Everything with us is fine and dandy and we are well into November.  The weather is generally holding up well although the forecast for next week is getting increasingly colder, However,I still feel  blessed to be in mid France rather than the battering the UK is getting lately.

The changing colours of autumn are glorious around here and it is a joy to take Gladys out in the early morning.

view from my morning walk with Gladys

View from morning walk with Gladys

The Regime goes well, started 14 September weighing 21stone 1lb and as of yesterday weighed in at 18stone 11lb which is a loss of 2stone 5lb in 2 months. Lots of my clothes now fit and will soon need replacing with smaller versions.  I was aware that I needed to find extra exercise platforms and considered an exercise bike but storing it would be a problem.  We have a Wii machine and found a copy of Zumba exercise online…mistake, after the first session I was on my knees and gasping for breath.  My lovely wife suggested, unkindly I thought, that I was not dad dancing but more a granddad dancing at a wedding, not nice.   I will persevere and show some real moves soon, and as long as the weight continues to fall I don’t care.

Autumn colours on the VNF building

Growth covering VNF building nearby

Anyone who knows me well knows I like my food and it has, in the past, been my downfall when I have tried to lose weight.

In order to combat this fall-back I have researched hard for dishes and recipes that are low in carbs and calories but delicious.

Our regime has settled on a porridge breakfast, no milk but soaked prunes and yogurt mixed in, surprisingly nice and does the trick for the digestion if you get my drift.  The main meal at lunchtime and this has to be delicious and can be reasonably high in calories, up to 800 is fine.  Then some exercise in the afternoon and a light supper, normally soup and crackers with fruit for dessert.  We keep to around 1200 calories for the day and the weight has come off.  No recipe this time but I will put some up in future


The canal is now closed for winter and the locks look abandoned and a bit forlorn

We have signed up for French lessons at the local college and will be attending for 2 hours every Monday.  We get by with the language but it is not good enough just to get by as we live here now and should show the locals the respect of learning the language to a higher standard.  It shows what a small world we live in when we went to the college to sign up we met a local man who in conversation said he knew our Italian friends Marco and Carmen  now living in their new house in Baye, and he wanted me to send them a message in French, ‘Bonjour et amities de Jean, Corinne et Jacqueline’.  This week we also got  a postcard from our other dear friends Jean Max and Catherine, I gather from the card that they are not enjoying the wet and cold weather in north France and are heading south next year. I understand how they feel and I am sure that during the winter our heads will be turned  towards warmer climes.



This post was written by Terry Barrett

Photographs by Tes


  • Roz

    Hi you two old friends, we have seen that you are just over an hour from us so we might try and come and see you tomorrow ( Saturday ) hope that’s ok with you.

    A bientot
    Roz & John x

  • Roz

    Sadly your map had not updated and we went on a wild goose chase to Le Plessis Gammoire and spent over an hour looking for you but couldn’t even find the canal – asked the locals but they had no clue so we gave up and came home, I had some lovely home grown chili’s for you too. never mind next time x

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