The Good Life France

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A weekend tale from The Good Life France


I hope you and yours are well.

Here we have a new furry family member – a little girl who has a multi-coloured coat. We are calling her Mimi the Marmalade Moggy as she is all sorts of oranges and browns! She turned up at the back door, a skinny, starving, scared little thing. Our other cats let her eat their food and lay on their cushion under the terrace, even Tigger the diva cat, they clearly have the measure of me and knew I would let the poor little thing stay! The kitten is very nervous of humans and I think she’s about 3 months old but much smaller than she should be. Saying that, she’s done nothing but scoff for the last week and we’ve progressed to the cuddle stage though she doesn’t like being in the house with the door shut. So, Mimi the Marmalade Moggy, you are our lucky No. 9 cat! You can see her here on Instagram the day she arrived.

I popped in to see my elderly neighbour Claudette this week. I knocked at the door and waited. Jean-Claude, her son-in-law arrived at her house while I stood there. ‘She didn’t answer?’ he asked, we were both a bit worried, but then Claudette appeared at the side of the house beaming at us both. ‘I’ve been doing a bit of weeding’ she said, ‘that rain has made everything grow enormous.’

She was wearing her pink rubber boots and a floral pinafore over her navy dress, her white hair was tied in a bun. She told me she has never worn a pair of trousers in all of her 90 years. I asked her if it was because before 2013 it was illegal for women to wear trousers in France. And that is actually true, though not enforced in latter years. It was a law that was imposed in November 1800 to prevent women doing certain jobs, it was amended a hundred years or so later to allow women to wear trousers if they were riding a horse or a bike! ‘No’ said Claudette laughing ‘it’s because I like to wear dresses.’ The late great French designer Yves Saint Laurent once said that what is important in a dress is the woman who’s wearing it – I reckon he would have loved Claudette…

Wishing you a very bon weekend, bisous from rainy and sunny northern France where it is starting to feel just a little autumnal…(Photo: The harvest is in full swing in my part of France, sunset over the fields at the bottom of my garden, it felt like nature was having a party….)


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Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life

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