Monday, November 05, 2007

tarot competition win

A highly original and exciting new deck - The Maroon Tarot - has recently been published (Majors only so far). What endears it to me especially is that it is a deck from Poland, a place with which I have great affinity. Part of the publicity is a competition for work inspired by one of the cards - I have had a win with this poem on the Judgement card shown above.


I have heard this call before,
Deep in my green thoughts,
On lost nights
In a wrong place

I hid my face.
Past failures hold me
New fears enfold me
In the sadness of space.

Call me again

How high is wall?
How far is the fall?

Call me again

Is that the time?
The blast insists.
My mind resists
Such a step
From dark to light,
The distance of knowing.

But I’m on my way
I’m going

My spirit flies before.

©Wendy Mewes

Friday, October 26, 2007

never-ending coast

Only about 130kms to go now to complete walking for the coastal book. Then the real work will begin. Have just endured a few days on the high cliffs of Cap Sizun and some very scary paths. Recent week staying in a mobile home north of Brest to complete the north-west section was more enjoyable - photos here from that trip. Fortifications from 17th to WWII for the Rade de Brest are extensive in this area - the Fort de Bertheaume in the picture is where Napoleon's commander was holed up by the English navy blocking the goulet.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

spot the difference

These two photos were taken this morning with two hours of each other on the same stretch of north Finistere coast. Such are the vagaries of this month's weather. In fact, it became so hot, I had to curtail my walk, which is a drag because an extra trip to the Coast of Pagans will now be required, and my schedule of walking and writing is pretty full up to the end of October. Also my knee is bad again, ominously. Too exhausted to swim even in these incredibly alluring waters. Not a great day then, but the sight of a man holding a poodle up by the tail and wiping its bottom with toilet paper made up for the negatives.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pointe du Raz

Coastal book coming on quite well now. Today I was at the Pointe du Raz - NOT the westernmost point of France despite the coachloads there believing it so. Too hot for comfortable walking today, but what scenery! From the point, the Ile de Sein was clearly visible, and not a breath of wind, a rarity on this blustery littoral.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

walking the Finistere coast

Spectacular walking for the new book on the Crozon peninsula this week, helped by hospitality and lifts from friends Les and David in Landevennec. Highlights include the remarkable éperon barré of Lostmarc'h and scenery around the Cap de la Chevre. How fortunate that I have just been asked to supply photos showing Brittany's exceptional scenery for a travel magazine. It is also timely for publicity for the Walking and Writing course I'm launching next year, using the landscape not only for inspiration but to also to develop techniques. More on that shortly.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

brittany coast project

New book now underway, despite The Long Thought not being finished. I am not happy about this coast of Brittany project. Walking by the sea is about relaxation for me, not work, and galloping dozens of kilometres in very hot sun or searching endlessly for missing waymarks does not make me glad to get up in the morning. I hate built-up stretches of coastline with hideous houses and beaches that don't allow dogs. But I do like sea smells and breezes. Have so far completed my Pays Bigouden chapter and am now getting to grips with the Crozon peninsula. Only 578 kms to go by January.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Got up at five and was on the high hills before six. Rain, very strong winds but fantastic cloud formations racing about in shades of grey and black, minutely edged by gleaming rays. Didn't actually lay eyes on the sun itself, but pretty good all the same. Odd that the banks of clouds were moving in completely opposite directions and crossing over the misty lake. OK, year is winding down now, everything inside....

Monday, May 21, 2007


Tonight I made pasta (my favourite tubes) with smoked trout, turkey, bacon, vegetables and a sauce concocted from humous, strawberry vingar, apple jam, fresh pesto, etc. It was DELICIOUS. Now I am going to walk the dogs in the pouring rain and make up a banana cake recipe for tomorrow's group walk.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Good day reading tarot at a fair in Cotes d'Armor yesterday. All the same, now that I am in the process of designing my new tarot website I can't help feeling that some sort of image and outlook re-think is needed. Is Star Tarot is a bit wimpy and new agey? Are hope and optimism really my keywords? Wouldn't something that more nearly defines my general attitude and reading style be better? OK, Kick-Arse Tarot it is then.

Friday, May 11, 2007

launch day

Today is launch day (not literally I hope) for my Nantes-Brest canal guide, which is already selling VERY WELL :-) I am leading a walk from Glomel in Cotes d'Armor along the Grand Tranchée (over 3kms of canal cut almost by hand by prisoners in the 1820s in appalling conditions) various etangs and a pretty cross-country route to the Corong reservoir, built originally to feed this highest section (184m) of the whole canal, joining the Blavet and Aulne river valleys. Some press coverage has been set up, but the weather is looking decidely stormy so it's quite possible I shall be walking alone after a soggy photo with one local reporter.
The last month has been quite a struggle work-wise with the Long Thought proving annoyingly elusive, but preventing a clear mind for the next book, which I suppose, reluctantly, will be Brittany: Legends, Myths and Megaliths unless another publisher comes through for Brittany: the Islands, which is what my heart hankers for. Most letters I get ask about another work of fiction, but that's looking less and less likely. I can't face it as things are.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

monts d'arree

This is my everyday sort of walking terrain. I tore my calf muscle badly last weekend leaping up a rock just like this, and have been down to 5 kms a day this week. Bad news for training, but I HATE resting! Managed 12kms today and will regard myself as fit again for a long stint tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I've been taken to task once or twice for describing Brest as only of interest to 'those fond of post-war architecture, naval history and shopping' in my guidebook to Finistere. Over the years since that was published I haven't changed my mind, but I have re-evaluated the first two items (the third, never). Three things in the last fortnight have combined to bring Brest back to my attention and send it shooting up the list of favoured places. Firstly, a friend sent me articles written about Brittany by journalists around the world and several of these involved talking to people in Brest who gave good value about their city. Secondly, I was invited to a concert of 'schizophrenic jazz' by the duo Nosfell who are rapidly establishing a reputation in and outside France. It was held in an underground cabaret/bar venue, with several hundred young things leaping up and down in a haze of assorted smoky substances whilst the music thundered all around - fantastic 'night in the city' experience which buoyed me up for days (all that passive smoking doubtless). Lastly I went to the chateau yesterday, feeling that my canal journey must truly end in Brest even if the canal itself didn't. From the medieval towers, miraculously spared in the allied bombing that flattened the rest of the city, looking across the Rade and out along the Goulet, all that naval history finally came alive before my eyes and gave me what I hope will be a strong ending for The Long Thought. Thank you Brest.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

canal film

What is supposed to be a quiet time of recuperation after finishing a book has been a frantic whirl of activity. Lots of walking, tarot and website activity to be planned and carried out. This week have taken a group walk at Landevennec (ancient abbey pictured here), along the forest path edging the Rade de Brest - beautifully atmospheric in dripping grey weather, although the open country return route in driving rain was a bit of an ordeal. Kind friends Les and David who live locally provided tea and cakes to restore us all. Keeping up training in current weather is hard and my old left knee problems are exacerbated by the pervading dampness and quite a few slips (and the odd fall) on treacherous terrain.
Yesterday to Rennes by TGV to meet film director Brigitte Chevet, who has funding to make a film about walking the Nantes-Brest canal. She's a very interesting lady and we had a good talk about many aspects of my beloved waterway and its exceptional potential - and I may get a chance to talk about my book on camera. Better get on with writing it then.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Nantes-Brest Canal guide

My canal guide finally finished and sent off by courier this afternoon, after six months of intensive (and lately stressful) work. Above is the first cover draft, but it's changed a bit since then. The book will be out in April. And now, after two years of research on the subject, I can finally get back to writing the serious book it's all been for :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Every year I do the Carol Vorderman detox diet at least once. No meat, fish, dairy, eggs, wheat, alcohol, tea, coffee, etc. for 28 days. Sadly, the hype is true - it works. After a few dodgy days, the mind clears, sleep is deep and restful, skin glows, eyes sharpen, energy levels soar, so it is all worthwhile. And it's not a food deprivation type diet - I eat whenever I'm hungry. Rye toast and honey, nuts and dried fruit, lentil pasta (non-wheat), humous in large quantities and SOUP of all kinds. I feel fantastic at the end, but have to wait for the right moment to begin. An awful lot of time is needed to cut up all the vegetables :-) This hasn't quite come yet in 2007 - it was snowing here this morning after all - but the urge is there, so it won't be long. Interesting to see how it suits my training.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

old year/new year

Catch up time. Thanks to all those who have sent kind messages to my website in the last month. And especially to K&S for the vodka. Happy 2007 to you all and to all my readers.
I'm hard pressed at the moment with end of January deadline for the canal guide, but it will be done. Had two trips in December, to Redon to see the Musée de la Batellerie directeur Charly Bayou and get another good look at the town, and then a few days in Nantes just before Yule. One more day out to Lac de Guerledan to double-check some new paths this week and get a couple of photos, then the draft text can be finished.
On the walking front, my ligament injury seems to be healed and I'm on the verge of committing to an epreuve in six months time which requires a walk of 83kms in 24 hours - i.e. you walk all night and all day. So beginning to train in earnest, and I hope to up my 10kms a day to 20 as soon as the wretched book is finished.
Otherwise - this looks set to be a big year for me. For good or ill, on va voir (plutot boire?).