Posted by: kathandroger | October 15, 2017

Elephant in a Jam jar.

We live just outside a very small hamlet in very rural France. Our road beside the house is narrow and used, usually, only by the locals. There is a kink in the route just up the hill from us where two houses have been built, many years ago, close together. The chicane serves us well in slowing down what little traffic there is and enables us the time to get the dog up when she is sleeping in the middle of the tarmac. I like the road, as the drivers are usually known to us and often stop for a chat or a general nose around to see what has been built or what has fallen down. It is all a bit old fashioned, slow and traditional. But life for the driver has changed over the past few years. We now have this wondrous device called Satellite Navigation, enabling us to pick the best routes, often by the shortest distance. We haven’t got one in Kaths’ 2CV or in my old banger, and we still seem to find our way home again, but then we don’t do enormous distances either. The nice lady who speaks to us on the Satnav in our new car is always very polite and sure of herself and often gets the route correct, except through Paris that is. Anyway, big lorries have Satnavs now, and it has caused some problems along our little road. The shortest distance for a trip is not always the best, as a very nice lorry driver found out a couple of days ago. We heard some repeated roaring of a big engine, and assumed it must be something to do with the harvest, until we looked outside.IMG_0976It really was like trying to get an Elephant into a jam jar. The poor driver could not reverse up the lane for a kilometre along such a small road, and jumped out of his cab very many times to see how he could progress. We both thought it an impossible task, at least without taking bits of the houses off, but each to his own trade, and after about twenty minutes of puffing and panting from the engine, and puffing and panting from the driver, he made it through, even stopping again to chat to us about his fun! We have been in touch with our local mayor to ask him to put in a sign at the top and bottom of the road, with the accompanying photos, but this is France, and something may be done after Brexit!

I love fishing, but usually catch very little, in terms of quantity as well as quality. Last week friend Michel and I at last made good our promised trip onto the river at Descartes in his little boat. We had chosen a perfect day, with very little wind and some warm intermittent sunshine. Orders had been taken for the fish supper that night, so failure to catch was not even considered. Carnassiers (fish eating fish) were on the menu, so we anchored under the bridge to catch some tiddlers to use as live bait for the pike, perch and Zander we were about to catch. All went well, and in a few minutes we had some little bleak swimming around in the aerated container and made our way to the island where the monsters live. Well I don’t know what went wrong from then on, but we did not see a fish or have a bite for hours and hours. It was good company though, and after a couple of beers the disappointment of the fishing was eased. I had been trying with a lure, casting endlessly into the water without any success, but just as we were packing up I saw a little fish jump out near the bank, presumably being chased by a bigger fish. To my astonishment when I chucked the lure in it was immediately grabbed by something bigger than a tiddler. Et Voila, a lovely plump Perch to end the day on a high note.IMG_0046The boat we were fishing from is really enormous, and that is why the fish looks small! I wanted to put it back into the river, but Michel, being French, insisted that it must be eaten,  so it made its way to his kitchen instead. Fishing is a bit like skiing, in that the actual catching of fish is only part of the action; the surroundings are a great part of the pleasure, but I have to admit that the thrill of catching a wild creature on an artificial lump of wood and plastic was the highlight of the day. I hope it tasted good.


  1. That would be the same sat nav that took us through the back streets of Descartes on market day in June with the caravan in tow .Well done on the perch Rog.

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