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April newsletter from France


Hope you had a good week.

I was supposed to be sending this newsletter from Aubusson in Limousin. I was going there to discover more about the JRR Tolkien tapestries being woven over the next few years – they are going to be absolutely beautiful (I’ve seen the patterns!). But, France is in the grip of a plethora of train strikes and so my plans were utterly thwarted. I’ll have to go at a later date.

If anyone is travelling by train in the next couple of months, be aware that there are many days of planned strikes from now until June and maybe beyond, but also unplanned strikes may occur. You can check on the SNCF website for details.

So, finding myself unexpectedly at home, I decided to get on with some renovation work. The sun came out and there was quite a breeze blowing, perfect conditions for painting my new shutters. Slowly, slowly, the look of the once neglected old house is changing. I joke that by the time we actually finish, we’ll have to start all over again – it’s been 14 years since we started! In that time we’ve laid umpteen tons of concrete floors where there was once just dirt, replaced 37 windows and 13 doors and renovated every inch of the interior.

I’ve chosen a lovely Wedgewood blue colour for the shutters and doors and we are starting to render the ugly breeze block (concrete) walls which will be painted a light cream colour. I bought a load of rose bushes in the Pound Shop and planted them against the walls. They’ve grown outrageously huge. When they bloom in pale pinks, white and deep reds it’s going to look really gorgeous.

My neighbour Jean-Claude who keeps a very tidy house and garden walked by while I was painting and gave me an approving nod. This house has been a bit of an eyesore for decades, but I reckon it’s going to be the prettiest house in the village by the time we’re done!

I’m off to do some more painting now…

Wishing you a very bon weekend,
Bisous from France,

ps photo is of Chédigny in the Loire, which is the inspiration for my shutters colour and roses! It’s the only village in France to achieve Jardin Remarkable status thanks to the profusion of roses growing in its streets.

Read the whole newsletter here with a round of the week’s most fab features.

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ps If you’re on Instagram, my daily French photo challenge has started, join me at: www.instagram.com/thegoodlifefrance

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