Day Five: Rest and the Guillotine.

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

There was a new addition to the kitchen, a contraption which resembled a guillotine

Following the best night’s sleep in a long while, I headed down to the kitchen and took a seat at the giant table. This I shared with Christine, Vasillia and a Scotsman, also named Brian. As I savoured my fresh baguette and with Breton butter and caramelised apple preserve, I felt an inner calm.

There was a new addition to the kitchen, a contraption which resembled a  guillotine that one used at school to neatly cut paper. When I mentioned this to my fellow diners, they all laughed. Then I made the connection, between the bread cutter and the instrument of execution, invented by the Frenchman of the same name. Needless to say, I was very careful with my next slice.

Christine prepared coffee and I enjoyed it from a bowl, with plenty of milk in true French style. The memories came flooding back with the taste of the yeasty, crunchy bread washed down with warm, sweet coffee.

In conversation with Brian, I discovered that he was a retired classic car restorer. In fact he’d made his fortune by building up a business and selling it in his thirties. What he didn’t know about cars wasn’t worth knowing. However, the more interesting fact was that Brian stayed here under the Work away scheme, unlike my Homestay scheme.

The former allows people to stay with a family and work twenty hours a week in exchange for full board and lodgings. Brian worked between Monday and Friday in the huge gardens. He did this for several months, before returning to his adopted home in Bulgaria.

The latter, my choice, enables a person to live within the bosom of a family as an integral part of it, for a modest daily sum. This fee reduced with the number of days one commits to. Either scheme is a gamble which, on this occasion, both Brians won.

The amenable Scotsman had his work cut out as both gardens had been badly damaged during the two storms in early January. The lovely patio shelter, in which I’d shared so many memories, was no more, and the cover of the swimming pool had ended up in another part of the village!

My new home is one of four Noble houses built in Plougonven in the seventeenth century. They were all given similar names and on discovering the one my refuge held, I was pleasantly shocked. They were as follows:

Monplaisir – My Pleasure

Mondésir – My Desire

Monvluloir – My Want,

And finally:

Monrepose – My Rest.

Yes, you guessed right. My new home was the last one, having given up on the other three. How appropriate!

I spent the morning wandering around the village getting my bearings and recalling thoughts and feelings from a year and a half ago. Even though, then, I seemed happy and was in a relationship with a beautiful young woman, on this occasion there is now a calmness and lack of anxiety felt then. Monrepose – My Rest…I like that.


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