Monday, August 10, 2009

Life's A Beach . . . (Brittany version. . .)

Life at the beach in the summer in Brittany can seem slow and idyllic, but if one looks carefully, there are hundreds of stage plays unfolding all around, slices of life, people being people, colors drenched in the sun, babies discovering sand and water, discovering the frontier between dry land and ocean, sensing somewhere deep in their genes the recorded history where we crawled ashore and took our first gasping breaths all those millions of years ago . . . sprawling in the sand contemplating the horizon, gazing at the distant sails traversing the bay between islands . . .
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While I was waiting for the white skirt in the background to do a Marilyn Monroe skit in the summer breeze, this lovely young lass in a sun dress came strolling by in bare feet . . .
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A young boy in blue contemplating his future from under a sunhat, not yet aware of global warming, wars, famine, terror, sexually transmitted diseases, and so forth. On the cuteness scale, what rating would you give him ?
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An industrious young lad clad in blue was taking the first steps in building an empire . . .
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There were bouncing babies in striped suits . . .
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I couldn't help but notice that there were a few bathing beauties in the chilly Brittany water . . . (approximately 18° C or 64° F) Good for goosebumps ! But actually very refreshing to swim in once you get over the initial bracing shock of entry . . .
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In case you hadn't seen it in the news, there will be a new Olympic sporting event at the 2012 Olympic Games, it's called : Synchronized Sunbathing . . . These two were working hard on their routine . . .
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37 comments:

Lola said...

fabolous captures! Synchro-tanning is a sport my sister and I could excel in.

Lovely opening shot of the cabanas too.

Ciao and have a wonderful time at the beach,
Lola xx

Dedene said...

The kids at the beach are all adorable! The lady in red isn't too bad either. Maybe she's La Grenouille?
It's pretty rare to be able to sunbathe in Brittany.

Steve said...

For someone who can only indulge in a staycation this year you've brought the beach to me... and I can't thank you enough. All I'm missing now is the ice cream with sand in it and the smell of donkey dung...! ;-)

The Panorama said...

Wow, great shots...:)

Kris said...

Just lovely! Oh, to be a kid in the sand again!

Caroline said...

What an enjoyable day out! I've just discovered your blog via Blogland Lane - I'll be setting up home there in a day or two!

TechnoBabe said...

The photos reminded me of all the fun days at the beach in southern California. Love the clear, sharp photos and the colors! The little ones are so darn cute having their fun in the sand.

English Rider said...

Very nice photos and insightful descriptive writing. This makes a strange "through the looking glass" comparison to what we heard on the news last night. "L'attaque des algues tueuses". Cote D'Armor near Mont St Michel the green algue washed ashore is giving off sulphurous toxic fumes as it decomposes. 2 dead dogs, one dead horse, a beach goer recovering from a coma and the local government has appointed someone to take care of this problem; when work reconvenes in September! All makes your Idyll more precious, Non?

joo said...

Hi Owen, nice series from Brittany. I like especially the first one - reminds me my holiday in that part of France:)
Actually when I was there the weather was perfect, but.. even on the really hot days water was too cold, brr.
Synchronized Sunbathing in 2012? I must start practicing:)
Have a great time!

AmyR said...

65 degree water? They are brave.

These little moments and your description of them is so wonderful Owen. I really like your writing style. I feel like I'm there (and wish I was!).

- Amy

J said...

Is that person with the baby not wearing pants?!!
Looks lovely, I wonder if the water is any warmer than ours? (which is bloody freezing! STILL).
Random fact: my mother nearly drowned in a Brittany beach incident.

Bimbimbie said...

Love the first shot with the glimpse of beach life and sea between the two huts. The contemplating little boy I'd give 9/10 he's possibly contemplating his nappy situation*!*

nathalie in avignon said...

I'm just back from the beach on the Med coast (Cavalaire) and I can tell you there's something to Brittany beaches that you don't see over there. Maybe it's the lack of crowds (you actually have room to lay your beach towel in Brittany) and also the way kids are dressed (definitely smarter in Brittany...

I'm actually off for a few days on the southern Brittany coast tomorrow (la Trinité sur Mer). Sorry if I don't comment for a while again. Rest assured that I will read the backlog of older posts when I return, like I just did now. Loved your post about the life savers in sewage waters, the party at 524 Blogland lane and the lovely room with sea views!

the watercats said...

65 degree water!.... that's bath temperature over here!... that's a higher temperature than it is outside here at the moment!... "colours bathed in sunshine"........?????? what does that look like again?... it's only colours washed out by rain here... *moan, moan, moan, moan, moan.. whinge, moan, grumble, mumble.. blaaahhhhhh.... :-D

The Sagittarian said...

Yay, I WAS NOT the first one to question if that person with baby was wearing pants! Phew. It's getting so hard to be the good kid.
Great photos Owen, I saw some blossoms on trees here the other day and I can almost feel spring approaching - your photos fast-forwarded me to summer!

louciao said...

Gorgeous! (I'm talking about the photos, Owen, not calling you). Sun-soaked colours indeed, and buckets full of the OPed wit. Great fun!

robert said...

Holidays of Monsieur Owen.
What a nice page to read - wish you a very happy time.

Arnaud said...

Bels instants de vie que tu as capturés. J'adore MM junior et l'arrêt sur image de bronzage synchronisé !!!
Bien vu, Owen !
Pour la sirène en maillot rouge, je dis "respect". A 18°C, m^me pas sûr que je mette les pieds dedans !!! Dimanche, je me suis baigné dans une piscine, elle devait être à 36 ou 37°C... l'eau était chaude... Un secret, ne le dis à personne .. ce n'était pas en Bretagne ! :-P

Nadege said...

The cute angels are wearing the white and blue colors of Brittany.
Delighting post today!

Marguerite said...

You've really outdone yourself on this one, Owen, and your photos are excellent! My mother's family was originally from Brittany.
Come on over, cher, I have an award for you!

Delwyn said...

Hello Owen

These beach summer shots are just lovely...you could not take them on our beaches without being stripped of your camera...maybe arrested...suspected of pedophilia or some other perversion...sad isn't it...

Happy days

desi said...

Oh is soooo can't wait for summer!!! i wanna lie on the beach and drink a nice cool cocktail...!!
Cuteness for the cute boy will be 10 out of 10!! :D

oh, and 18 degrees celsius is warm if you live on the West Coast of South Africa! then swimming and surfing is fun!

:D

TechnoBabe said...

Have you seen this building in Paris?
http://edouardfrancois.com/project_detail.php?project_id=37

Owen said...

Ciao Lola, you'll have to post some pix of your sister and yourself practicing for the next Olympics ! Grazie mille...

PS am still drooling over all those tomatoes and peaches...

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Hi Dedene, it's not so rare to sunbathe in Brittany, as the saying goes, "Il fait beau plusieurs fois par jour"... (there's nice weather several times a day...)

PS That is not the grenouille...

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Steve, the donkey dung flavored ice cream with a topping of sand is the best kind... ;-D Actually, I hate to admit it, but we've found the local grocery store here in Brittany carries Ben & Jerries ice cream... which I can't resist... so we've had an orgy of Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia... not to mention Cookie Dough... sigh... will have to do twice the bicycle distance tomorrow :-)

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Hi Panorama, thanks, for me this brings back all sorts of ancient memories of summer vacations on the New Jersey shore as a kid...

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Kris, thanks so much... ! I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who liked to say : "It's never too late to have a happy childhood..."

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Hi Caroline, thanks for dropping in ! Blogland Lane is a looking better and better with all the new neighbors moving in every day !

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Dear Technobabe, tons of thanks, glad the photos brought back some good memories !

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Owen said...

English, we'd only vaguely heard of the incident near Mont Saint Michel, not watching too much news these days... but yeah, that does not sound pleasant for anyone, if we see any suspicious acting seaweed blooms, we'll be running for high ground ! Many things going on all around the world these days make this seem like a very privileged and precious time indeed, indeed...

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Hi Joo, well, no matter how much praying and dancing we do, the water just obstinately refuses to warm up around here, so we grin and bear it. Actually, today we went swimming for the first time, and after about five minutes of hollering from the bottom of my lungs, and gasping, and thrashing about in the water while gnashing my clacking teeth, it was finally ok, and we had a lovely little dip... before going off on a sail around the bay on a small boat called a Caravelle, very popular in these parts... hope you had a fine time here...

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Hey Amy, for sure 65°F water is, ummm, shall we say... BRACING !

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Hi J, yeah, it wasn't until I saw the picture on the screen that I wondered if she had something on... but I suppose she did... some people go topless on French beaches, but only on a few remote or private beaches do they go bottomless too, and this is not one of them.... Glad you mother survived !!! Quite a random fact there...

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Bimbim, that is a definite possibility... I was wondering where that smell was coming from...
:-D
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Janie said...

Cute kids and beach frolicking. I don't think I'd want to go in the cold water.

Buskitten said...

Bah humbug, just posted a long comment and got booted! Anyway, the gist of it was lovely photos and I GOT THE JOB!!!!!
xx

K'line Bloom said...

Enjoy your holidays Owen.
Take care,
K'line

Owen said...

Hey Nathalie, hope you have a fabulous time in Trinité sur Mer... better that than Trinity, New Mexico... Funny, I've met a couple of families here on the north coast of Brittany on vacation who live on the south coast of Brittany the rest of the year. People from Quimper or Lorient who come north to Morlaix for vacation time... the water is certainly not warmer here. But you are right, the beaches are not crowded, plenty of room to stretch out on towels... am going to try to see the artichoke throwing this afternoon... :-D

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Oh you Wet Rained on Bedraggled Cats... surely you must have a few rays of sunlight once in a while ?!? Otherwise how could things stay so green ??? You need to learn to do the native Gaelic Sun Dance a little bit more forcefully maybe ? If not, I believe there's a ferry that goes from Cork to Roscoff, no ? Roscoff is just up the road from here, we'll come and fetch you, find a place to toss a mattress out for ya, and bring the guit-fiddles, we'll go a'buskin' in the mornin' at the local market... :-)

PS love that long stretch of whinging, moaning,...
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Dear Saj, see answer to comment above, Carantec is definitely NOT a nudist beach, although as on many french beaches some people are topless... less puritanism here than in America, where a few years ago, when one of my daughters was five, we were told she couldn't swim in a Washington DC hotel swimming pool in her bikini bottom only... she had to find a top... which we hadn't packed... seriously, at five years old there wasn't alot to see there... sigh...

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Hi Lynne, Nothing like a day at the beach observing the wide range of human experience to bring out the toad-wit... chuckle... such as it is... ;-D

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Tag Robert, holidays are always a good time to clear out the cobwebs... must be odd living in a destination like Athens which for many people, like me, would be an ideal vacation destination... would love to fly into Athens, then take off island hopping for a year or two... or three...

Hope you move has fallen into place and you are finding new patterns of daily rituals in your new home...

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Salut Arnaud ! Ahh, j'étais dans l'eau hier enfin pour la première fois... tu m'as pas entendu crié à Delhi ??? Le choc initial prvoque des cris du fond du ventre, mais après avoir gueulé un bon coup, enfin, l'eau est agréablment... fraiche. Une piscine à 35° ??? Ce n'est plus une piscine, c'est un grand jacuzzi... je n'imagine même pas !

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Bonjour Nadege... in effect, one sees alot of blue and white stripes in these parts... glad you enjoyed !

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Salut Marguerite ! WOW ! Thanks so much !!! Too kind ! Where did your mother's family come from in Brittany ? did you ever go to see where they lived ?

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Hi Delwyn; with a reasonably long telephoto lens one can take such pictures without getting so close as to arouse reactions, most folks never even notice little old me with my camera... happy days indeed !

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Hey Desi ! So you don't go swimming in the winter where you are ? I think of South Africa as being hot all year round, but that is surely my total ignorance revealing itself... would love to see the beaches on the west coast of South Africa... and keep going up the coast of Namibia. Read a book by John Gordon-Davis about Namibia that made things sound incredible... he wrote a good one about Rhodesia also... hmmm, will have to put on my thinking cap to come up with something for the Move theme... still have a little time left I guess. See you...

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Techno, No, haven't seen that building yet, but it looks pretty cool, as in shady and breezy... good thing the bamboo is contained in pots, as otherwise in a garden the stuff spreads like crazy, and has an incredibly fast rate of growth...

Owen said...

Hi Janie, once you get in the water, it's ice, errr, nice... really, honest !

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Hey Liz ! Fantastic ! So happy for you... that should help keep Tiddles in nice clothes ! Sorry you got your comment booted, unfortunately the comment box seems to have some glitches... I've had it happen enough to where now I usually make a copy of longer comments before I click on the publish button...

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Hi Kline... Am enjoying, he said, between mouthfuls of hot goat cheese salad washed down with crispy white wine from Bourgogne... :-D

Roxana said...

oh, hot goat cheese salad!!!! and how could i ever be able to write something decent now? :-) the only soothing thought is that next week i will be on holiday myself, visiting a friend in Lyon for 10 days, i can't wait!

but the entire post is so fresh and bright, so lovely lovely lovely - and i am still laughing about: "While I was waiting for the white skirt in the background to do a Marilyn Monroe skit in the summer breeze, this lovely young lass in a sun dress came strolling by in bare feet", this is just about the funniest picture description ever :-) enjoy your holiday! (as i am sure you do).

SP said...

I love that first photo of the beach huts, such a nice composition with the people peeping through!

gba said...

i love the captures..nice...++++

Owen said...

Salut Roxana ! So you'll be in France for ten days ?!? Fantastic, hope you have a beautiful time... plenty of good food around Lyon, and if hot goat cheese salad is a novelty... well, just keep an eye out on the menu for "Salade au chevre chaud"... it's usually delicious... "Salade au gésiers" is great too... but anyway, I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding an abundance of good things to nibble on here... And glad you enjoyed the captions, this stuff just slips out sometimes... and thanks so much for your lovely answer to the long comment the other day... too kind...

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SP, hey, thanks my friend... just having fun at the beach...

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gba, many thanks !!! welcome to this humble little blog...

Sar@h said...

J'ai deviné où je ne devais pas aller me baigner !
Le dernier bain carantécois, c'était au pied du chantier Sibiril.

Par contre, il faut que je pense à aller immortaliser les cabines.

Belle harmonie tout en bleu & blanc.

Sujata said...

Beautiful captures! wow!

Jean said...

Vous maîtrisez parfaitement la photo !
Vos sujets sont vrais , vivants , les couleurs , les ombres sont parfaites.

Vous montrez la VIE !