Rebecca Coleman Rebecca Coleman Green Man icon Green Man icon
Holiday in Brittany
25 August 2011, 23:00

I have just come back from a week in Brittany, staying in a small converted mill house. It was lovely and so, so green with so much insect life. Meadows of wild flowers were alive to tiny light brown crickets jumping all over the place.

One day, after a hot day walking in the countryside our route took us through the forest backing onto the house - wow – it sounded as though we were stepping into an actual wasps nest. However, although the humming din was intense (and just a little scary!) – we couldn’t see a flighted insect anywhere; it was all happening way up in the tree canopy. Even the bridge over the unused mill race was guarded day and night by four lovely goats that gave you the eye as you approached the small gate that lead into the field.

Whilst there we were lucky to attend a pardon - Breton style, in a rural village. Although I was a little disappointed as the traditional black and white costumes were not worn. Apparently many still do (as seen in Gauguin’s oil painting ‘Jacob Wrestling with the Angel’). After watching some dancing and trying to join in (but on the spot) we took a look inside the very old church that was part of the celebration. It was amazing the outer walls were literally being supported by a several large cables that sliced through the centre of it. The walls were parting from their footings and ‘walking’ down the side of the hill it was built on. However, inside was a rare treat as there was some lovely stained glass and old oak beams were covered in animal and grinning gargoyles faces. It really was fabulous.

Sitting outside one afternoon I came across a large beautiful moth, sunning itself on the white washed wall of the house. It was Jersey Tiger moth. A large moth with black/brown velvet wings with flashes of cream, wonderful orange under wings and golden yellow abdomen. It was stunning.

Being immersed in all the insect life and seeing the love and care of the old church and its stained glass, the theme for my next stained glass project will reflect this.