Good days... Bad days... My life has been like an emotional roller coaster lately. Every day bringing its share of bad news, a little bit more than usual and good news from time to time.
So I am back at Les Tertres for the hundredth time in the past few months. This is my ultimate sanctuary. People do get surprised -- “Why are you going to Brittany all the time? How can you put up with such a dreary place?” they ask. As if Brittany only has to offer unvaryingly chilly and rainy days and windswept beaches?
Well anyway, I happen to dread endless cloudless and fiery days and calm seas. I love raging waves. I love dark clouds laden with rain flying at top speed over my head and I like so much being on my own that running into more than ten people while I am walking on the beach below my house makes me feel like I am choking to death.
Am I a woman of extremes? Yes, I believe I am. Isn’t it what’s so delightful about me? Ask Popeye.
I come from old country stock. Not one seafaring man in my ancestry. Not a single one. Then why did I fall in love so helplessly with Brittany when I was raised to fear the ocean and any expanse of water by the way?
In order to be happy, I need to live close to the sea. Careful there. I do not need to plunge into the water nor to get wet. I am perfectly happy to gaze at the sea or to walk along its shores. Which is the reason why I love Brittany so much.
When we live in Brussels, it is fairly easy to go spend the day at the seaside. We shun the covered in concrete and overcrowded Belgian coast. We have discovered a beautiful area in Holland less than one hour away from Brussels.
I mean ‘Zeeland’, the western area of Netherlands, the “sea-land”...
Close to Vlissingen, there is a delightful beach we like a lot. Hard to find at first but worth it.
One vast stretch of golden sand evenly broken by sturdy breakwaters. This is polder country. You have to climb stairs to get to the top of the man-made sand dunes and then and only then you can survey the shore below.
Huge ships negotiate their way very close to the strand. Their route is very narrow and filled with wrecks and sandbars.
We go there to take long walks. Since we mostly go there in the off season, we find the same solitude we enjoy in Brittany.
Actually I love to go there to walk along the shore. And Popeye loves to go there because of the huge ships that navigate two-way amazingly close to the beach . They pass each other quite rapidly even though they are quite overloaded. Much smaller boats sail by them fearlessly.
Popeye is mesmerized.
You know how much I love boats... let alone freighters!
I look around...
And THEY made their entrance! On the beach... No door to open... How easy!
People were gaping at them. They were striding along until they found the perfect spot. The perfect spot for shooting their wedding pictures of course... the breakwaters.
I just couldn’t help it. I had to start taking pictures too... on the sly! I was really delighted. Popeye was grumbling. He’s very strict. No pictures of unknown people in a public spot. French law.
I love to take pictures of strangers, even in France. I won’t use them but it is fun.
I would have loved to take over from the official photographer. It was a little bit frustrating to be shooting at random quite far away from the newly-weds.
But I had fun anyway until Popeye stomped his feet in the figurative, that is.
We turned away and went back to the car which meant taking another long walk on the beach, going down the stairs and finally getting to the parking lot way below the sea level. (This is what polders are all about. I’ll tell the story another day.)
Bye bye lovely couple and beautiful beach!
*Good Luck, and Good Night*