Our five weeks in Brittany went in a flash, but it was great to be stationary for a while and to experience such a rural existence. I’m a self-confessed city girl, but am now seriously considering changing my mind.
Mel – Four dogs is a lot. They were a handful, but generally only when they were due to be walked. Biggest thing I learned; don’t bend over to put your shoes on when there’s an excited labrador around, not unless you want to be accidentally head-butted. My love of beagles has been reinforced by crackers Jacob. I really miss them, it’ s very quiet.
Nick – All of the fab four were great, but Leo was the self-proclaimed star. He has an incredibly endearing quality – the wholehearted, unwavering belief that what the world needs is more Leo. Far more Leo. To him, life is simply a succession of Leo-shaped holes waiting to be filled. I miss the silly sod a lot.
Mel – The farmhouse was amazing and the area was picturesque and full of “Breton character”. It was great to have the car for exploring and the changing leaves and smell of wood-smoke really added to the whole atmosphere of the place.
Nick – It’s a bit cliched but I can’t look past Mont St Michel.
Mel – There are a lot, the strangest was when we were driving along and the back windows of the Jeep were moving up and down at different speeds due to damp electrics. I think my favourite was finding the eggs though, especially the goose eggs. Every time there was a new one, it gave me the same feeling of wonderment at how it could be possible to make and lay them so quickly. I also loved it every time Jacob jumped into the footwell of the Landrover to make sure the shadows were still there.
Nick – At the risk of this turning into the Leo show – but, to be honest, that’s what our five weeks in Brittany were – I’m going to go for a one of the many moments involving everyone’s favourite black Labrador. Today the one that sticks in my mind is when he got his comeuppance for a lifetime spent chasing cats.
The look on his face when Bailey – a proper Bond villain’s cat – bopped him on the nose was priceless. It’s easy to project human feelings onto a face like Leo’s, but he really did seem to be expressing shock and indignation.
Mel – The dogs and cats provided endless entertainment and we watched a lot of Grand Designs on the telly.
Nick – Probably dipping into the home owners’ bookshelves. One of the little joys of borrowing other peoples’ lives is how it forces you out of your usual patterns.
Food and drink
Mel – We ate at some fantastic restaurants, but mainly just bought local produce to prepare at home. Nick found a recipe for squash and cider soup, I made goose egg sponge cake and we mustn’t forget the chestnuts. The season and the location worked perfectly in our favour and having an abundance of new tastes right in our back yard was brilliant.
Nick – I planned to write a whole post on cooking and eating in Brittany. But I got distracted by food. And probably Leo. In short the food was great. Having access to fresh eggs, chestnuts, walnuts etc really booted me out of a culinary rut.
It made me think…
Mel – How can I have a place where I can keep geese and grow my own food, but still be able to go out for dinner or a drink without having to drive for miles!
Nick – Would the next home owners we help mind if we turned up with Leo?