Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What I Did On My Holidays

I promise not to make this a long and tedious litany of holiday adventures; merely a few edited highlights before I get back to the usual Millbrookese.

Mrs The Millbrooker and I spent the first six days enjoying our own company, taking cripplingly muddy walks in the Breton moorlands and organising a new dishwasher for the holiday home (hey, we know how to enjoy ourselves).

We also celebrated our anniversary and I have to say thank you to Steve from Bar la Forge for his collusion in the secret flower delivery.

On a day trip to Guingamp we were entertained by a troupe of recorder players performing medieval airs. I was particularly taken with their only male member's yellow tights which served to draw attention to possibly the spindliest legs in Christendom. (You can enlarge the photo and take a gander yourself by double clicking on it).

On the morning of Friday 13th (now there's a portent for you) we were joined in time for Bastille Day by Dong & Auntie Sharon who had brought Dozybean and EarMatt with them. The holiday seemed to take on a more alcoholic haze from then on, driven by Dong's frequent single-syllable crie-de-coeur:"Bar".

They brought a touch of sunshine with them and the Bastille Day parade of Bagads in Carhaix-Plougeur was almost rain free (a few drops into our beers before the parade began and that was it). The parade was, as always, quite a stunning sight and an equally stunning selection of sounds. The Breton pipes and the bagads themselves make an unbelievable racket that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

The evening's festivities in Mael-Carhaix involved us not taking part in the shot-put competition having arrived after the trophy had already been awarded; chickening out of forming a tug-o-war team called "Perfidious Albion" (copyright Dong) and sinking outrageously large glasses of rough-as-hell country wine before the exceptionally impressive fireworks display over the water gardens started 35 minutes late.

The remaining days of accompanied holidaying involved a trudge through some decent Breton mud to a neolithic monument; several bouts of late night (and occasionally ill-advised) singing; EarMatt and Dozybean hiring a canoe for a paddle around the Lac de Guerledan and a good face-stuffing at La Ronde des Mets in Carhaix.

All too soon, The Good, The Bad and The Halflings (work out who's who for yourself) had to wave cheerio after a lunch of lovely petoncles in Morlaix, leaving us to spend our last few days yomping through more mud and pathways-cum-streams in and around the Monts d'Arree. We do this sort of thing for fun, you know.

I haven't put a "complete set" of photos on the link for this one, there's several million of them and I don't get that much free webspace, let alone that much time to organise them into what's publishable and what's not. Not to mention the unbelievable tedium of looking at someone else's holiday snaps especially when so many of them feature deep mud. Here's just a few images from the holiday showing the crew doing what we do best:

First up, Lush Lewis enjoys catching some relatively rare rays on the patio at Trebrivan, sporting an elegant pair of rolled up jeans:
EarMatt is a tidy little fellow and our failure to sweep the patio in the last 18 months encouraged him to pick up the much-underused broom and display his undoubted talent in tai-ch'i broomery:

Dozybean showed that she can still fall for the old "let-one-go-and-escape-quickly-before-she-smells-it" routine:Dong showed his disdain for decorousness as he enjoyed his morning fag whilst performing his now traditional imitation of the laundry: Nicky did a fine job of nosing around empty and possibly abandoned country cottages. I'm never quite sure whether it constitutes trespass, but we do seem to spend quite a bit of time in other people's overgrown gardens peeking through windows (or in this case, down a well):
And yours truly did an equally fine job of having the most cruelly unflattering photo ever in the history of the universe taken whilst clambering onto a rocky vantage point on the crests of the Monts d'Arree. I'd like to point out that it's entirely the angle of the camera and has nothing to do with eating or drinking too much:

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