Jenny Rhodes actually started her ‘Mumbles in the Mountains’ in 2009, a lighthearted look at life up in the High Pyrenees, in Les Angles. She told us of highs and lows, of mountain flowers, birds and butterflies, snow ploughs and snow falls, cakes baked, pies maked, jam jarred….and she’s back  five years on to mumble and grumble about life in Les Angles. Welcome back Jen!



JULY 2014

with Jenny Rhodes


I feel that, as an adopted Yorkshireman I should start by commenting on how proud I was of Yorkshire at the Depart of the Le Tour. My pride in having lived in that beautiful county for many years grew as I watched the race develop on the TV. The millions of people who turned out to support and cheer on the  cyclists from so many countries, including many of our own family, was truly heartwarming.

The breathtaking views of Yorkshire from above in the helicopter, the patchwork fields, the stone barns, the tiny, not so sleepy villages and of course the yellow dyed sheep all added to the spectacle.
The tragedy at the end with our lovely Cavendish crashing to the ground was nearly too much to take in. I’m sure that I will not be the only person to wish him well.

So with the winter well behind us and only small patches of snow left on the high peaks, I can hardly believe that Midsummer day has passed and you could say the nights are drawing in.

As always my seeds are not doing well. My daffs have only just flowered and the “permafrost” has only just melted. Only joking about the permafrost but the overnight frosts continue up here right through to the beginning of June.

I read an article in a Good Housekeeping mag that instructed me to keep picking my sweet peas  to keep them flowering. Hmmm, mine are an inch high and not quite ready to pick right now.

What I would like to know is the Swiss secret of growing Geraniums. They must have a secret formula that is handed down fromgeneration to generation. Their flowers are truly gobsmacking.

On a totally different tack I was chatting to a friend last week about modern phones and how we tend to take them for granted. It’s only when the battery is flat or you can’t find it that you decide that you can’t live without it. We reminisced about the old way we contacted people. You walked to the end of the road, to a phone box. You then had to have four old pennies, dial, press buttons A or B and then feed the wretched thing with more money until you were cut off.

Making a “long distance” call was an epic all on its own… You asked for “trunks” and you never ever made an overseas call unless you had written and arranged the time and date.

Now we have things the size of a wafer biscuit and e.mail, talk, sort out bank accounts and diet all at once. And to anyone who knows me…….in truth I have only just learnt to text. Not because I couldn’t ……….but because I wouldn’t. I feel that, now I am ‘of a certain age’ I am allowed to be stubborn , cantankerous and just plain silly if I like and no one can stop me. So there.

Secretly though I find texting quite useful  but I won’t mention that to anyone.

So from my eerie high up in the hills I will continue to cast my eyes across the mountains and enjoy the sun, the fresh air and the beauty and hope you are doing the same wherever you are.


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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