Back home from a fantastic holiday in France, with just over 3,300km under the bonnet. In addition to the enjoyment of the holiday itself, the trip has raised a question in my mind: What is the collective noun for a string of serendipities? I have always had a soft spot for the word ‘serendipity’ since the first time I encountered it; apart from its pleasing sound it describes an experience which is always to be welcomed. This trip has abounded with examples.
Discovering a fantastic little restaurant, Chez Boubou, in otherwise uninspiring Saint-Nazaire;
Finding that the apartment I had booked was in the heart of the medieval city of Dinan, and not in the port as I had thought. Although the port sounds more romantic, there is very little there except a string of creperies. All the life and activity is at an altitude a couple of hundred feet higher, and we were in the centre of it;
In Dol de Bretagne ( a serendipitous choice of day out in itself) the cathedral still uses real wax votive candles that you light and they have a proper flame, so that I was able to light one and think of those I have lost recently or who are suffering. How I detest the present custom of offering a little box of light bulbs with a slot for the coin needed to operate it. Really, does the assurance, “I’ll switch a light on for you.” carry anything of the comfort that can come from the promise, “I’ll light a candle for you.”?
Entering the village name on my cider bottle into the TomTom and being led to the cidery ( I choose the word on the basis that beer is made in a brewery and wine in a winery) and buying a case of 24 x 33cl bottles of “Val de Rance, cidre bouchée brut, cru Breton” to bring home to Frigiliana.
In the gift shop of the Sephardí Museum in Toledo, finding a CD of music from the Arab, Sephardic and medieval Christian traditions, produced back in 1992 to celebrate five hundred years from the Reconquest
And across the road a really superb restaurant for our last dinner of the holiday!

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