Welcome to our Brittany Blog
How Important Is Lunch?
To the French VERY important!
77% of French people take more than 30 minutes for lunch on weekdays whilst 73% of British people take less than 30 minutes!
76% of French people prefer to eat lunch in a restaurant during the week and the majority do! To eat a sandwich at your desk is positively frowned upon in France whereas in England NOT to eat a sandwich at your desk is frowned upon!
Work / Life balance is never easy but I think the French have got it right!
French Anger Over Beach Privatisation.....
The 5.4km sandy beach at La Baule is going to be privatised and local business owners are furious.
Soon the longest beach in Europe will be managed by the French environmental services company, Veolia.
Veolia has invited bids for sailing clubs, childrens clubs and restaurants. All of the 35 existing business structures will be replaced with standardised modules.
In France, no beach can be truely private because the sea and the beach are public domains and an 1858 ruling states that there must be free access of the public to the beaches. However, the state may grant temporary rentals of beach sections for a maximum of 12 years.
There are strict rules on what the concessionaires can do, they can only operate for 6 months a year, no permanent structures, all tempoary structures to be removed at the end of each season and no fences.
Veolia will be the middle man between the state and the concession operators and it is thought that by year 4, the concession rentals will be in the region of €850,000pa. Not bad, considering that Veolia have negotiated an annual rental of €170,000 to the State.
I bet the mayors of lots of coastal towns are watching La Baule with great interest. If this formula works we may see many more 'privatised' French beaches.
Poete Ferrailleur-`Metal Sculpture Extraordinaire`
If you are coming to Brittany this summer… if there is one place I would recommend it would have to be Poete Ferrailleur-`Metal Sculpture Extraordinaire`. It is quirky in a very Breton Way!
Located near Lizio this local artisan’s work must be seen. Using recycled materials he creates moving, musical and even aquatic sculptures. He’s also quite keen on building odd moving machines and bizarre fountains
There`s over sixty moving works of art. Children can push buttons, pedal things, turn odd looking handles and the `sculptures` all come to life. It really is amazing.
I cannot recommend it enough…
Brittany As It Was During The Resistance
I find the resistance fascinating. The bravery of normal people. The lengths they went to to save their country.
The resistance museum is located in Saint Marcel, about ten minutes away on the outskirts of Malestroit. It is a modern well presented museum charting the darker days of the second world war when the Germans had a large base at Malestroit.
Saint-Marcel was one of the most important locations for the Resistance in Brittany. This museum tells the Resistance story.
It describes the course of events from the occupation to the formation of the Resistance and finally to the huge allied parachute drop that liberated the town and surrounding area. There's loads of exhibits from tobacco tins to full size tanks. You can take a trip in an armored personnel carrier or if you prefer watch the old footage in one of the cinemas -English subtitles.
The Postman Stops For Coffee
A growing problem in France and England is that older people want to stay in their own homes longer but families, often living huge distances from their ageing parents worry about their health and well being.
La Poste has come up with a solution, 'Veiller sur mes parents'. This new service offered by La Poste ensures that the elderly person is visited by the postman /postwoman at least once a week and after this visit there will be a text message to relatives to say how the elderly person is doing. In addition there is a 24/7 telephone helpline and links to local handymen.
This service costs €35.99 a month and it is hoped that this service will help prevent the well known problem of loneliness which can affect older people.
A Blue Lobster...
Fisherman, Mickaël Gault has caught an extremely rare blue lobster just off the coast of Brittany.
Instead of selling the lobster to a restaurateur it is now swimming quite happily at the marine museum, Océanoplois at Brest.
Only one in every 2 million lobsters are this blue. Although lobsters have a blueish tint this vivid blue colour is caused by a genetic anomaly resulting in the production of protein
Just The Coolest Thing....
A retired cabinet maker, Michel Robillard from Indre-et-Loire has made a 2CV from local trees.
The wings are walnut and pear wood, the main structure is apple wood and for the boot and doors he used cherry wood.
The car has taken M.Robillard six years to build and as soon as he has had the electrics checked he is panning a tour around France is his wooden 2CV
I just hope that I get a glimpse of it !