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New Breathalyser Law in France

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 We've had several people contact us regarding the New breathalyser law in France. Here is a small article we found in the Telegraph which sums it up:

Drivers planning on heading to France this summer are being reminded that they will be required by law to carry a breathalyser in their car, writes Chris Knapman. The new measure comes into effect from July 1, and applies to anybody travelling through France. It means that at minimum, they will have to carry a single-use breathalyser with them. From November, those failing to do so will be fined €11 (£9.30).

The idea is that drivers can test themselves to check whether they are over the limit before setting off, although they should note that the legal limit in France is lower than the UK - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood compared with 80mg.

Motoring organisation the Institute of Advanced Motorists is advising drivers to take at least two breathalysers so that if one needs to be used there is still a spare in the car if you are stopped.

We have found the cheapest ones on Amazon for £2.82, so it's wise to pre-order. The link to the Amazon one is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Electronics-Accessories-DIGITAL-ALCOHOL/dp/B004BIE2T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330426409&sr=8-1
 

Posted by David Gordon on 28/02/2012 10:52 Categories : Update


Vallee Lake 1 - Weed Clearance

Our weed clearing contractor has now been confirmed for week 26 on both Vallee Lake 1 and Lake 2.

We are hoping the weed will be minimal this year, however this precaution has been taken, and booked for this week in the event of any excessive weed present.

This would be cut and cleared from the lake within the shortest and most efficient way possible. We understand how frustrating weed can be and we think this is the best way to help you, the angler.

for any more information please contact carp-france.

All the best and tight lines, Mark & Nathalie.

 

Posted by Mark Collin on 27/02/2012 16:34 Categories : Vallee Lake 1, Weather


Le Moulin du Mee - Spring has Sprung

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 Another lovely day with lots of warm sunshine accompanied by the chattering of birds and the squabbling of the ducks as they pair up prior to breeding. Jimmy has been getting on well with the swim rebuilding and ‘Sams’ is now ready to be backfilled and covered with fresh gravel whilst ‘Middle ground’ is just waiting for the boards to be fitted, probably tomorrow. Lottie has been busily tidying up all the shrubbery on the dam and I have continued with clearing the dead leaves, branches and general debris that seems to be produced every winter. We have found a nice crack in the boat so that has been beached up near ‘Sanctuary’ and will be repaired in the next few days. We have also located a leak in the dam of Poppy’s so that will need sorting before the season opens so we will have to arrange to have the digger for another day. There has been a lot of activity on the lakes with the odd carp showing along with plenty of pike and fry and we will be preparing another large batch of maize tomorrow to ensure the carp have plenty of readily available ‘energy food’ to supplement their natural protein intake at this time. With another week of fine weather forecast we will be taking advantage of the drying conditions to build the pathways round the lakes. Jimmy is also hoping to start work on the footbridges on the Home bank but I really think that he is being a tad optimistic and expect them to be under way sometime next week. All in all things are looking good for the start of the season with the only concern being the lack of any serious rain over the winter period. I fear that the water table all over France will be very low this year and many lakes will find summertime a real worry with low water conditions being suffered along with all the problems that can accompany it. Last year saw many lakes suffer mid season fish deaths due to low water and low oxygen levels so although our springs normally hold up well I fear that the aerator will be working long hours this year. March is often a wet month so let’s hope that we see a good few weeks of rain with the sunshine returning just in time for the arrival of our first anglers.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 27/02/2012 11:43 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherUpdate


Le Moulin du Mee - Open Water

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Yesterday was warm and sunny and finally we started to see some open water as the milder conditions produced the long awaited thaw. By late afternoon Poppy’s was around 80% ice free and Etang du Mee about 60%. We were working hard finishing the clearing of the area behind Poppy’s and have now reached the position that just a few more hours work and the task will be completed. The birds are starting to be heard once again with the chaffinches particularly noisy at this time along with the woodpeckers who were busily drilling into old tree’s in search of a tasty morsel for their their lunch. The egrets and herons soon put in an appearance and we were treated to the raucous calling of a skein of cranes passing overhead on their way north for the summer. This was quite a surprise as we never usually see them much before the second week in March so perhaps it is a sign that spring will arrive early this year. Whilst walking back along Home Bank we saw a good size pike just lying against a margin rock and at first thought it was dead ! Not so, as it spooked of at an alarming rate once it became aware of our presence. The pike will be preparing to spawn in the next few weeks so that there will be plenty of hungry baby pike around when the roach fry start to hatch. It is so good to feel the warmth of the sun on your back as you stroll around the lakes and it is a refreshing thought that in just another couple of weeks we can think about wetting a line. Happy days.

 

Posted by Jim Everiss on 21/02/2012 16:34 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Birch Pool Retreat - The thaw has started

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After -22 degree temperatures last week the lake has now started to thaw, we have a good supply of fresh water going in through the stream so fingers crossed it won't take too long for a complete thaw.

On a plus side it looks stunning, if a little cold lol.

 

Posted by Nikki Morgan on 21/02/2012 15:42 Categories : Birch Pool Retreat, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Le Moulin du Mee - Lots of mud and a few travelling tips.

The snow has now all melted away and although we still have an ice lid on the lakes there is water lying atop of it and we are expecting to be seeing some clear water by the end of the week. We already have 50 kilo of maize cooked up awaiting for conditions to improve and we have also decided to start adding pellet to the feed as soon as the ice allows us to. All around the lakes we are churning up the tracks as we drive the pick up round with thick mud lying everywhere. It is an interesting experience to travel sideways along the tracks and we have found that 4-wheel drive just means all the wheels churn up the mud rather than just 2 !! The last couple of days has seen us cutting back all the hedge line tree’s on the dam and it is amazing just how much growth the willows will put on in one growing season. Some of the branches were over 15ft long and it took 6 piled high pick up loads to dispose of them all. Jimmy is likely to be back on swim building tomorrow but we are still waiting for the digger to arrive and hope that it will be before the end of the week. Anyway, all will be ready before our first anglers arrive but it sometimes seems that we are taking one step forward and two back in our work schedule……………..maybe I ought to lend a hand !!

This year see’s a few changes to the law regarding driving in France and a couple of changes in particular need your attention. The first is that it is against the law to use a satnav with the radar warning turned on. Penalties are high so be sure to turn this function off before leaving the ferry/tunnel. The second change that you need to comply with is the need for each car to contain a breathalyser kit. It seems that the authorities will be coming down hard on any driving transgressions so be sure to abide by the speed limits and be sure to have warning triangle, headlight deflectors, fluorescent vests (for all occupants), breathalyser kit and a first aid kit on board. Be warned !!!

 

Posted by Jim Everiss on 17/02/2012 11:37 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee


Le Moulin du Mee - The start of the big thaw ?

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Yesterday was bright, cold and caused all sorts of problems for us. We were without water for the whole day in the millhouse due to the icy conditions eventually reaching its fingers down through the ground and reaching the water pipes. Jimmy checked and re-checked all the pipes in the house and found them to be ok so there was nothing for it but to dig down through the ‘permafrost’ to find the pipes as they came into the house. The poor lad was up until three in the morning trying to resolve the issue without success…….me ? I was tucked up in bed !!! This morning we were shocked to discover that the temperature had risen to the heady heights of +2c and Jimmy eventually sorted out the water problem for us…..good lad.

My morning walk was very atmospheric in the murky conditions and a light dusting of snow accompanied me on my travels around the lakes. No sign of ice melt as yet but the light snow covering seems to be dissolving and that, hopefully, is the first signs that the thaw has begun. Lots of animal footprints, probably fox and martens, once again to be seen over both lakes but what they are hunting is a mystery to me as all our waterfowl have departed and other than a few coot paddling around in the main spring there seems to be very little prey about. The dead hair that we found yesterday has been taken so there will be at least one full stomach lying up amongst the undergrowth but I fear that a great many of the birds of prey are likely to be struggling for sustenance in these conditions. I have mentioned before that we have found the corpses of two buzzards that failed to weather the winter and this morning I saw a barn owl still hunting in the daylight, probably a last effort to find a meal. With snow lying for so long the voles and mice that the owls feed on make tunnels under the ice covering and so can go about their business without risk of being seen (or eaten for that matter).

We are hoping to be able to start on the tasks that need doing around the lake in the next day or so and I am expecting the arrival of the digger tomorrow – providing his diesel has melted of course – and Jimmy can get cracking on re-building the swims on the home bank once again. I will be carrying out my management roll with my usual candour so whilst the others will come in cold and tired I will be suffering from a sore throat from giving out the orders !! Happy days.

A picture of some fresh tracks in the snow on Poppy’s lake that I took this morning.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 14/02/2012 23:06 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherThe Latest


Prepared for Driving in France?

We're often asked what you need to have with you when you're driving in France. As you may know, this seems to change like the wind, but here's a list of the latest required by French Law:

Driving Licence
Vehicle Registration Document
Certificate of Motor Insurance
Letter of Permission to use the vehicle (if not registered to you)
Headlamp Adapters
Breathalyser conforming to NF standards
Warning Triangle
GB Sticker (Unless your vehicle reg has GB already on it)
Reflective Jacket or Waistcoat (for each occupant of the car)
Spare Bulbs Kit

Hope it helps, we've had a few guys get caught out in the past and the French don't seem to be too leenient, to say the least!

Posted by David Gordon on 14/02/2012 22:21 Categories :


Le Moulin du Mee - Perhaps a Thaw

Today is as cold as any we have experienced this year so it is with baited breath that we await the thaw that is forecast to start tomorrow. To be totally accurate we have got snow forecast tomorrow but the following days will see temperatures climb to the heady heights of +5c. I would imagine that it will take a good week or two before the lakes are completely clear of ice but at least we will be able to get back to work around the lakes. It has been very frustrating to have got so much of our planned work completed before the freeze set in only to find that 2 weeks of Siberian like weather has put us right behind schedule once again. We did plan on having a digger in for a day yesterday and got up well before light to ensure that we were quite ready to get started the moment it arrived. By 10am we had given up and a phone call soon confirmed our fears that all was not well. It seems the diesel was frozen in the diggers tank and after a good hour of effort it remained cold, silent and refusing to work !! Sounds a bit like me at the moment !!!

My morning walk was a cold one. In fact a very, very cold one with the sunshine marred by a bitterly cold north easterly wind that threatened to take my ears off. There were lots of animal tracks on the lakes and signs that wild boar had travelled along the stream in their search for food so although all is quiet during the hours of daylight it would seem that we have plenty of nocturnal activity around the lakes. The birds are struggling for survival in these conditions and they go about their search for food in almost total silence with just a rustling in the undergrowth to show where they are. The silence is only broken by the ratatatting of the woodpeckers and it is at these times that I really look forward to spring when the place is alive with the sounds of natures awakening. I yearn for the arrival spring so much that I have even resorted to watching some of our video’s where you can hear the cuckoo’s, the nightingales and all other sorts of birdsong as well as seeing the lake surrounded by fresh greenery and all bathed in warm sunshine !! Reminds me of what is just around the corner ! Happy days.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 12/02/2012 15:00 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, UpdateThe Latest


Croix Blanche Lake - I Guess Winter Finally Arrived!!

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It’s amazing that in one week the weather can change so radically. Just one week ago I was packing up after landing my second biggest common ever. The outside temperatures were in the 5°C and it was fairly overcast. The water temp was 6°C during that weekend.
What a contrast to today, with the lakes frozen solid and covered with a dusting of snow. The day time high here is -6°C with it plummeting to a bone chilling -14°C at night. I was only wondering less than a month ago, when we were going to finally get a winter.
After the New Year we were still experiencing temperatures in the 10-12°C, and no overnight frosts. It was hardly surprising then, in those conditions that the carp continued to feed, and get caught.
But now winter is with us and the picture post card landscapes are all around.

I decided to walk the dog and take my camera around the frozen venue and shoot a few photos to record the chilly but picturesque scenics.

Here is a small selection of lake views that I took, in the same vein as those I shot in 2010, when we had a heavy snow fall. With bright blue skies and bare trees they feel cold just looking at them.
Roll on the warmer weather!!!

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 11/02/2012 10:55 Categories : Croix Blanche Lake