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April Fools Day and more newsletter from France

Eiffel Tower viewed on a rainy evening with shops and bars lit up at dusk


I hope that you and yours are well.

Tomorrow the clocks spring forward in France but no one has told my cockerels Reggie and Ronnie Kray about that. They thought it was a few weeks ago and have been outside my bedroom window cock-a-doodle-doo-ing the minute the sun comes up. (Here they are on Instagram). This starts George Clooney off. He’s a colourful rooster in a pen at the bottom of the garden with his 7 girls. Then Roger Moore, in a pen next door, gets all riled up. He’s very loud and very proud. He shrieks. That sets off my neighbour’s cockerel. This has a domino effect round the village. The sound of chickens and cockerels chatting is mesmerising!

Next week is April Fool’s Day. It’s usually a low key affair in France where it’s called “Poisson d’Avril” – April Fish – on account of the prank the French like to play on each other. It’s customary to stick a paper fish on the back of unsuspecting victims. No one seems certain why the French do this. And it’s much more fun than it sounds – I recommend you try sneaking up and taping a paper fish to someone you know and see how long it stays there without you being able to laugh and give the game away!

And next week is also the birthday of a legend. The Eiffel Tower turns 132 on March 31. It opened in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle of Paris and the first visitors were Buffalo Bill and the British Royal Family. It was supposed to be dismantled after 20 years, but was saved by having a telegraph transmitter attached to the top. It’s now the most loved icon of Paris, though some people love it more than others. In 2008 a woman “married” the Eiffel Tower and changed her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel. It’s currently being painted for the 20th time, a job which has to be done regularly and requires a stonking 60 tonnes of paint. “Yellow-brown” is a colour that her designer, Gustave Eiffel favoured, and is the colour chosen for Madame Eiffel as she is affectionately known, a little hint of gold, to have her dressed up for the Paris Olympics in 2024. See this week’s virtual tour (details below) – for a treat from the top of the Eiffel Tower…

Wishing you and yours a bon weekend from my little pigsty in the middle of nowhere.
Bisous from France,

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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

Read the whole newsletter here – or get a sneaky peak at a little of what’s in it:
Weekly virtual Visit to France: Enjoy a view over Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Dream visit: Les Gets, French Alps
Mont Ventoux – the giant of the French Alps
How to make French salted caramel

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