What a summer this has been. Blazing hot for weeks on end and then ten days of horrendous storms. The heavy rains always pummel my flowers into the ground and I am left with mush. They never really recover but I dead head for days and hope for the best. Some have recovered slightly and I find that I have acquired a honeysuckle bush. I know I didn’t plant it but it has sprung up into quite nice shrub.

I love going down to lake in the summer. Even though during the school holidays it”s very busy and people sprawl out on the “beach” and plunge into the freezing cold water, it is still lovely to go down the much updated café/restaurant. You can sit outside in the fresh air and sun or go into super-duper covered restaurant which is rather like a huge folding swimming pool cover. Evenings are just beautiful as you overlook the lake with all its shades and shadows.

Talking about the lake. I went down a few weeks ago for a coffee and turned into the lane leading from the main road, only to slam my brakes on as I came bumper to face with an Icon training in the Foret Matamale. What a shock. But in truth I don’t think that if I had hit him I could have ever gone back to the UK. Yes it was the Mighty Atom, Mo Farah running on the wrong side of the road. I always fancied a mascot on the front of my car maybe like the one on the front of a Rolls. Not a lovely little chap in a pair of shorts.

And yes I did cheer for him this past week considering what state he might have been in if I had hit him. So beware peeps, runners are everywhere down in the woods, not just Teddy Bears!

Over the summer as with everywhere else we have many fêtes. The next one is the Medieval Fete in Formiguères on 6th September. It is usually great with everyone dressed as “Medieval “folk. Including the English guys who run the Gite D’Etape. It’s always good to see Martin in his shorts, sandals and something nifty that Jenny has run up out of an old curtain. There is always a stunning speech given by the “King of Majorca” including the coughing and spluttering as he used to travel all the way for his health and fresh air in Formigueres.

Well worth the trip up.

I know that the rules of inheritance are different in France to how we have known them in the UK but I never realized that they were as fully carried out as they have been for a lady in our village. Just before Christmas her husband passed away, and the family came for one night and left her on her own for Christmas and New Year which seemed to me to be slightly heartless. It may have been her choice but unlikely.

A few weeks ago she was talking to our son who speaks much better French than I do and she was telling him that she has to sell the house and move to Lyon. Sadly she doesn’t want to go. She wants to stay in the village where she has lived for over fifty years. She doesn’t want to live in the city and basically the whole thing is freaking her out. The Law however doesn’t seem to have a heart and so she has to go.

Pyrenean-trails [that’s me] have had a busy summer with many guests from all over the world. We had the New Zealand Triathlon team for three weeks, Italians for the Iron Man event, and many others from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and of course the UK and France.

Quite an interesting collection of people. One young man who was here with his parents was from East Germany. I asked which city to which he replied “Dresden” I acknowledged that I knew of Dresden. To which he replied “Ah but would you have heard of Dresden if you hadn’t met me.” Now come on guys how was I to answer that. Fortunately his father saved the moment and talked about something else. But I couldn’t help but have a little smile to myself afterwards.

Mike was away guiding in Corsica and the Alps for quite a large part of the summer. And has been over to the UK do some filming with Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott for the 40th Anniversary of the Everest Expedition that got the first Brits to the top going on the South West Face. He appears to have had a great few days and I look forward to seeing the film.

So I finish my rambling and mumblings and hope I can add a couple of photos

Take care of yourselves guys


Jenny’s husband, Mike, is a qualified International Mountain Leader/Accompagnateur en Montagne and is one of the most experienced leaders in France, having walked and climbed in the Alps & Pyrénées for over 40 years.
Resident in Les Angles, Mike will give you a day to remember so don’t forget your cameras!
For safety reasons the group size is limited, so book your place early

Contact Mike & Jenny Rhodes on 04 68 04 37 28 or email:

If you would like to visit Les Angles, Jenny and Mike offer comfortable accomodation in their delightful barn conversion apartments on the edge of the old village of Les Angles.

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