The Overloaded Ark is Richard Brown’s blog and details his life with ten million animals in Loubille, Poitou Charente.
Richard describes his blog as…. “Thoughts of a retired couple living in la France profonde How to maintain and enjoy an ancient farmhouse.”
And lists his interests as… “Books drawing photography collecting pocket knives”
So, nothing about Citroen 2CVs, Lingerie Wearing Nuns or even Wild Mushrooms?
A bit despondent, I thought I’d take a look anyway.
The In The Beginning Bits….
Well, I expect most of you are wondering Why Overloaded Ark?
Well Richard does explain in the post above in some detail.
And in Let’s Start At The Beginning he goes on to explain and introduce his “family” which consists of a wife and… “Jilly, Toffee and Laika ,dogs ,about fifteen cats who all have names but will have to wait to be introduced, Toto a ram, Segolene a ewe and Rosie, their daughter, another ewe as I am sure the more alert of you will have worked out.”
In What’s in a name? Richard talks about the history of the village that he now calls home and speculates about the reason for its name.
Then, in Revenons a nos moutons, Richard gets in roofing mode and has the roof replaced on the “little building on the other side of the road.”
And goes on to talk about A Roof over Our Heads in which he explains… “the tuille Romane, the typically red low-pitched roofs of France below the Loire.”
The Boys Will Be Boys Bits….
One of which is the worthy hobby of collecting Penknives!
Now, this is a hobby that Girlies don’t understand and shouldn’t be encouraged to take up!
It is dangerous and requires an artistic and functional appreciation that tends to favour those who have spent the formative years of their lives promising someone called Akela that they will do their best!
Richard obviously knows where his woggle is and talks about his hobby in Cutting Edge.
And, in Cutting Edge 2 The Lagioule Richard shows us some of his examples of the most popular knife in France, the Laguiole.
Of course, no matter how many penknives (or Pocket Knives,as Richard calls them) a boy has, he can never call himself a man unless he’s got something throbbing and vibrating between his legs!
And Richard has, at times, ridden a 200cc single cylinder Triumph Tiger Cub, a brand-new Ariel Golden Arrow ( 250 two-stoke twin) a Triumph 21, a 150 Ducati, a Francis Barnet 150 and a little Suzuki B200.
This is all detailed in his interestingly titled post… Four wheels bad, two wheels good.
He continues his tale of early motorcycle madness in Motorcycle Mayhem in which he describes falling off his triumph and then fixing the electrics with a good hefty kick!
If there had been more like Richard around, the British Motorcycle Industry would never have died and Honda etc. would be busy making coffee machines!
And who am I to suggest that that’s all they do make these days!
And, getting back to penknives…
Richard talks about the need to carry one in his lovely post… Wrap it up!
And I agree…
Personally I don’t feel dressed unless I’ve got my four incher firmly planted in the pocket of my shorts!
And Mrs A Taste of Garlic has just told me to… “Stop being so smutty and move onto something more serious!”
So, let’t be like Brits and talk about the weather…
Richard seems pretty chuffed with himself when he talks about Living on the Frontier in which he explains how he’s found his little bit of heaven, weather wise in his particular part of France.
And then goes on to publish a post called Storm!!! with no text because…
As he explains in Storm 2 the storm in question cut off the internet!
But then, as Richard says… “It`s back to normal weather tonight, a beautiful evening. Vive la France!!”
It must be confusing for some people though?
Although Richard seems to take it in his stride and just wanders off to have a cold shower in It ain’t ‘arf hot, mum!
The title of which will mean absolutely nothing to anyone of American or Antipodean persuasion, I fear!
And Richard is still talking about the weather in Normal or Average?
But then, talking about the weather is a British pastime, isn’t it?
And talking of British pastimes, Richard does a typically french thing and goes out for a drive one Saturday and discovers a town “plein des Anglais!”
And wonders out loud whether the… “little town has been taken over by the English aliens, or whether we happened to call when the local WI branch was holding its annual fete.”
Probably both Richard, probably both!
And then he followed it up with a post about Futuroscope in which there aren’t any photo of bridges but…
There is one of a rather nice picnic (and I’m rather partial to rather nice picnics!)
A trip to Lusignan – town of the mermaid is another Sunday afternoon exploration.
I’m not sure if Richard spotted the mermaid but he did say that he was planning to return!
And then it was time for his holidays.. Away in the Mountains
which looks pretty nice to me!
And in The sermon on the mount… Richard describes a typical day of his holidays!
When you have a lot of animals you ought to expect some Love between species.
The cat and the dog who pretend to be enemies all day will often be found cuddled up together when they think their humans aren’t watching!
But I ought to warn people who don’t like Snakes (me!!!) and creepy crawlies that it might not be a good idea to read… Ark stowaways.
They’re all God’s creatures…
Just like The Birds and the Bees which…
Is, rather disappointingly, a post about insects!
In The Image is All Richard talks about replacing his camera and finds, like me, that new kit is more complex and confusing, full of features we never knew we needed or…
Perhaps, we just a pair of old f*rts who can’t keep up with modern technology?
Actually (and I’ll not tell anyone else so keep this to yourself), I’m quite happy to be an old fart!
I certainly agree with Richard that I don’t like the Begging With Menace that we sometimes see these days.
I’ve not encountered it in Brittany but did once almost fall foul of a roadside “victim” in the Loire during that hot summer of ’03!
And in The Overloaded Ark Has Become The Tower of Babel Richard explains that he is busy language teaching
Which is nice but…
If I remember my bible correctly…
Didn’t the original Tower of Babel…
End up with some big insurance claim?
The Overloaded Ark is a great blog and lovingly details a simple life with rather a lot of animals in the Poitou-Charente.
If you like animals (or Pocket Knives, even) it is an excellent place to visit…
And, even if those things aren’t top of your list of interests…
I’m 100% sure that you won’t regret popping into The Overloaded Ark and having a good look round!
Even if it’s just to leave Richard a message to let him know what a good job he’s doing!
And me? Well, I’ve heard a nasty rumour that someone is after my job!
And I’m going to check out There’s a taste of garlic in the soup! to see if it’s true!
And then I’m going to settle down with The Lazy Cook’s Handbook…
Which was probably written with me in mind!
And once I’ve digested that, I’ll sneak a peek at the post that explains everything about Richard, his family and this blog…
And then, my friends, it’ll be time for bed!
All the best