Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Last week in France (23rd - 31st August 2015)

On Sunday 23rd August, we went to church for Sacrament Meeting, then managed to find the little lane which we had seen at the end of one of our Sunday walks in May - the furthest we had reached on our walks out from Auray. Jack looked at maps on his phone and worked out which road he thought it was, and directed me - we were pretty chuffed to find it! Everyone felt quite tired and didn't want to walk very far, but I said we should keep walking to the next road, so we could start our next walk from that point. It ended up being miles, right round a whole bay!

Looking across the bay area.

There were lots of gorgeous wooden walkways, which are so nice to walk on! The kids perked up a bit as we walked.

Another beautiful house just tucked away.

Finally reaching the road on the other side!!

...then heading back again!

The kids waiting for me and Tom, near the lane. Good progress made on our walk!

It had been lovely weather on our walk, but back at Bel-Air it started to rain.

I let the boys stay out!

On Monday the 24th, we mainly hung around the house, and while I was browsing books on Amazon, I saw this one, on the front of which I recognised one of my cards! (The bottom right-hand one...) I realised that the book by Stephanie Barnard of Sizzix for which I was paid to make a load of cards last year, was finally published! I'd just thought the book wasn't going ahead, as I'd never heard any more about it, so I got a real kick out of seeing it on Amazon! It was due on sale in September.

Also on the 24th, the kids I were driving to Super U, and decided to stop off in Josselin on the way for a quick run up the bell tower. We thought we'd be brave and navigate the one way system through the town, guessing our way to the square next to the church. (We may have gone the wrong way down one of the one way streets!)
Our car from the top.

The 25th was another quiet day, again not great weather. Here's Harry playing on my phone in my room, listening to classical music which I downloaded to my Kindle.

On Tuesday 26th it was still raining, but we decided to go for a picnic anyway. The idea was that we would just drive randomly, and try to out-drive the rain!
Stopping off next to the sign in Radenac (or Radeneg in Breton), so the kids could be 'rad'!!

After driving for ages (and not recognising any of our route), we realised it was basically raining everywhere, so we began the search for a nice spot to park and have our picnic in the car. What a laugh! We ended up driving for ages more, because the lanes were either too narrow to stop, or we would be stopping on the edge of a junction or somewhere not very scenic.
In the end, after having to reverse back down someone's private drive, we stopped in this boggy field in the middle of nowhere!

No wonder the car is a total crumby mess! The best 'worst picnic' ever!

The next day (Wednesday 27th) was the Poulton kids' last day in France. Bev was taking them home. It was still raining, so the kids played indoors, and we worked on a jigsaw we found in Mum and Dad's room.

When it was time for them to go, there were very fond farewells! I can still picture Hollie shouting 'Jack!!!' at the top of her voice and flinging herself, arms outstretched, at him!

Annabelle's turn.

All the kids.

Waving them off...

Then Harry, who had been strongly resistant to doing the puzzle, got stuck in and helped finish it off.

Finally a red sky at night, making us hopeful of better weather the next day.

On Thursday 28th, the weather was wonderful at last, so we took advantage and headed of the bouncy castle place. We made sure we got there pretty early to beat the crowds. We enjoyed seeing all the additions to the park, including this new hill! It was great fun going down it in tires!

During an enforced no-screen time, Harry had made this Minecraft figure, and bought him along.

The boys spent ages on the go-karts, as usual...

Me lying in our usual spot, enjoying a new book.

This slide was new too!

Me having a go.

In the new goat enclosure. I found that the goats liked eating acorns, so gathered a load up for them.

After the bouncy castle place, we decided to stop off in Auray for an ice cream. We ended up on the other side of the river from where we usually go, and luckily recognised where we were (up near the sports stadium), and quickly pulled in to a car park there. Again, I was really chuffed at our bravery to do scary new French stuff!
We went for a quick run up the tower near the sports stadium.

We then walked down the steep zig-zagging path to the river, and got some ice creams.

My best flavour combination so far - Brownie and Passion Fruit.

Walking up the other hill to the car.

Saturday 29th August was another very happy day. Although it didn't look like ideal weather we decided we'd like another day at the beach, and the kids all agreed we should go to the same beach as last time - at Sarzeau.
We arrived fairly early again, and set up camp. We had another lovely day, with the kids splashing around for ages, and me reading and looking for sea glass.

We liked watching the groups of 'sea walkers' going past, and I was tempted to tag onto the back of one of the larger groups!

Lucy made my packed lunch baguette... 'M-Dawg'...

Afterwards we went for a walk round the Chateau de Suscinio. The kids were quite happy to stick with tradition!

I love seeing the kids all in a lump together like this!

That night I watched a film on my laptop, and then saw the most enormous spider on the floor near the window. I couldn't manage to catch it and it went under the bed. I'm not normally bothered by spiders, but this one was enormous. I waited with the lights on for a while hoping it would reappear so I could catch it, but it never did. I messed around taking pictures on my phone while I was waiting.

Sunday 30th September was our last time at Vannes Branch for church, and Ken was giving a talk. It was a good talk, but it amused me that there was an Englishman who had prepared a talk in French (though he wanted to speak for a bit in English at the beginning and had to get the English speaking French Branch President to translate), so there was Ken speaking in French, and we had to listen to the talk translated back into English again by an American missionary!!

After church we managed to find the road which we had walked to last Sunday, by a golf course. We parked up, and had lunch while the kids looked for little crabs.

Then we began walking again. Jack had been looking at maps of the coast line on his phone, and said that at the rate we are going it will take 20 years to actually walk all the way out to sea! (Which is my goal, and which I keep thinking will happen around each corner!)
That night on Facebook, I told Scott about the conversation the kids and I had afterwards about the walk:
''Jack says we could do our future walks on the other side of the estuary. It should only take 4 years that way. We did a family vote on it, and they all voted for the long way except me, then they all burst out laughing and said they're going on missions, and it was just a vote to make you and me have to do it all... Unless you pay them, or something (I'm dictating from Lucy here) for emotional damage, for teaching them poor life lessons such as not going the extra 60 miles, and giving up at the first hurdle, and it wasn't a democracy first time round, and I'm trying to impose dictatoral values on them, and Lucy's reading 1984, so she should know. I'm the Big Brother of this family apparently, and they are the Lower Party members. (She is now monologuing on thought crime etc. I think we should stop her from doing A level politics, or reading anything ever again.)''

Scott's reply made me laugh!
''Helen Flinn Cryer, tell Lucy Cryer that as the head of this particular anarcho-quasi autonomous commune, I've taught her an important life lesson by painting the inside of the cabin red, white and black and putting posters of Wayne Rooney everywhere. If she wants it changed back she's going to have to table a motion and get a two thirds majority at a public vote, held at our next bi-weekly meeting of the People's representatives.''

Anyway, we had a nice walk, seeing new places again.

We walked through some woods, some boat yard areas, then out to a wide open area.

We reached this little beach, and saw that we wouldn't be able to get any further next time. Not sure where we will pick up the walk next year!
Harry fell in love with this little area - he liked the houses on the opposite shore.

Heading back.

I loved this boat yard!

Figs growing next to the path.

On Monday 31st August, we spent the day cleaning and getting everything as packed up as possible, with all the cases etc in the car. It wasn't too bad, and the kids were good.

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