I arrived in Plymouth after various adventures en route including an unexpected party at St Malo and am in for a busy week.
Went to the farm at Calvados and picked up a few more important things from the wreckage of 94 RPR, my home of 22 years.
The news unlike the spirit from Calvados is not good.
My gear has to be gone by April ish as the farm is to be sold.
The farm is more or less empty now.
I found no way of cooking or keeping warm but managed a snug night in my sleeping bag and thermal hat pulled down almost to my nose.
I was reminded of my dear ol Dad’s stories sleeping in ditches the other side of Normandy some 60 years earlier after D Day. Dad left us a vivid account of his time there as an ordinary British Lieutenant in the Pioneer Corps. I was warmer, dryer and certainly safer than he ever was. His nights were disturbed by gunfire, falling shrapnel (some pieces as big as your fist) the chance of unwelcome Germans arriving and the Luftwaffe randomly strafing ditches.
Maybe one day I should publish his notes here?
I awoke to a very crystal clear ice cold dawn.
Having made a frosty hazardous icy drive to Gorron for supplies and breakfast I shifted through as much of my container as possible finding most of what I wanted and being joined by a homeless very lonely crying cat.
My pussy friend had apparently stopped mice entering my little mound, I was more than pleased to give her most of my fresh milk
Rather felt for the cat, more so looking at the little that was left from my beautiful home at Plymstock.
We were never well off nor short of essentials and at the end had every modern convenience and some lovely extras, even the love was still there buried inexpressible under anger and frustration.
Is divorce a catastrophic? Certainly the cost continues in many ways long after the event like rippes spreading on a lake after a stone is thrown in. You tell me ?
Decided one very cold night with no warm drink was enough so left the farm that evening before dusk hoping to get to St Malo.
I’ve never visited St Malo before. It is a sea port much recommended by several friends.
Soon after dusk, the drive took me past St Michael’s Mount, Mont Saint Michel.
A wondrous site sitting on the wet sand flats in the twilight and lit with dozens of chains of “stain glass” coloured lights all reflected in the wet sand.
Little did I know, at St Marlo I was to be picked up in the nicest possible way.
I arrived on the outskirts of St Malo to be surprised by the heavy traffic and lack of hotels in the approaches. Following my luck, and being a sailor I followed the signs towards the port. I arrive deep in the heart of the old town and ran out of road, a beach in front and happily, a small hotel on my right so nuts to the cost I stopped.
Hotel La Rance (tel: +33 (0) 2 99 81 78 63 ) turned out to be charming, recently modernised and 67 Euro’s for a 3rd floor en suite sea view room and a decent breakfast.
Chantal Moullin had been there 3 years with her husband Thierry, was pleasantly chatty and clearly loved living at Quai Sebastopol, Port Solidor, enthusing about the life and the places around. She recommended I live by the sea at St Malo but probably says that to every one!
I asked her to recommend an inexpensive good restaurant and Chantal recommended Phare de L’Alet, kindly phoning to check they had a table.
The place turned out to be only 2 minutes walk away, the 3rd café / bar on the right…
The Phare de l’Alet turned out to be a tiny very Breton bar. Family run, traditional style decor and colouring as I entered I thought, this will test my French!
Only 14 table seats and crowded with local people in for a drink and chin wag.
I was given a seat beside one of the doors and a menu. I quickly equipped myself with a beer and discovered as the bar was a no smoking zone most of the customers would pop out into the cold night for a puff which meant opening “my door”.
I was just pleased to be there so did not mind. The food was excellent.
Almost everyone at least wished me “bon appetite” as they passed
It was not my intention or expectation to stay late, just to have a meal then turn in.
The friendly Breton’s changed that and I found to my surprise I understood more than 75% of what was said, I in turn was well understood, more easily than “down South” in the Tarn.
Eventually to my surprise, a delicious attractive and well developed French lady fell into conversation with me and sat down opposite to chat.
It was not long before I was invited to join her table and friends who turned out to include a cute Jewish woman of Polynesian origin, both liked me… so I ended up at a singing and dancing party till 03.00. and a with a phone number.
I shall return to St Malo, as you very well know, it’s not my brain that is doing the
I have been without affection for so many years thus I must find out more…
I could do with a mini break for some thinking on painting marketing strategy for 2009. One of the points mentioned by my advisors is live nearer your markets. This is a good excuse / opportunity?
Easier said than done?
I’ve never explored the coast from Roscoff to St Malo which I am told is very beautiful. I’ve always bolted straight back to Castelnau de Montmiral.
I have little intention of living there although who knows what is next? The visit to St Malo was full of surprises and rubs in sea fever.
If you found your self wondering where to live and paint, sleeping yards from the sea, dinning well and partying in good company what would you think?