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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