Friday, 13 December 2013

I love Cheese! Friday a Private peak...

Who needs a kitchen or an oven when you can eat cheese and baguette all week?!
Mind you, you need good teeth for French baguettes! Must be good for the gums..
We have had such a good time here in France. It has been a real adventure. We have done so much!!!
We were invited to spend an evening with our new French friends, which was a real treat. Very fascinating company. Great sense of humour. We did laugh when he was telling us about the illegal building that goes on everywhere. Apparently, the Mayor went on a tour of the region, and afterwards he said he had never seen so many "stables" with curtains!

Another day, we got lost and found a tiny village in the back of beyond. So there was a café and we went in. It was empty, but the lady asked us if we wanted lunch, so we followed her down a dark corridor, and when she opened the door to the dining room, it was packed! We proceeded to enjoy a 5 course meal. We just sat back and let it come! Amazing. And you'd pay the same money for 2 coffees and a bit of cake at Starbucks!

So this is a fantastic cheese stand in Josselyn. Whilst I was buying enough cheese to feed every Brit in Bretagne, Dave was taking snapshots. And why does the fruit here in France taste so different? Why can I buy clementines here and they are always lovely, whereas in England it is totally hit and miss. Same with the tomatoes.

Another day, we went to a huge Supermarché, but decided to have a spot of lunch there, too. I was a bit surprised when the waitress asked us if we had reserved. What? For a sandwich in a supermarket restaurant? It was packed. Well, she found us a table, and then the courses started coming again! It was their Christmas Dinner Party!

This was Pontivy. We had to go there because it was the closest Bureau de Change, and I had spent all our cash on cheese! But what a beautiful town we found! It is really lovely.

And then a huge number of Canadian geese flew over, in perfect formation.

Then we went to Hennebont market, and bought baskets for our Christmas hampers.
And then, we came home to our lovely cottage, and I drew, which is something I love to do.

a French boy.

And so, as our little break here draws to a close, and we wend our way back to Britain, all I know is we will be back! The weather has been perfect, the walks have been perfect, way too much food.

Maybe I could organize a mini retreat for 15 or 20 of us, to stay here with Alain and Elizabeth at their wonderful Gites. We could take over the place for a week. Travel in a minibus through the Eurotunnel. I certainly know where to buy good cheese!

Hands up who fancies a crafty Clarity trip to this little slice of heaven next Summer....
Love
Barb xx

84 comments:

  1. Love the idea of the mini retreat but willing to bet mega money you'd have more than 15 applicants! Glad you've had a lovely time xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a fabulous idea, count me in please!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have such a way with words. Good to hear you've enjoyed your break so much, a change of scenery does you good. Where do I sign up for next summer, sounds amazing x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds as if you have had a wonderful time, a trip away sounds idyllic

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pontivy is a gorgeous town, I really loe it. Will bring you some Clémentines when coming to the NEC next time, now that I know you like them..... And is you do a Crarity class as well as the trip, please count me in, only about 2 hours from there.
    Glad you had a loely time. Your draw looks stunning, can't wait for the stamp to arrive.... Have a safe trip back.
    Laurence xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Me 2, please. Looks fantastic. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd sign up for that, I have a feeling it would be a fantastic experience - so count me in. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us I've really enjoyed it and safe journey home.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It would be different from Cowden! Nes pa? We have family who live about two hours from where you stayed. And I'm still mad keen to get a siret number sorted and do a French expo.... I.don't like being told I can't do something it makes me want to do it all the more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am with you, Bernie. Being told you cannot do something is like red rag to a bull. I have to find a way. Good luck getting your number sorted to do your expo. xx Maggie

      Delete
  9. Pick me pick me pick me... I love cheese. And cheese with Clarity would be fab. So glad you had such a lovely adventure. Travel back safely. See you in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Barb,
    Sounds as if you've had a brilliant time in such a beautiful area of France. Also sounds as if you are now "recharged" and bursting with ideas! The Clarity retreat sounds fantastic but I'll guarantee that you'll have far too many applicants!!! Anyway, so pleased that you've had a lovely time and look forward to seeing the "French boy" stamp in production. Alison xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hand up Barb, Hand up!!!!!
    I have never really explored France apart from the customary school trip to Calais back in the 70', then a few ferry trips later on for the wine etc, more recently Paris for a weekend, but never the countryside you have shown … I am bereft of French in my language skills but with you on hand I am sure I could cope!!! So yes it sounds like a wonderful idea and I would be very very keen!!!! Love the photos - you look happy and relaxed - xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes please. Me, me, me, Miss. So glad your personal retreat has done you so much good. I am off in about an hour for my second Christmas meal of the week - diet, what diet. Oh boy! Must settle down again for next week, in readiness for the big day. Safe journey home to the family. xx Maggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS I used to be a teacher of French in another life, but I am so rusty now, I need all the practice I can get. My pen friend used to live in Nantes and we went all over the area, on bikes, trains, boats etc, out to Pornic and Isle de Noirmoutier across the causeway. I had been toying with the idea of taking myself over there for a short break in the car next year, wondering if I had the guts to do it on my own. I am already drooling over the thought of the chocolate eclairs and all the other gastronomic delights of that area, the pears and peaches just dripping in juice and flavour ........

      Delete
    2. Maggie, you could give us all a refresher course xxxx

      Delete
    3. In drooling over all that glorious fruit etc. No problem! French could be a little trickier, I am so out of practice. I think I need a refresher course myself, Emma. xx

      Delete
  13. sounds magical Barbara - and I'm so glad you've had a wonderful relaxed time - the meals and cheese sure sound good! A clarity trip there would be amazing I'm sure!!! Lol! Hugs Rachel xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Barb!
    Sounds like it was wonderful!
    So pleased you had such a lovely break, and all those cheeses, and baguettes that you had to force down !
    Love this blog!
    LoveMarg

    ReplyDelete
  15. Morning Barb,
    Glad you and Dave have had such a lovely time. The Clarity trip sounds like a fantastic idea. I'd better start saving.. x

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love to join in ...........hopefully not any irate neighbours who will complain about the minibus !! lol - Gite looks fabulous - did they take dogs ?- we are looking for a gite in that area but have a chocolate lab who loves cheese too jx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a fabulous break in a beautiful area. Glad you have had fun xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, I would be up for that, the Gite sounds and looks perfect. Safe journey home and I look forward to all your new ideas to come :-) Lorna

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looks amazing, so glad you had a good break :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Barbara - this sounds very appealing - I think you may need more than a minibus!
    Safe trip home,
    XRuth

    ReplyDelete
  21. Brilliant idea .... only one problem ... I don't speak French !!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hope you had a wonderful relaxing time, both of you. It sounds wonderful and my French is nearly all lost due to lack of use. We can all dream of warm sunshine filled days, nice bread, cheese, maybe a little wine, as well as laughter and of course super crafting. Well if I spend the day daydreaming it's all your fault. Safe journey.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to join you on a Clarity break, however there is one problem I don't have a passport as I only holiday in Skegness and Norwich. I am glad you have ad a great time in France and hope you have managed to recharge your batteries.

    ReplyDelete
  24. OH Yes Please Barbara, in fact PRETTY PLEASE. What a fantastic idea. Glad that you and dave had such a wonderful break. Thank you for sharing it with us xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  25. When I once lived in Paris I loved the cheese and the Baguette as well. (Ages ago) I am pleased you had such a wonderful time xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Barbara Think a Double Decker is more Like .Peter says to tell you they are Canada Geese Not Canadian and he thinks "Grays Tours " sound expensive (to all the Husbands ) but a lovely idea xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. How beautiful it all looks, I remember the French cheese and delicious bread and their beautiful food markets, puts us poor Brits to shame. It is so sad as we grow some delicious things but we never get to buy them, just supermarket stuff that has been imported from god knows where! Off my soap box. Hope you have your batteries recharged and a retreat sounds a fantastic idea. Joan x

    ReplyDelete
  28. It sounds like you have had a brilliant holiday. Looking forward to the French style stamps.
    Lesley

    ReplyDelete
  29. It sounds lovely. Would love to go being on my own have not had courage to travel abroad any more. Look forward to your blogs every day xx

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sounds like you had a fantastic time Barbara. The gites look so beautiful, an ideal place for a break and not to far to travel.

    Sue x

    ReplyDelete
  31. I echo what others have said here, although I think a convoy of double-deckers might be needed!! Perhaps you should build your own Clarity gite-village to accommodate your hoards of fans! lol Et si on ne parle pas le Francais - c'est pas de probleme! Any news on the residential weekend for next year? Need to start saving the pennies! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  32. im glad you both enjoyed your break in France, it looks so beautiful, and a week crafting there would be heaven and I like cheese!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Have loved reading all your blogs from Brittany, bringing back happy memories! You are so right about the fruit at the fabulous markets.
    What a great idea for a holiday would love to join in.
    Glad to see you have had a lovely restful time, looking forward to the new ideas inspired by your trip
    Aileen xx

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yes, yes, yes, that sounds like a fab idea, i cant imagine anything better than going away to a beautiful country and crafting ( an getting away from the hubby would bé great to lol). Im so glad you both enjoyed your trip, theres nothing better than being relaxed,rested and raring to go, so i cant wait to see what stamps an stencils you come up with when your back.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've got my hand up! Sadly lack of funds, and disabilities would get in the way, But truly I'd be in 7th heaven if I could spend a week crafting with you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm with you on French cheese had loads of crotins when we were in the Loire valley/canal. My hands up but can I travel from Spain please?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yes Yes Yes, I would love to go, I am hoping to go to your classes next year. xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yes please. Crafting in France with Clarity, a perfect piece of heaven.
    I know why Food in France is better. We stay with out relations and they can buy French Food grown for the home market. The exported Food is quite different. When you eat real French Food in France, it is absolutely delicious. Not as good here in England. I get so cross when they keep it all themselves. Why can't they grow everything like they do for themselves instead of different for us?
    We went to a fantastic orchard farm where my relations buy their apples and we bought loads to bring back with us. I can't tell you how nice they were. We were even given a taste of the farmer's alcholic drink - a taster was all you needed to be very, very happy! I think we took some away with us?? I was so happy I can't quite remember!
    xxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Sheils. My penfriend always said that the French keep the best of their home grown produce, which is why their fruit is so luscious..Yet we send most of our good stuff abroad, like all our wonderful langoustines. Try buying them over here, they have all gone abroad. I do make a point now of buying the majority of my fresh fruit and veg from truly local farm shops in the Vale of Evesham, where it comes direct from the fields to the shops and into my car. That is good stuff and so is the meat I get from a brilliant local butcher, who sources as much as is possible from within a five mile radius of his shop (and it is cheaper than the supermarket too). We need to be more discerning over here and insist on getting local good quality food. Sorry, I am about to get on another of my soap boxes again. xx Maggie

      Delete
  39. Lovely blog Barbara. Julie, Sue and I are up for the 'retreat'. Just put our names on the list - we can hardly wait. That is, Julie Jones (from Menai). Sue Hughes, Caergeiliog, and Pam Roughley, Bodedern. on Anglesey. Hopefully the date will be announced soon. We all love food, crafting with you, and the adventure.
    P.S. Julie says sorry she can't make any Blog comments but her Ipad won't let her reply to Blogs at the moment and she can't figure out why, but she is still reading them.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anything involving cheese sounds perfect to me. There's only one problem........I don't have a passport! x

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am really enjoying your stories Barbara. Put me down down for clarity en France please - sounds magical. Stamping, cheese, baguettes, and a little wine peut être? Lxxx

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Barbara
    I live in beautiful Josselin and that was Fred tje cheeseman you saw. There are 5 of us here that would be interested in some classes so think you may have to come over more than once!! We all follow you on create and craft. So pleased you like our little corner of Brittany.

    Carole

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yes please that would be wonderful, trouble is I need to win the Lotto before lol!
    I remember trips to France and you really cannot beat fresh bread and cheese - yummy! TFS xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ah Yes, cheese in Brittany, food in France, it's all good, some even exceptional ! The problem
    In dear old Blighty, is we accept 2nd rate food. As an ex Sheep Farmer, I can say that the major
    Supermarkets have screwed down the prices to the producer to such an extent that cheap imports
    are the norm. It would appear that the 'masses' would rather have another TV channel or latest
    whatever , than pay for good quality food. It's up to US ! Don't settle for second best.
    Support the producers , independents and Farmers markets...Here endeth my rant,
    We have had a great time here, and will be back, next year, I hope................
    to be continued..............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, that is absolutely right, Dave. I would always rather pay more and buy well when it comes to food. And most things for that matter. X

      Delete
    2. I would rather have a smaller amount of something that is really good, full of flavour than tons of second rate cardboard tasting stuff. Why do the supermarkets sell foreign new potatoes at a time when we have fantastic Pembroke and Cornish produce? I had a real tantrum in the middle of Sainsbury's one year after coming back off holiday, having eaten lovely local stuff all week, only to find that all I could get was from Cyprus of Egypt etc. I love goat's milk and used to buy that locally, but I can't do that any more, which is really annoying. xx

      Delete
  45. A Clarity retreat it sounds wonderful, would really enjoy that. Trouble is I think you might have so many replies to it that you would probably have to stay in France while we all came over in shifts. Still sounds as if you have really enjoyed yourself so you might not mind. About to renew my passport so would be" Good to go ". So glad you have had a good break, certainly well earned. Welcome back to the mad Xmas rush. xx

    ReplyDelete
  46. fabulous post Barbara. Looks like you have had a great break away, much needed as you work so hard. The cottage looks fantastic, I would so love to go. Think you would have a battle on your hands though if only 20 spaces lol x

    ReplyDelete
  47. Amazing it sounds like you have well and truly recharged your batteries. Fantastique! Safe journey home and try and stay relaxed :-)

    ReplyDelete
  48. oh yes please Barbara. i haven't yet visited France so it is about time i do. Looks like an amazing place. so restful for the soul..... xx

    ReplyDelete
  49. Count me in! Sounds like you've had a fab week. All set for the family arriving for Christmas. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sounds as though you had a ball. Glad to hear it think you needed it very badly by the sound of it after all the demonstrations you have been doing.

    Pictures are brill.

    Hugs
    CraftyJacq
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  51. Well I love cheese, love clarity stamps, and if you get this far down the comments, then sign me up.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Your holiday sounds and looks amazing, I can't wait to see the results of your brain storming week.x

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Barb, it looks like you had a fabulous time, in what looks to be a beautiful place. Oh to dream of a trip to France with Clarity fans and of course the head of the pack - Barbara. Bx

    ReplyDelete
  54. Glad you had a wonderful time - it all looks fab! Not a big fan of cheese myself but I could overcome that :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Love the idea of a summer retreat, but our business wouldn't allow that! A winter retreat however ... now you're talking!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi I am reading blogs backwards, a little behind! (Yeh I wish) . Looks like you have filled up a few clarity retreats already with just the mention of it. It's like that film I love Field of Dreams. Find a lovely French Retreat put yourself in it and they will come!!! I love your French boy. So many sentiments would go with him. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  57. So glad you had a great break. It sounds like you have had fun. Yes please to the retreat, though I would have problems travelling on Eurostar! Your picture of the French boy is delightful. Thought I'd take this opportunity to say I love the new layout for the New Design club instructions, and your letter, as always is a great read. xx

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sounds as if you had a great week! I only really like cheese melted but I'm sure that could be arranged! Sounds as this is going to be a big retreat or you'll just have to move tomFrance so you an have weekly classes over there !!

    ReplyDelete
  59. What a wonderful time you have had En France! So glad as you needed a break and look what its given you! Lots of happy memories, a revitalised brain bursting with new images and good cheese! I hope you had a painless and safe journey home. Hugs and love to you and Dave. xx

    ReplyDelete
  60. Yes please, I would love to join you! It looks like you and Dave had enjoyed a well earned break

    ReplyDelete
  61. I have never been to France and it looks and sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I do love a trip to France, glad you have been having such a great time, thank you for sharing xx

    ReplyDelete
  63. me! me! me!....I do barb, wouldn't it be just great eh.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Oh Barbara, oh yes, bring it on, I would come. I love France, and I love Clarity Stamps. Just let me know if is wheelchair accessible. I made a great card for Xmas for my hubby using the small square shape sentiments. They are just fabulous - would share but I didn't use a Clarity Stamp for the main image! Instead I used a Xmas Nativity scene peeloff in black and stuck this onto sticky plastic and then used my gilding flakes for the background. I matted and layered in gold and black twice and then stuck onto black card stock. I used your new sentiments to stamp Happy Christmas onto black card and embossed in gold powder. I cut these out leaving a black border around the edge and added them to the card with foam pads. Next time around I am going to use your Nativity scene stamp now I have a formulae that works.

    ReplyDelete
  65. My hand is up Barbara in fact they both are c

    ReplyDelete
  66. I feel you, Barbara! The last time I went to Australia, I almost spent all money shopping for cheese as well. Anyway, have you tried any australian cheese brands?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x