Monday, 31 May 2010

Fresh strawberries from the garden

The strawberry season officially started 2 weeks ago in my vegetable patch in Brittany!

I have been picking a few every day. As I replaced all my plants last October, I should have nice tasty strawberries all summer until the end of October.

Unfortunately, unlike my friend Sue who is lucky enough to have hedgehogs in her garden so NO slugs, I have to be quick and pick my strawberries before they get eaten!

I will have to do something about the slugs this year. I sometimes put beer for them. With a bit of luck they will prefer a nice beer to my strawberries!

Anyone who has a trick to keep slugs away, please let me know!

Scrap yards around Dinan

A few days ago I realised my front windscreen wiper was not working. Not being an expert I took my car to the garage! After a series of tests, I was told the motor for the wiper had to be changed. The bad news was it cost €200 to replace it. If it had been the back wiper, it wouldn’t have been too bad, but the front one, I really needed it! Luckily the weather has been great lately in Brittany so I have not needed to use the front wiper!

I was not too keen to spend €200. Thankfully my friends advised me to get a second-hand one from a scrap yard (casse). I looked in the French Yellow pages for 'casse' and found 2 near Dinan. One in Meillac (towards Combourg) and one in Plenée Jugon near Jugon-les-Lacs.

I called the closest and picked up the part the same day. It was only €35 so a right bargain comparing to a new one!

My local garage (just outside Evran) was happy to change the part for me.

Unfortunately, they realised it was not the right wiper for my car. I took it back and got my money back. The garage managed to fix the wiper after all!

Bowling Alley “Le Belem” in Dinan

How to keep busy on a rainy or sunny day around Dinan?

If you live in Brittany or rent a gite for your holiday around Dinan, Le Belem Bowling Alley is the perfect place.

It is opened 7 days a week in the summer.

The price per game varies from €3.90 to €5.50. It is cheaper before 7 pm, and more expensive on bank holidays and Sundays.

They are offering 3 games for €10 (shoes included) from Sunday 7pm to Friday 7pm.

Special offer for children and students: €4 per game (shoes included). Don’t forget your student card!

Food is served in the evening or by reservation only at lunch time.

For more information, you can contact them by email or phone Christophe on 02 96 85 13 08.

Here is the address: Z.A. Des Alleux, 22100 Taden. Look for Taden Intermarché or Bricomarché and you should find the industrial estate where Dinan bowling is.

Have fun!

Boiler room - work in progress!

The last room in our cottage in Brittany that needs renovation: the boiler room.

Chris has just started work: insulation, plasterboard, new lights, cupboards and everything will be tidy. This is where I store all the bed linen for our gite in Brittany.

I can’t wait to see the room finished. In the meantime, I have to put up with the noise and dust but I know it will be worth it!

Pleugueneuc garden centre

After the stock car racing yesterday, I visited the nursery in Pleugueneuc / Plesder (Jardin de beau soleil). I needed a few plants for my hanging baskets.

I can recommend this place for plants. I find they are a bit cheaper than in any other garden centers around Dinan and a lot healthier. The choice of annuals is unbelievable! I tend to get carried away in garden centres but I behaved yesterday. I only bought what I needed!!

As it was Mother’s day, my friend and I got 10 pink geraniums each for free! Getting free plants from a garden centre, you can’t go wrong! ;o)

Pleugueneuc is in Brittany, 20 min from Dinan, between St Malo and Rennes.

Dinan port on a sunny day!

I can’t help taking pictures of Dinan port (Brittany)! I try not to drive through Dinan port as the traffic can be terrible once the summer season has started but the scenery is beautiful on a sunny day.

Enjoy the photo!

Stock car racing Near Dinan

A few days ago I noticed a sign for stock car racing (course de voitures à pédales) in Les Champs Géraux, 10 minutes South of Dinan in Brittany for Sunday 30th May.

Living in Evran, only a couple of miles away, I decided to go with a friend and see what this was all about!

The race was organized by local people for the second year and 26 cars took part. It was fun to see them all. I recognized a few: Spiderman, Marsipulami, Calimero, Batman, a witch, etc.

The race started about 2.30pm and carried on until 5pm. I guess they were all exhausted after 2 hours of pedaling!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Rophémel Dam in Guitté/Guenroc

I am always looking for something interesting to do on a bank holiday! On Monday 24thMay, I organised a walk in the area with a few friends. As it was extremely hot (already 20 degrees at 10am and over 30 in the afternoon!!) I had to review my choice of walk. I picked one which was in woodland so we were not too hot. Starting from the centre of Guitté in Brittany, (about 15 minutes South of Dinan), we walked along the dam (barrage de Rophémel) and back to the car.

I would recommend this walk. It was very enjoyable and the scenery was beautiful. See the photo!

It took us just under 3 hours and it was about 9 km long.

I have a book called ‘le pays de Dinan à pied”. It gives you a choice of 39 different walks all around Dinan in Brittany. Some are short, easy or a bit longer and harder!

If you come to Brittany for a walking holiday, I do recommend this book. You should easily find it in supermarkets, bookshops and sport shops in Brittany. If you are looking for a place to stay, see this link.

Whilst there you could visit the Château de Couellan and if you have children, the play area of Guitté will keep them amused for a while!