La Gacilly

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Works of Art.  In the depths of winter, it is days like this we will remember. The summer heat has arrived in southern Brittany and several locals have assured us it is here to stay; I trust they are right.

La Gacilly is a gem, sleepily French and full of ‘artisans’ shops – beautiful things we have no intention of buying. The town sits above the L’Aff where the best memories can be found – the Photo Festival and the Day Boats.  The morning was spent wandering the outdoor galleries, galettes for lunch (what else) and the afternoon floating down the L’Aff to Glénac – a glorious stretch of river where iridescent kingfishers skit knee-high above dappled water.

Photographs of photographs, some of them very familiar, seems a bit of a cheat but maybe the setting adds another dimension:

Photo Festival Photo Festival Photo Festival Photo Festival

(click on the images to enlarge)

We always struggle to acclimatise with French opening hours, businesses that should be adopting an Albert E. Arkwright approach to commerce remain determinedly shut. In conversation with a La Gacilly local, we were given one possible explanation.  There are a range of administrative and tax incentives for businesses with limited turnover – there is no rush to make money – achieve your maximum turnover in the first six months and you may as well shut for the rest of the year.  As a tax regime this seems counter-productive but it undoubtedly helps preserve a slower pace of life which is no bad thing. C’est la vie.


  1. LaVagabonde · May 17, 2014

    I also am perplexed by a tax system that penalizes people for working more. I know people (doctors, especially) who work only 6 months, because most of the money that they would make by working longer would be eaten up by taxes. The higher percentages on big earners are supposed to generate more revenue for the state, but it actually generates less because people (including myself) stop working. I can attest that after 15 years, even a workaholic American can become acclimatized to such a laid back life. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · May 18, 2014

      The laws of unintended consequences. In the UK (and probably elsewhere) central government employs consultants to frame tax legislation – these same people then work for the large accountancy firms to refine their avoidance schemes – crazy. The last time I checked, the UK tax code was over 14000 pages long – quelle surprise o_O

  2. easyweimaraner · May 17, 2014

    I agree the opening hours are a little extraordinary :o) A native said once: In Brittany time is irrelevant :o)

  3. restlessjo · May 17, 2014

    It all sounds wonderfully idyllic, Robin. I do love a kingfisher or two.

    • northumbrianlight · May 18, 2014

      Maybe its because we live in Northumberland or maybe my eyesight is poor but the last time I remember seeing a kingfisher was on the Grand Union canal during that long hot summer of 1976. At La Gacilly I must have seen half a dozen……or maybe just one very active bird 🙂

  4. Pingback: On a clear day… | Words & Pics
  5. Malin H · May 19, 2014

    Wonderful photographs of photographs…
    I see Steve McCurry’s “Afghan girl”, a classic…

  6. Mélanie · May 22, 2014

    La Gacilly et Yves Rocher… 🙂

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