Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Brittany folded baguette

Just read an amusing article on the Daily Mail website announcing that a Brittany bakery has invented the folded baguette that fits easier into your shopping bag.  

What do you think, clever idea or not?

     

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Port of St Malo

Arriving in at the port of St Malo.  Slept on the floor of the recling chair lounge as there was more room than being in a reclining chair (that I paid £5 for the privilege of having), but actually slept quite well.   Croissants and coffee for breakfast and now I'm here in France.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The scary bit, driving onboard the Ferry

I'm travelling over to Brittany with Brittany Ferries, Portsmouth to St Malo, so only an hour's drive to the Gite on the French side.

This is the bit that Liz doesn't like, driving up the ramp onto the ferry:
 
 

Off to France for a week of holiday DIY

I'm off to our Brittany Gite for a week of holiday DIY.

Should have gone in September and then October but too much work on and so its ended up mid November by the time I've been able to get away.

And its still not great time for work so suspect I will end up making a few conference calls from France during my week "off" :-(

As its just me going (Liz is at home and the boys are at school and college) I've taken the opportunity to take as much stuff as I can do.

In the very full car are two new single bed matresses, a dishwasher, washing machine, swimming pool sand filter, 12m of swimming pool pipes, lots of pipe joints, a shower tray, shower screen, boxes of tiles, tile cutter, and quite a lot of tools and bits and pieces.

Plan for the week is to put a new shower cubicle in, fit an extractor fan to the bathroom and plumb in a new swimming pool.

Hopefully I will get some rest !

Monday, April 04, 2016

Boiler servicing

Some things are sometimes more of a challenge than they need to be.

About 5 years ago we had a new oil boiler installed at the Gite that runs the hot water and central heating.

All was fine until we accidentally ran out of oil and the muck in the bottom of the oil tank got pulled through into the boiler and it spat some black smoke out as a result.

The plumber who installed the boiler advised me of a local company in Rohan who could service it and so I logged a 'please contact me to come and clean the boiler' request on their website for when I was next coming to France.

They never phoned nor emailed me so the following time I came over to France I tried again via the website, but again no response.

This time when we arrived at the Gite I noticed that there the boiler was blowing out more black sooty smoke that was deposited all up the outside wall.

This time I avoided the electronic 'contact me' and drove over to their shop to book an engineer visit.
Yes I was told, would be probably Thursday, but the technician would phone to confirm.

By the end of Wednesday after having had no phone call I went back to the shop to confirm the appointment.

No, not Thursday, but would be Friday at 2pm. Definitely.

And here he is, the technician arrived as promised on Friday, the boiler was very thoroughly cleaned out, a new nozzle fitted and it's all running perfectly.

What a hassle though.

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Friday, April 01, 2016

Misty still morning

Driving to Pontivy this morning we sped through misty lanes as the sun shone through.

It was an absolutely still morning, the windmills were static and the smoke from this industrial building was rising directly upwards.

Beautiful

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pas de publicité

Pas de pub or Pas de publicité, it's something that you sometimes see written on house letter boxes in France.

It means 'no publicity brochures' which is a popular French way of giving you plenty of material for the recycling bin.
In France the major supermarkets and shops all send out masses of promotional material that the postman duly stuffs through your letter box (unless you have a note on the box saying that you don't want such material of course).

Since we only go to the Gite periodically the publicity material builds up in our letter box.

The letter box was absolutely stuffed to the brim with publicity this time, so much so that you couldn't get any more in.

On digging through the pile it was just the publicity brochures from September through to early January this year. At that point the box was full and looked like postie gave up trying to deliver any more.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

A very rural French protest?

On our way back to the Gite on Saturday we passed this convoy of tractors and people marching.

The tractors all had tree branches attached to their cabs and were beeping their horns.

We saw some signs with an aeroplane with a cross through it, so maybe the protest was against an airport, but the nearest airfield is a tiny place so not quite sure what all the commotion was and why the tractors all had trees on them.

Very French!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Got a new trailer

Just arrived at the Gite.

Our big new acquisition was a trailer that we brought over with us.

Every time we come to the Gite there is plenty of gardening to do and it's a bit difficult stuffing all the branches in the car (plus Liz complains at me for messing up her car).
Putting the cuttings in the hedgerows is another option but it's not ideal and always makes me feel guilty.

And so the trailer is going to be really useful to take stuff to the déchetterie.
Top tip for the ferry: it was cheaper to put the trailer on the roof rack and pay for the extra height than to tow it behind us.

Sorted!

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