Thursday, August 23, 2012

Proms 2012

Tonight was our first visit to the Proms this year, although they are almost over by now! We found ourselves almost sitting in the orchestra, which was very interesting, giving us a close-up view of conductor Vasily Petrenko. This was Prom 54 and the programme was:
  • Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

    Symphony No.9 (25 mins)
    London Premiere
  • Delius

    Violin Concerto (25 mins)
  • Shostakovich

    Symphony No. 10 in E minor (45 mins)
  • Tasmin Little violin
  • Vasily Petrenko conductor
  • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
The Davies was very modern; Tasmin Little played Delius beautifully; and after the interval we really enjoyed Shostakovitch's 10th. Vasily Petrenko coaxed some great tone out of the Liverpool Phil whose soloists were terrific.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Visiting Binic

Yesterday, S took C off to visit more rellies so A,D,M,N and I went off to visit the town of Binic. On the way we called in for some wine and stuff to take home. Binic was slow on Sunday morning, and we strolled down the little streets, looking in a few of the shops that were open. We found a nice place for a coffee, then made our way down to the beach where the tide was a long way out. We passed the marina and a man power-washing the green off a boat - making a great job of it, too.

The 'long' beach at Binic

Near the sea wall some people had built two courses for a marble game that would be open at 12pm. The idea was to flick your marble along the course and presumably the least flicks won. We watched some of the young competitors having a go and it looked great fun. There were some fearsome obstacles in the way, but eventually everyone made it to the end.

We walked back towards towards town and some galettes and ice cream were bought, before we bumped into some of S's relations who just happened to be visiting also! At the end of the inner harbour we saw a huge shoal of large fish gathered at a water inlet all mouths agape in the water flow - strange.

The church in St Quay

The pretty round-about

Back in Portrieux we had to get everything ready for a quick getaway in the morning, then we went for a walk with D,S and C to the far end of St Quay, passing the prettiest round-about just on the side of the road. It was very popular and S remembered it from when she was little.

 This evening we walked down to the sea front and one of the cafe's with tables under tents for a 'last supper'. It was another beautiful evening and we had a lovely meal all together.

Today M&N and A&I set off early to get our ferries - they from Cherbourg and we from St Malo. As we were leaving port a sail-training ship was slipping out just in front of us, lots of people waving at it - and we thought they were waving us off! This was the Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian sail-training ship that had been visiting Northern European ports on the 500th anniversary of its namesake Admiral Vespucci.

Amerigo Vespucci

St Quay-Portrieux
Amerigo Vespucci

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Christening Day

We have been busy around the town over the last few days, and walked over to St Quay, yesterday, as it was market day. It was very busy as the market is up and down the main street and everyone comes to visit it. We had a great time looking at all the fresh fish, meat and veggies as well as the craft stuff, clothes etc. Eventually we succumbed to coffee at a lovely cafe, where they served us cake with ice cream, cream, caramel sauce and biscuits! We met up with S's family on the beach where the little ones were having a lovely time. Lots of shade and shelter for the babies, sun and swimming for the grown-ups!

Today has been a very busy day with the christening of Timothe and Callum. A very nice service in the church in St Quay, then everyone was expected at Catherine and Denis’ place for the party lunch - a magnificent spread rounded off with christening cake. A sea harr obscured the view, but we were in the sunshine looking down on it. We came home around 5pm and walked down to the harbour in the evening as the mist cleared. There was another folk band playing in the street just like last week.

The cake with rabbit minus ears!

The harr finally clearing

It was a beautiful evening

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


S &C were in demand to meet up with the rellies, so the rest of us planned to go to Ile de Brehat. N was not well, so stayed home, but we four went off and took the ferry to the island which included a cruise around the island before landing. It was very rough, but we managed to survive. 




 Our first visit was to the glass makers and it was very interesting. Set up in the old fort, they have quite an industry going making door handles and knobs and special glass balls for newel posts. They also make some beautiful art glass. We spent ages there, then walked around to the centre of the island. 

D went off to the ferry, using N’s ticket, so he could feed the metre for the car. We could only pay for 4 hrs at a time. He had lunch while the ferry was on its lunch break as we did on the island. It all worked out and the sun came out in the afternoon as we walked part way to the end of the island, looking at the little church and the old watermill which are very picturesque. There are loads of agapanthus out as well as hydrangeas.

Soon we needed to get back, so made our way to the ferry and the drive back to Portrieux. On the way we stopped to see the old mooringsat Le port de Gwin Zegal. Here trees trunks are driven into the seabed, roots and all,and apparently last for a long time.

Le Port de Gwin Zegal