Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nat and Nadine and the lonely goatherd.

Brittany has many wonderful hotels. We however end up in a singularly ugly 1970's monstrosity built on the tip of an isolated and windswept peninsula. It's so ugly that one has to wonder how the architect could have designed it or the local planning authorities allow it to be put up. Perhaps its French humour.

' The font ' is happy. The hotel despite its aesthetic failings has a huge spa. This is staffed by non-smiling young people in what appear to be black pyjamas. The young women don't wear make up and the young men have shaved heads. Their presence gives the place a slightly sinister air. It's as though you've somehow stumbled onto the stage set for an early James Bond movie. It seems the job of the young people in black pyjamas is to hose the guests down with seawater. For this service they charge an arm and a leg. Angus points out  that he would be quite happy to hose ' the font ' down with seawater for a fraction of the price. This offer is ignored.

' The font '  eats kelp for dinner. Angus has a little word with the chef and gets a steak. The other kelp eating diners look at Angus with what appears to be a mixture of hatred and jealousy . We eat like  this for five , expensive , nights.  On our third night ' the font ' gets given a sprat to go with the kelp.

The hotel has a bar. This becomes home to Angus. It's decorated entirely in grey and orange. A strangely unrestful combination. After dinner there is 'nightly entertainment '. This consists of a middle aged couple who perform under the name of Nat and Nadine. Nat sits behind the grand piano while Nadine perches uncomfortably on the edge of a tall bar stool. For most of the evening they croon happily away but come eleven o'clock each night Nadine slips off the bar stool, bows, walks to the side of the piano, looks lovingly at Nat and announces in very heavily accented English " Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, to conclude our evening now I perform for you a moving elegy of spirituals ". Angus thinks Nat and Nadine are Brazilian. ' The font ' thinks they come from Serbia. Nadine then sings in a slow and tremulous fashion Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho, Michael Row the Boat Ashore, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Fernando ( as sung by Abba ) and as the finale, that most famous of all spirituals, the Lonely Goatherd from the Sound of Music.

On Friday night the audience suddenly swells with the arrival of a dozen or so young male couples off the last train from Paris. The new arrivals are rather more stylish and certainly much more animated than we regulars. They enter enthusiastically into Nadines nightly rendering of the Lonely Goatherd. Nadine does encores. The young Parisian males dance and yodel. Nadine beams. On the fourth encore we retire to bed. '' That's not something you hear every day " says ' the font '. Angus has to agree. Maybe it's the seawater.


  1. After six nights of kelp, the Lonely Goatherd might well start to sound like a spiritual. Oh Angus I feel for you. My memories of visits to Brittany are of the wonderful seafood. An adventurous seven year old, I remember my delight at my first tastes of lobster, crab and mussels.

    Re yesterday's map reading comments. Luckily I don't think I came across the notion that 'girls can't read maps' (which I feel is implied in your report...) until I was in my mid-twenties. In my family, map reading lessons started early for both genders. On the above mentioned Brittany trip, a rare venture abroad in my youth, I was given a road atlas as asked to help navigate our way there. Sorry, you've got me on a hobby horse here. As a first rate map reader who met has her fair share of men who couldn't navigate their way out of a paper bag, I feel the need to say my piece!

  2. Nat and Nadine would have left show tune-loving Merv aghast!

  3. Sounds like something you don't want to hear every day.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. Angus, I feel your least you had your steak to cheer you up.
    Tell the Font no need to pay such exorbitant prices for a seawater hose down, come to any Caribbean island and the crashing waves of the sea will take care of that for her.
    Nat and Nadine sound like they belong on a Love Boat cruise.
    I'm sure you're happy to be back home.....

  5. i'm sorry.
    i would comment.
    but i'm still mopping my eyes
    and rolling on the floor.
    you're the best!!!!
    tammy j

  6. Oh my gosh, lolololol - why doesn't anything that hysterically funny ever happen to me when I'm traveling??

  7. Holding my sides laughing. Welcome home Augus and the 'Font'. We have certainly missed you both.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Excellent! You two have the best adventur...I mean vacations! The photos are beautiful. What a wonderful place to visit.

  10. Let's see: kelp or steak? No question which I'd choose!


  11. Thank you for my morning LAUGH!!

  12. Beautiful photos - marvelous humour!

  13. Ay yi yi! Now have the theme for the Love Boat repeating over and over in my mind.

  14. Funny funny funny!!!! Thank you :D

  15. I have to remark that Angus and "the Font" lead a most interesting life...NEVER a dull moment...and that Angus would regale us with the tales is a much anticipated moment during my time in front of the monitor! Thank you for the laughs!!!!! ;-) *(I would pass on the sea-water hose-downs!!) "The font" is indeed adventurous!

  16. Certainly have missed your daily
    musings each time you have been
    away this summer, but your trip
    reports make the wait well worth it.
    Priceless! If you do go to India,
    hope 'the font' will select an
    ashram. Lentils and nan on the
    menu, no doubt.

    You must be pleased with Mr, Murray's
    smashing performance.

  17. Welcome home! Hope you both had a lovely,
    refreshing time. Having had one of those fire hose type treatments at a spa in CH as a teenager has made it impossible for me to even hear the word spa without shuddering. I'd rather thought that those bracing treatments had given way to more pampering. Sea Kelp or steak, that you both had an enjoyable time together, that's the thing.

  18. I'm so glad you've been on vacation! Some of these things could only happen to you!

  19. I am surprised you stayed until the 4th encore...I think once they broke in song to sing Abba, that would have been my cue. As long as you enjoyed your time away, that is what counts. Seaweed spray and all!

    1. Clever woman! The fourth encore, the FOURTH. We didn't pick up the possible implication. Either a good time was had tippling in the bar or the spa treatment wad completely revitalizing. Or both.

  20. I hope the steak was good.
    Lovely pictures...I feel I have been there...was there a really long market selling lots of Breton tops to the tourists?
    That little woofie looks familiar too, I wonder if I said hello while I was there!!

  21. Good grief! Hope the font indulges with Angus-centered vacations from time to time - say a nice tour of wine country in Burgundy. Must say the fonts idea of a spa vacation is 180 degrees from mine.

    Different color, of course, but there was a reminder of dear Wilf in that sleeping dog.

    Jed & Abby's mama