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Thursday, 11 July 2013

In Brittany

Monday, July 11th., Brittany.

Yesterday was the first full day of my seaside holiday. It takes some time to get used to the great central fact that you have nothing to do that must be done.

It seems that the cures in Brittany forbid dancing, except at wedding feasts. Nevertheless in this village there is dancing in the shadow of the church every Sunday afternoon after vespers. We saw it yesterday afternoon. About 10 couples. The charcutiere danced with another girl. Heavy girls. One couple obviously in love. A drum and a brass instrument.

We cycled this morning to the ferry on the way to St. Pol. Beautiful country. There is only one road in and out of this village, and no turning out of it for 5 or 6 kilometres. This afternoon I was too idle to paint, so I did a pastel of the panorama towards St. Pol.

Of the three men here, one is a passementier, and another a commercial traveller, and the third a fabricant of something. They sit at a table and sing together. The luggage of one married pair arrived tonight, 36 hours late. The wife is of the odalisque sort, and she put on some more striking clothes at once. She lolls at her bedroom window for 30 to 60 minutes each morning. A beautiful young woman. Elle se cambre tout le temps. She would have made a good courtesane. Alcock says that she leaves a table at which an intellectual conversation is proceeding - about war or feminism for instance - with a gesture which says: "What has all this got to do with IT?"

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