Well, here we are at last, a week and a half late due to a fault with my keyboard: monday the 14th saw me break my 13 month hops & malt fast; I did have two beers in Ty Coz, Morlaix the previous friday, but monday was the day, normal, because it was the Coreff Brewery Christmas do, and I've been selling their beer for over 24 years, not normal because I'm a diabetes sufferer. We had a meal at 3 o'clock in the afernoon and went on to do the obvious in a brewery, especially as we were pulling it ourselves and it was free, this continued till the early hours of the morning. I met up again with Cecille, the landlady of Ty Coz and we had our photo taken together, with framed copies of the very first Coreff bills of sale (trade). It was good to see my old friends fom O'Flaherty's in Vannes, but sadly my co-innovators, be it of Guinness or Coreff, Roger of Ty Coz, Bernard of Chez Tom in Lesneven, not forgetting Joe from The Dubliners in Brest and Cecille's uncle Loîc are no longer with us. Surprisingly when I got home my blood sugar level was at its best for a while and the following morning it was near perfect, so much for staying off the beer for over a year! (I was mulling over whether or not to have said that, given the growing number of diabetes cases around), my excuse is that I was encouraged in my folly by the lovely Mannue Pennec who shared a table with me and the legendary Irishman, Chris, mine host of the Tara Inn in Brest (she has subsequently joined me on Facebook), and Lise, landlady of the 'Memes Tra' on the Rue St. Michel, a.k.a. Rue de la Soif in Rennes who blessed my establishment the following day accompanied by both one of her business partners and Paul, the co-owner of the brewery. Back to the do; there was a small musical accompaniment by the duo Job Lagadec with guitar and accordeon, the beat being tapped out on a converted Bordeaux barrel; also Flanaghan (of Bob & Flanaghan)who played some easy going traditional numbers including 'Dirty Old Town'; everyone seems to think that this is an Irish song, possibly because of the number of Irish people singing it, when in fact it's a song about Salford in metropolitain Manchester, which brings me to Gilles Servat's translation, 'Vieille Ville de Merde',(excuse the French, 'Shitty Old Town') as totally taking it out of context, the people raised in these old industrial conurbations were proud of where they came from (I know, I'm from Merthyr). There was no dancing, although Lise did make an effort, but basically the afternoon was about drinking with old and new friends, everyone a Coreff landlord and/or landlady and guests. In 2010 we'll be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the first brewery in Brittany for 200 years, watch this space.
Last friday was the occasion of the 'Sapin Noel' and Father Christmas at the local infants and primary school, where I went to see my two grandsons playing their parts in the annual Yuletide sketches while their sister slept it out on her grandmother's lap.
Nadolig llawen/Nedeleg laouen/Nadelek Lowen/Nollaig Shona/Nollick Ghennal Erriu to all.