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A la Mod: my so-called tranquil family life in rural France | Book Review

ian moore comedian

Ian Moore is a well-known British stand-up comedian and a Mod. When Ian moved to France from London – he decided to write about it… and the result is a very funny book.

Ian Moore decided that he had had more than enough of living in London where he can’t park his car despite his wife’s constant window watching for a space to appear. Enough of the rat race and the relentless pace of life in commuter belt London – what he wanted was peace and quiet and serenity.

His wife Natalie has French relatives living in a quiet and remote part of the Loire Valley and that is where the couple and their three sons moved to in search the tranquil life that Ian craved.

Like most of the best plans though – this one doesn’t quite match up to the dream and what follows is Ian’s account of real life in rural France.

Not only is it very funny – it is also very honest. Ian admits to being grumpy and moody, he confesses to being useless at anything to do with DIY though at times he has to try as there is no one else to do it resulting in one case in being burned by an electric fence he is attempting to install – much to the hilarity of his family. He cannot see why he should stop wearing his 60’s mod gear even though he lives in rural France, surrounded by fields and animals and the locals give him strange looks in the town.

Ian’s accounts of his wife’s developing obsession with taking in stray animals will strike a chord with many who have taken the path of moving to country life from a previous city existence and will commiserate with Ian’s obsession with animal poo and a horse that dislikes him intensely.

Although this is a light-hearted look at life for an expat in France who works in the UK as many expats do, it is clear that continuing to commute to the UK to work takes its toll with the constant travelling and missing a family and wife whom he obviously adores. Ian and Natalie wrack their brains trying to think of something they can do in France that will bring in an income and cut down Ian’s away time – a problem for many expats. The book is also a source of very handy little snippets of information about life in France – from the tradition of being able to leave “big rubbish” out for the dustmen twice a year to getting your kids into school.

Throughout it all, the trials and tribulations and the steep learning curve (he speaks no French to start), Ian never lets himself down in the sartorial stakes. The bemused looks of the locals as he struts his stuff in his stylish two tone fitted suits and dapper shoes so completely unsuitable for rural French life, have no effect on him – he is a Mod and proud of it!

If you dream of living in France, if you love the idea of living in France, if you like to laugh – you’ll enjoy reading this book, wry humour and the truth about real life for expats in rural France – we loved it.

Read our brilliant interview with Ian Moore – Mods, Morgan Freeman and Fawlty Towers!

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