Welcome to our blog

Welcome to our French lake adventure, Le Coly.

My son Tom and I were desperate to earn a living through something we enjoy. Fishing and then carp fishing both in England and France has always been a great passion for both of us. So combined with our love of countryside and the outdoors we decided to take a life changing decision to buy our own lake in France to build a carp fishing and bait making business. Armed with our budget and business plan we set off for south west France Sunday evening 24 March 2013.

We are in the process of buying a 1.60 hectare lake called Le Coly, which is 48km south west of Limoges. The nearest village is 2.5km called Firbeix. Le Coly has had no previous fishing apart from the owner’s family and friends; in fact the owner dug the lake in 1986. It is obvious that the owner Jean Pierre has a great deal of affection for Le Coly. It is a peaceful lake and the surrounding countryside is absolutely stunning. Both Tom and I fell in love with the lake as soon as we saw it. Also it is a very unusual shape which provides some very unique features. We have a small gite above the lake which we can develop into a very good club house.

We both felt very disillusioned with England. Leaving very close family behind, made our decision very difficult indeed. I believe this is a great opportunity for me and Tom. We have tremendous encouragement and support from family and friends, who we miss very much.

Tom has been great. He has his own ideas and expertise in mechanics, bait making, digger operation, and lake – fish knowledge and at 26 he has a lot more energy than me. Personally and the most important he continues to provide me with great support. I could not do this without him. We always discuss stuff before making decisions and Tom has often taken the lead. Honestly, I could not do this without him.

Although our French is very basic (we are not frightened to make a fool of ourselves) we have managed to understand and be understood. We have felt very ignorant at times but everyone has been very understanding and a great help. Please, please, please learn French before you live here. You will miss out on so much if you don’t and besides this is France. Both Tom and I desperately want to learn so we can have a normal conversation as we would with anyone in English. Listen to your family and friends, have a good understanding of the local language before you leave.

We have also had invaluable help from our property agent Donald De Neeff of Chalus Immoblier and Donald’s colleague Diana. Donald has been great and continues to help us. He has been an invaluable source of local knowledge. Before we arrived Donald had organised a lot of our home set up stuff. This was great for Tom and I as we could concentrate on our business as soon as we arrived. Let’s be honest who likes doing that stuff anyway and we have a business to start. Yes this is an unashamed plug for Donald but he deserves it big time. A huge thanks from both Tom and I, and Oscar too.

We have one other invaluable member of the Le Coly team, Oscar, our adopted (from my daughter, because she now lives and works in London) 6 year old Jack Russell. He is a lovable endearing little chap with so many issues. If Oscar was human he would be a psychiatrist’s delight. He does keep us entertained and is a great guard dog. Tom and I think this behaviour is just psychotic territorialism on his part, which every Jack Russell owner knows and understands. Nothing gets passed him; unfortunately that also includes family and friends.

Our Le Coly blog

Our blog follows our progress, as we progress the lake we will develop the website. This will be a very honest account (and some laughs too I hope) of our experiences. We hope that our blog will help others that are thinking of pursuing the dream of working and living in the beautiful countryside of south west France.

For any further information regarding the lake or for living in France in general please contact either Jim or Tom on the addresses below.



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