The new season is approaching rapidly. I am hopeful that there will be many more memorable days, good or bad, to look back on at the end of 2014.
Looking back at the year just gone, my first as a bailiff here in France, has not been without its ups and downs. Thankfully overall I have many a fond memory. That said, recently I had quite possibly my worst day for many a year.
I start my day as usual with a nice cuppa and a bowl of cornflakes. Nothing unusual there, except that today the kettle decided to trip the electric – nothing to worry about, flick the breaker and all is well, but this was just the start of what was going to be the day that I really should have just stayed in bed !!
Next, I load up the car with all the necessary equipment for the work that I had planned for the next few days. House locked, car packed, it’s time to head out….. the car, it would seem, had other ideas. I turn the key – nothing. What’s going on today for god’s sake?
Having worked in the motor industry prior to moving to France, I had a fair idea what to do to remedy the problem. After disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes and then lock and unlock the car, the immobiliser disengages and the car fires into life. That’s a crap start to a day anywhere in the world I thought, but the sun is out and when I eventually finish todays work the rods will be in the water. It’s not all bad.
I arrive at the lake without any further incident. First job today is strimming the overgrown grass along the paddock fence. I want to get that done early as it gets too hot later in the day if you are wearing protective gear and long trousers. So, one pull on the string and off we go. No, we don’t – one pull on the string and……snap!!!. (insert expletive of your personal choice) you gotta be kidding me. No strimming today.
OK, let’s have a cool drink, chill out and move onto job two. I need to staple some chicken wire in the shed, nice and straightforward eh?. Nope. The staple gun is inoperative – only a fuse but today really is proving to be the battle of humans vs machines.
After successfully managing to complete a few other odd jobs without further hitch, I decide to have a run round the lake on the mower. Whilst I had already cut around the banks a few days previously and it wasn’t exactly an essential job, the grass was growing so fast so I thought I would just make up for not being able to strim and keep the banks nice and neat and tidy instead. Bad decision.
Jumping on the mower and riding round the lake is definitely one of the more leisurely and enjoyable jobs that we do, and I always think that the lake looks that bit better for a nice trim (Don’t we all?).
This mower has previous history. When I arrived it basically only just worked. After many hours of toil, it’s running far better and doing its job as required. Just one small hitch – I hadn’t noticed the tiny oil leak from the oil pressure switch.
I’m now on the last stretch of the banks and there is quite a pile of dry grass cuttings lying around from the previous cut. They look messy and are spoiling the look – I decide to just quickly go over them to spread them about a bit.
So, my recipe : dry cut grass, a smidgen of engine oil, a nice metal chassis for it all to sit on and an exhaust just mere inches away. Suffice to say that my mower destroying cocktail was extremely successful and I had myself a blazing mower. Some considerable later : fire dealt with, mower trashed, BOSS advised, I decided that it truly was time for dinner and fishing.
Fed, watered and showered, time to get the rods out and kick back. Today just hasn’t been my day. A spot of fishing will see me right.
A couple of hours pass and things are looking up, I have a roarer on the middle rod!! After playing the fish in for a little while, I catch a glimpse – looks like one of the big mirrors. My pulse rate goes up a notch…. not even 20 seconds later and the hook pulls – my prize is lost….. my spirit is well and truly broken.
I bring in my other two rods and retire to my bed chair. If tomorrow is like today, I’m moving back to England!!.
It was the 16th of July 2013 and this is a true account of a day that will stay in my memory forever. It’s not all sitting round drinking beer and talking fishing with like minded carpers – sometimes and some days even the best jobs are crap.
Fortunately, the good days far outweigh the bad, and my next blog will be a recollection of some of the better, and less testing ones.