Posted by: kathandroger | August 13, 2017

Horses, Pigs and Swimmers.

One of the very few things I miss about the UK is horses. I guess we could have one here in the field, but they are a lot of effort and expense and would not get much use. They are lovely animals, usually gentle and affectionate like us, but sometimes a bit stroppy and aggressive, like us. Our new neighbours’ parents Sandrine and Emmanuel, have a horse and carriage, and it was a real pleasure to have them visit a few days ago, as a half way stop between their home and his fathers’ home. IMG_3814 (2)The carriage is made in Poland, as apparently are nearly all carriages in France nowadays, and has the luxury of disc brakes and gas suspension! The horse is made in France and can be ridden as well as used for pulling, but I am afraid I have forgotten the breed. Her name is Victore, and she kindly left a good amount of manure for the garden before her departure. The pace of travel must be very relaxing, but not so for Emmanuel, who has to dismount at each blind corner to make sure the coast is clear. They had planned to travel off road for part of the trip, and were very confident after a fine lunch with copious rose wine. I am not sure about the drink drive rules for carriages, but doubt whether prosecutions are common. The French are very keen on tradition, and the reins are in light coloured leather, wheras the harness is in dark leather. This means that the driver is the owner of the carriage; if an employee was driving all the leather would be the darker colour.  Strange lot, these Frenchies!

Hunting is a winter sport here, and one pursued with vigour. Our Sundays are usually disturbed by shotgun fire all around, but the summer is silent. The wild boar, however, are very active and cause lots of damage in the maize fields surrounding us. We saw a lovely piggy family crossing the forest road we were travelling on a few nights ago, and evidence of their rooting can be seen by the roadsides. They give the locals an good excuse to hunt in the summer, and yesterday the local pack of hounds were baying next to the house.IMG_0901They live just over the hill from us, and must appreciate some summer exercise, though the likelihood of a boar being captured at this time of the year must be very small. Interestingly,, although there were some huntsmen with horns, presumably for recalling the dogs, most of the orders were given via the mobile phone as above by the chap in yellow. Times change, but technology is unlikely to outwit a wild boar I hope.

The weather recently has been poor by our standards, but a couple of weeks ago, after a spell of sun, the river looked good for a swim. With our guests and an assortment of boats, we swam the 2km from St Remy to Descartes. IMG_1940The water was nice and clear, and the only problem was the thick weed just before the exit point. The intrepid swimmers left the river at the canoe club upstream and paraded through the outskirts of the town in their costumes to meet with the rest of the party. A good day was had by all!


  1. I think Victoire might be a Comtois. Interesting info.

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