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La Porte Blogs

If you'd like to read more about buying property in the Dordogne, Lot et Garonne and the Lot, about some of our interesting houses, or about life in general in our beautiful area – practical and quirky – then please read our blogs.

 

Horse Riding With Confidence

For those riders out there who, at some stage, have lost confidence in riding, there’s help to be had. It may be something minor, or a major knee trembling sick feeling - and this is what happened to a group of horse lovers I know. Recently they formed a social media group to support and encourage each other, and together have decided they want to conquer – and overcome - their fears.

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Two secs

Definition; a variable unit of time ranging (rarely) from the indicated 1/30th of a minute to infinity. And, air traffic controller like, it’s used to put whoever is doing the asking into a holding pattern while you are finishing off the job you’ve already been given, pulling on an over tight pair of trousers or waiting for the ref’s whistle to blow (having spent the last hour and a half watching the match and being in no mood to miss the end). And by your kids too when you enquire if they’ve finished whatever video game they’re playing.

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Quercy Equestre

I am always on the lookout for anything which would benefit our equestrian clients, and so recently joined a local group “Quercy Equestre”. After having had a good look at their website and meeting some of the members at our recent ‘Spook Busting Clinic’ I thought it sounded like fun, with motivated members who organised lots of events.

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Priorité à droite

Having little else to occupy their time, bureaucrats the world over devote their lives to deciding how the rest of us should live. Regulations abound, principally to ensure that we are protected from burning ourselves on hot pie fillings, tripping over curbs, drinking fruit scented shampoo or otherwise curtailing our existence before our allotted hour. It’s refreshing then to find suitably arcane laws which have escaped the notice of the powers that be. Par example, that you can still claim trial by mortal combat in Blighty – which could make arguing about that parking fine all the more satisfying. But still a bloody sight less dangerous than le version Francaise – viz. pulling out from a minor road onto a major one without bothering to check what’s coming.

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Patience is a virtue

Or so your mother told you. And at times it’s a handy quality to have in la belle France too. So whilst waiting on the line for Orange or France telecom (their interpretation of customer service and conception of time as a valuable commodity being somewhat at odds with the remainder of the civilised world), remember to count to ten (you’ll have plenty of time) and take lots of deep breaths. Similarly when enquiring about anything in the electrical department of leclerc (where you’ll find yourself rendered invisible to any assistant you may spy) or attempting to buy even a bloody baguette between the hours of noon and 3pm. In short, a balanced karma is the only way to retain your sanity - and to enjoy all the good stuff as well. Omm.

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King of the hill

Under a summer sun, you’ve traipsed around the French countryside looking for that special somewhere. Tout seul, you’ve seen loads of houses, occasionally picking your jaw up from the floor when greeted by spectacular decorative faux pas or the amount that their owners (having seen your rather smart set of wheels) are now asking.  Having got your head around carpeted ceilings, pink sanitary ware and clearly misplaced extra zeros in the prices, it’s back to the air conditioned embrace  of your car and off to the next appointment.

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Monkey business

Not being entirely sure of what I was getting into, I decided to take part in a 11 k trail run. Easy I thought, no need for extra training as I run this distance quite easily - and then discovered there was a climb of + 150m involved. After conferring with my “running guru” sister-in-law though, I realised that I run much harder hills at home, so no big deal. After dragging my family to support me and take photos last time, they all suddenly developed really pressing jobs to do at home and couldn’t make it, so off I nervously went.

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Country life 5 ; Pink jobs and blue jobs

To guarantee a long and happy marriage - and get the most from your French rural life - some ground rules are important. So an understanding as to where you sit in the pecking order (below horses, kids and dogs, but just ahead of cats and hens) is crucial – as is an acceptance of your role as apprentice groom, pool cleaner, wood chopper, chief gardener, principal taxi driver and fixer of all things mechanical. And in the interests of an equal division of labour, while your remit includes the supply of funds into your bank account, the responsibility for their disposal (clearly above your pay grade) won’t.

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My Super Star!

It's a soggy wet morning, the day of the dressage competition, I’ve trained intensively for this (see previous blog), so Sunny and I are ready and raring to go. Sort of. It's now pretty vile outside, and I’m no longer sure this is actually true. I text my friend asking her if she is getting ready - and am hoping she will come back to say she isn't going as it's too wet.

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