A week in the life of David Tetlow – typical life in Charente / Vienne

When I first tried to set out in print what I wanted to say about living in the beautiful Charente / Vienne , I tried to create a list of reasons why, since I arrived in this border region I have never once considered leaving. When I reviewed my list of what makes this quintessentially French region so special it just didn’t do it justice.
So I thought the best way of showing you what makes living here so special would be to show you what I am doing when not showing customers properties. These are typical extracts from a working week in my diary.
MONDAY 5 JULY –  Weather Sunny
Hens are laying well.
I had only been able to dream about having space for and keeping hens when I lived in England.
Opened the our first bottle of the new delivery of the Bordeaux (Great Quaffing Plonk, direct from the vineyard at just under €2,!) will take some to the picnic on Wednesday afternoon. The grapes look even better this year for the Pineau.
My neighbor Joel has been an absolute star and has shown me how to get the most from the vines, turning the grapes into a sort of fortified cognac, called pineau
TUESDAY – Weather Sunny
Huge open market in morning at Lezay bought fresh fromage de chevre (goat cheese),choux farci, and jambon de campagne for picnic.
It’s a lovely drive to the markets – Rolling countryside little farms with orange pantile roofs and no double yellow lines or traffic wardens when you get there
In the evening pulled some lettuces a cucumber and picked some of the little tomatoes for tomorrows picnic. The aurbergine’s are coming on well.
WEDNESDAY  – Weather Sunny
The bakers van was early today I bought three ‘pain compagne’ and two croissants which were still warm.  The hens have gone into overdrive and are laying everywhere. In the afternoon I added some hard boiled eggs to the pate and cornichons to picnic hamper, which looked like it would feed 8.  We took the rowing boat upstream this time for our picnic. We pulled the boat onto the gravel beach just below Milac and I fished for a while and as usual, the bream and roach were more than obliging.  Later we swam to cool off after lunch. Ruined the fishing !  We talked as the sun set slowly across sunflower fields on the opposite bank and discussed visiting Chris and Josie in Leeds next week, it only takes us and hour and a half to get there. We can take them a few bottles of the Bordeaux.
Owning a boat and fishing trips are so easy NO FISHING signs are just about non existent, the river simply teams with fish and gliding serenely through such beautiful countryside is just perfect food for the soul.
THURSDAY – Weather Sunny with slight breeze
We went to the Hypermarket at Poitiers for our monthly “big” shop although it only takes us 45 mins to get there they sell just about everything there but I am always happy to get back to the peace and tranquility here.
We are invited over to Jerome and Claudine’s tomorrow for a bit of a soiree It’s odds on he will be wanting a hand on some sort of building project he has planned but I don’t mind as they and the whole French community have all been so helpful since I arrived.
FRIDAY – Weather Cloudy but warm
I don’t know how I am writing this as Jerome’s soiree turned into an all night affair (as usual), with about ten of us. We didn’t get back until the early hours of the morning significantly worse for wear. Its just so nice to go to a party knowing that all will have a good time without the risk of fights breaking out or of getting mugged on the way home. !
As I browse through my diary this is just another reason why I’m here for good and can understand why so many are looking for a little piece of the heaven I am privileged to enjoy here in Poitou Charente.

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