Holiday Report – 14 August 2016

As you all know the lake has been closed for the last 2 weeks for our mid-summer break, the weather has continued to be fantastic with afternoon temperatures often reaching up to the mid 40s Celsius.  Too hot for most things and that includes fishing.

Our rest started with a visit to the Summer Festival at Oradour-sur-Vayres on Sunday afternoon whereupon I had pre-planned an afternoon of fine cuisine and cold beer, for once my plan worked and the fine fairground cuisine of choice was the biggest kebab I have eaten for a long time, and of course it had to include extra chilly sauce and a large order of French fries.  Lovely!

That though, was where my weight gain of 4kgs in one week was about to start, very naughty.  Our daughter Joy was over for the week with her French Bulldog Yeoman so that was all the excuse required to take time out and indulge.  Just a little.

Monday evening was a visit to our favourite all-you-can-eat Asian restaurant.  We first visited this fine establishment several months ago when we were saying a fond farewell to our good friends Peter and Annie prior to their return to the UK.  On that occasion I was well behaved and only managed 5 plates, but, on this occasion I managed the full 8 plates.  By now I had already eaten enough for the whole week!!

On Tuesday we invited one of our neighbours around for a BBQ, Tim, he is a retired copper who now lives by himself, he regularly pops around to help me with draining stock ponds and things and like me he enjoys a good plateful of food.  Giant Korean prawns for starters, followed by sausages, chicken, and pork steaks.  That was all bad enough but then Helen made one of her special Toblerone cheesecakes for pudding!!! mmmmmmm

Wednesday was going to be different, at least that was what was intended.  We went for a trip to Brantome to visit the retired police horses, British ones.  I had heard of this place before but never been, what a treat we were in for.  The individual stories behind each of these magnificent animals are quite moving, they are not old horses but their working lives can be very short and most are retired due to physical injury or psychological problems.  If you are interested in this sort of thing then click the link:

This is me with Lewis, a monster of a horse at over 18 hands, even with his head bowed low he is still taller than me:


Unfortunately the cost of the visit also included afternoon tea, which just happened to include scones with cream and jam, and very large home made cakes, one of which was chocolate, with chocolate and then some chocolate, say no more !!!!

Just to top the day off when we got home Joy volunteered to cook supper, and she is quite a good cook.  Unfortunately she is on one of her special diets which just so happens to be based on massive quantities of protein.  Supper therefore was one of Joy’s homemade burgers covered in mushrooms and lots of blue cheese, scrummy !!!!!

Thursday was a day at home walking dogs and riding horses so Helen decided that she had time to do a full roast lamb dinner!!!!!!

Friday we went for lunch to one of our favourite restaurants “Exclusive Dining”.  Lunch was 4 courses with copious quantities of wine, it included a massive cheese board which is absolutely one of my many weaknesses, and what was going to be lunch became a whole afternoon of eating and drinking!!!!!!!

Joy left for home on Saturday morning, and just to set her up for the trip, and of course to satisfy her diet’s requirement for lots of protein, breakfast just had to be a full English fry-up!!!!!!!!

Phew,  I jumped on the scales on Sunday morning and the scales would have thrown me off if they could have, an extra 4Kgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I had to get back to work.

While I had been over indulging, and despite the scorching sunshine, the grass had been secretly growing, so every blade around the whole place required a trim, the back of the dam still needed to be strimmed, the dead fir tree that had fallen over in a storm a couple of months ago still needed to be chopped up and stacked, and the swimming pool needed to be topped up and cleaned out.  That would be enough to keep me going for the week and burn of those extra calories, especially in this heat.

But, there is always the unexpected.

A few days earlier Helen just happened to mention a damp patch in the lawn that needed some stone putting in it to stop her ride-on from doing wheel-spins in the mud.  Wheelies in the mud during high summer did not sound right, obviously, and on further examination in was evident that there was a problem with the fosse septic.  As I looked at the damp spot I just had a horrible feeling that this was not going to be easy and it was definitely going to be a dirty smelly job.

To cut a long story short,  it turned out to be a break in a joint in the pipe that carries the grey water from the fosse up hill to the sand filters.  There is only 30 meters of said pipe and after several exploratory digs the offending joint was apparent for all to see, and smell.

It was not a pleasant task and it took me the best part of 2 days to rectify the problem, but it raised a very standard question, and that is;  why is it that when you dig a few big holes the soil never goes back in ??


As is quite normal by this time, I am 2 days in to my working week and every single one of my original jobs still needs doing.

A re-fuel of all of my mowers and a very long day had the grass trimmed, the pool now looks beautiful ( especially by mid-afternoon when the temperature is hitting 40), and 2 very long, very hot days had the dam going from this:


and this:


to this:


and this:


Unfortunately by Friday evening I had ran out of time and the dead fir tree is still there staring at me every time I walk by.  It is back on my “things to do” list for now but it’s time will come.

All-in-all it was a great week off work, one year I will mange a fortnight, I have promised myself, 8kgs sounds like a good target to me.

The Boys had a great time with Yeoman so they all had a big change to their normal routines and they were all very well behaved.  Mind you, who wouldn’t be with Helen in charge ?


Many people will tell you that French Bulldogs cannot swim because they are too heavy but we have proved that not to be the case, the boys have enjoyed a daily dip while there has been no anglers on the lake and Yeoman was soon in there with them.  His snout is rather short so it does not leave much room for error but he can swim quite well.  All he has to learn now is that if he stops paddling to try and eat the splashing water then he sinks.

Helen and Joy got in plenty of riding, The Colonel is quite happy to stay in his field and enjoy a bit of quiet time away from his 2 lady companions but Molly has proven to be a very capable ride, although she is slightly unsure about hacking out in to some of the darker areas of our forest but I am sure that she will soon get used to all of that.  Joy is going to come over again later in the year and put her through her paces


Honey has proven to be absolutely bomb proof and Helen is very pleased with her choice of horse, she has taken to hacking around our woods and lakes as if she has always lived here, she appears not to be phased by anything, and that includes the anglers.


Things returned to normal yesterday when our latest guests arrived for a 2 week family holiday so hopefully there will be a mid session catch report next weekend.

All I need now is a holiday.

PS.     I forgot to say,  I might start up a side-line running a fitness farm, one week’s hard work with me is guaranteed to rid you of at least 4 unwanted Kilos !!!!!

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2 Responses to Holiday Report – 14 August 2016

  1. Jules says:

    Love reading all your reports and seeing how you and Helen are getting on. I’m sure I saw a programme on TV many years ago about relocating to France that involved the Brantome Police Horse place, nice to hear that its a success. Mind you its nice to see that you and H are too. I definitely can relate to the boys behaving with Helen in charge LOL !!! Keep up the blogs – you should write a book Tony xx

    • Tony says:

      Hi Jules, nice to hear from you, and it is good to see that someone is reading my weekly efforts. I might just do that one day but it will have to wait until I get really bored and have nothing else to do. That will be a day!! Helen says Hello, she thought that it was your birthday just recently but she wasn’t sure, if it was then Happy Birthday from us. Regards Tony

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