We were untouchable, cruising along the narrow farm roads in the Audi at 120km an hour. The French farmland tore by us as the car ate the ground in front of it. German hip-hop was blaring on the radio as we crossed the quiet Kerlouan landscape in the summer of 2017.
The days we spent here seemed endless. We would rise late in the morning; I attempted to work, and Marc worked on his thesis. It was slow, but a morning coffee from the Nespresso machine helped us along.
Lunch was at 12 pm, prompt. We would dive into whatever delicacies Martina and Tom had prepared. The family meals were good fun, with jovial laughter and friendly conversation.
After we wined and dined we were left in limbo – and sometimes with a mini Magnum ice cream. Time crept by slowly, and we lounged on the couch in front of the TV, recovering from lunch with the aid of FAIL ARMY videos or Stephen Colbert.
The sun was also lazy, taking its time pulling across the sky like it was dragging an anchor. Outside the heavens was clear blue with clouds collecting on the northern horizon. Many days melted into the rain and dreary weather, which kept us indoors. But when the weather played along – we spent the afternoons outside.
The late afternoon light called all sorts to the beach. We collected near the volley ball net, waiting for the other laid back souls to join. One by one the dark-skinned sun slickers joined us. Everyone here had been here all summer, coming and leaving the white sands as frequently as the tides.
If you are (which I am not), you leapt off the 15m high boulders into the cold Atlantic. All the cool kids were doing it – even the little ones. The old and the young flocked to the beach. Grandmothers gossiped in one corner, and some girls tanned topless in another. One day two boys tried to dig their way to China, and they made it pretty far too.
Life was all right as long as the sun was out. And when it wasn’t, we retreated indoors to horror movies and MarioKart. We found a killer thriller – Dead Silence – which had everyone at the edge of their seats. It was the best one we saw.
On other evenings, when the weather played game, we visited Cafe de Port. It’s a cafe and club around 3km from us. Not in favour of drinking and driving, we took a cycle to the bar. My first night cycle to the cafe took place in the pitch dark, with only the moonlight to guide us. It was a tremendous route. We dodged the potholes and swerved through a campsite.
But once you’ve made it to Cafe de Port – it’s worth it. A game of Black Jack spills out on the table, orchestrated by Chris. We turned it into a drinking game which left everyone sucking on their beers.
When it was time to call it a night we unlocked the bikes and took the scenic route home. There is one last stop to make. A tall stone crowned with a Celtic cross stands 5m tall, barely visible as a shadow against the night sky. Once your eyes adjust to the dark the trick is to land a stone on the ledge and have your wish come true.
Some evenings are also quietly spent at home. Boules is a trendy game in this area, and sundowners are even more popular. The two of them seem to go together very well. Sometimes Marc would pluck at the sweet strings of his ukelele, and Chris would find a good chord on the piano.
The jacuzzi is also best enjoyed at sundown with a glass of champagne. I can vouch for that. But my favourite was when the family gathered on the deck to watch the sun sink below the horizon, all holding our breath to glimpse that mythical green flash of light as it goes under. I feel the night sky sigh, and I sigh with it. I know it doesn’t get much better than this.