Did I mention coming back through customs on the way home from France?
We had as you know if you read the last post, taken Harriet's boyfriend Reece with us.
If you take someone under 16 abroad, and they are not related, then you have to have a letter signed by their parents, giving you permission, which is fair enough.
So we did, and on the way OUT OF THE COUNTRY, we were not asked for it.
On the way back in, we were. So it was rather unfortunate that Lucy had packed the letter in the bottom of a bag, in the bottom of the boot, assuming it would not be needed on the way back.

It was!

So that was fun (NOT).

A bit of advice

Best not to have a laugh with customs people while you wife is looking for the letter by saying

"We weren't expecting to bring him back, but we couldn't find a buyer"

Just sayin....................................

And now, all the good things (for me)

Olly got his results this week, on his return from another holiday in Portugal (him not us), and all is good with the world.
Well, all is good in Olly's World,
because he has his place at Moulton College in Northampton.
This is an excellent thing, because he can now do his Advanced Diploma in Sport, which is an A level equivalent, as part of the Rugby Academy, which is of course his passion.

So all in all, EXCELLENT.

Olly is No 25, playing Open Side

And also he had his first run out for Shelford Nomads (2nd XV ) this afternoon.
He had a good match, and Shelford won which is a bonus.
Ok, not the best game and a bit ragged in places, 
but first outing of the new season, and a win is a win.

So successful rugby, although tough taking photos in the never ending rain.

This next bit is for Catherine, who has for some reason taken exception to the fact
that in my 2011 Day 4 Cannich to Ault Na Goire write up, where we passed through Bearnock for something like 15 minutes, inc coffee stop, that instead of writing about the people and history and social aspects of the area, I mentioned it briefly, and fleetingly.
Apparently, this made my blog entry, pretentious and pointless, and I need to get a life.
Well, you cannot please everyone can you.

Pretentious Me (probably), 

"but nowt wrong we mi life tha nas", Catherine

So, this posting has therefore nothing to do with the life and times of the people of Bottisham, Cherry Hinton, or Shelford, all places I cycled through today fleetingly on my way to the rugby to watch Olly.
And as such it is of course flippant, pretentious rubbish, and not worth reading or writing.

Catherine of course does not have a blog as far as I know.
If she does, I am sure it is Shakespearean, or Dickensian in its social and literary content.

And back to the plot.

It rained a bit today in Cambridgeshire.
Rather a lot really.
Thunder, lightening, sleet and hail.

It rained on the way there, a lot, I know I was on my bike.
It rained during the match.
In fact at one point they had to come off for 15 min, because there was no visibility.
AND I can definitely testify that it rained on the way back.
Lots and lots and lots of it.
So much that I had to stop twice and spend 40+ minutes in bus shelters.
Yes, I could have cycled, but it was so heavy, that I was more concerned about the visibility to motorists.
Eventually I did make it back, but was quite surprised having cycled through the A14 underpass, to find that by the time I got half way through, the puddle was actually over 2' deep.
In fact, it was nearly to the top of the wheel at one point, and damned hard to cycle through.
Suffice it to say, that when I eventually got back home I was rather damp.

And so, to the cloud pictures at last, taken from our house, looking out across the fields.
Wonderful moody stuff.

I like clouds, you might have spotted that,
and so here are some especially pretentious ones :)

I had cycled through that lot.
Well, at ground level.

I did fiddle with the colour balance on this one

This is my favourite (but I love B&W)

Probably second favourite.
Very Close Encounters

All pictures taken with a
Samsung NX10
& 50 - 200 OIS Lens
+ Massa Polarising Filter

This posts music is
#98 by Matt Corcoran
I couldn't find a U Tube clip so you may not get a controller for it.



Mais oui!

Nous avons quitté Portsmouth à St Malo sur la nuit en ferry.

Il a fallu un certain temps pour obtenir à bord, mais finalement nous avons réussi à obtenir dans notre cabine.

Le soleil commençait à descendre, et nous sommes allés sur le pont pour regarder le soleil se coucher

C'était magnifique

Coucher de soleil depuis le ferry

Quitter Portsmouth et l'une des tours Martello
Le jour suivant, nous avons débarqué à St Malo.
Mais, sur la route nous sommes allés rendre visite à des amis qui habitent à St Jacut.

Roger est l'anglais, et Claire, elle est français, mais a travaillé en Angleterre depuis de nombreuses années, et parle couramment les deux langues.

Oh enough of this French stuff, I struggle with writing it almost as much as speaking it,
so I apologise for the endoubted multiple errors in the above.
But heh, I tried.

So, yes, we did go to France.
We are English.

We tried to speak French as much as possible.
Well, Harriet and I tried to speak it.
Lucy can speak it, having spent some time in France in an earlier life, before I came along and ruined it for her.

Which brings me to a completely unrelated and off at a Tangent topic.

Recently I received an odd Anonymous Comment on my 2011 TGO Challenge Day 4

I have NO IDEA what it was all about, although a bit after that there was some strange activity on my blog. Not saying the two were related, just sayin.........

I did reply to this, but I have now stopped anonymous comments, on the grounds that if you haven't the balls to put your name, then you probably have nothing to say.

Just my opinion.

Well I did also answer the comments in probably a less than friendly manner, but heh....

Anyway as another response to it I would say

"Pretentious!  Qui Moi?"

And back to today's topic ..................................

Roger and Claire's super garden
Infact, we spent much of the day there, after breakfast, we went to the beach and then back to lunch.

The beach

I mean, it was a holiday after all.

Eventually however, we had to drive the extra 60km down to Quechera (I may have spelt that wrong), which is near Gomene, which is a bit to the West of Rennes, and a bit North West of Ploermel.

The closest town is Merdrignac.

We are in the whiteis building to the left of the road bottom left of picture.
You cannot see us, but we are waving.

The rather fine farmhouse and outbuildings
The entrance to our gite

Inside our gite.
Well, a bit of it anyway

It looks flat round here, and ok, it is not the Alps, but I can testify that it is a darned sight more hilly than it looks, as I found out when I went out for a run and to see what was about.
Get a 1:25000 of the area and look.
Definitely hills.

This was a really fabulous place and Julie who it belongs to was excellent, and friendly.
Ok, it is a bit out of the way, and you really do need a car to go and do anything, unless you have some good bikes.

Here is a link the the website La Campagnard

Well worth a visit if you like a bit of peace and quiet.

Part of the garden at the gite
The pond at the gite.
It was this and Roger and Claires that inspired us.
Ok our pond is much much smaller, but then again, so is our house and garden

Anyway, if you like peace and quiet, and countryside  
(well, apart from the few Wind Turbines - Don't  start me off,
the French seem to like buggering up some of their views too
but other than that it is perfect.

Bob the cat at the gite.
He is a fine fellow and very friendly

So anyway, we liked it , and luckily for us, the weather was excellent the whole time.
Apart from just the one afternoon, when it hosed down.

So that is it really, we spent a great week, doing very little, apart from going to rivers and beaches and swimming, and hiring canoes, and generally sight seeing and dosing about, in a slightly energetic way, and I did a few runs, and we drank French wine and Pastis and Belgian beer.

Tough life eh.

Did I mention the swimming pool?

This is with the roof on at the end of the day,
but the roof folded back completely to make it an open air pool.
Only 12m long, but after a hot day out bloody wonderful

Anyway, the rest is just a few photos of some lovely places in Brittany.

Well places we went to anyway

A local bread over being restored.

Apparently, you can get a grant to get them restored.
The chaps working on this one, (I say working), had been at it for weeks.
They seemed to spend a lot of time not actually doing anything at all, and then they went home again. In the week we were there I think they did 5 layers of tiles.

Just another roadside cross.
There are many of these all over the place
and also many places which have croix in their name

The church at Ploermel

Wooden scuplture at Ploermel

A meniere / standing stone in Gomene
These are also littered liberally all over the place

The small lake in Gomene, looking towards the church.
Taken on an evening run

I just liked this old window in Josselin
Lanes in Josselin

Window Shutter

Looking along the river at Josselin from near the Chateau

Looking up to the Chateau

I just loved the colours of this cottage

Now this is an odd one.
This is the LAKE at Mendrignac
It is marked on the maps as a lake.
It is a lake of very little water content

Another standing stone near Meniac

Along the beach at St Jacut

The castle at St Jacut, looking across to the town

View of the bay from the castle at St Jacut

I just liked this bit of old wooden beam

Another bay view at St Jacut

And then we had to come home.

However, on the way we went back and spent the day and a night in St Jacut.

So after another fine day on the beach having borrowed Claire's canoe, and also a rather nice walk round the old castle, it was time for dinner with Roger and Claire, and then we were off to St Jacut again, to walk across the bay to the island.
This is a walk in the dark with candles, and an annual event.

As luck would have it, this was the day, and so we joined somewhere around 400 people.

St Jacut has an enormous tidal range. I believe it is 14m at its maximum

Dancing before the sunset, whilst waiting for the tide to go completely out, and the walk started

Looking out to where we would walk across and round the island

Sun going down by the beach

Crocs at the ready.
Let's hope Humphrey doesn't spot these then

Almost time to go

Handheld timelapse at the island.

Looking back at the candle lit procession
Remember, this was done at night, across a sandbank, either side of which was water.
Probably would not be allowed in England due to the requirement of 15 pages of forms that would need to be filled in before it was rejected by our Nanny State, and a bunch of Jobsworths.

Vive La France!

And then we really did go home.

Alan Stivell - Renaissance of the Celtic Harp It's a bit long this, but beautiful and somehow rather appropriate.