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Bon weekend from a ‘celebrity’ in France!


I hope that you and yours are well.

Here in my bit of France I’m thinking of building an ark – we’ve had a heap of rain. My four pups, Reggie and Ronnie Kray the Labradors, and Nina and Lady the Australian Shepherds are loving splashing through the big puddles and muddy fields – me, not so much.

I’ve had my head down most of the time working on the new issue of The Good Life France Magazine – it’s nearly ready and it’s looking gorgeous – I can’t wait to share it with you (it’s totally free to subscribe – just click here: Subscribe).

The strangest thing happened a couple of weeks ago. I was working in the garden cleaning the chicken coops out, when I heard several voices shouting ‘HELLO’, ‘HELLO.’

Well, there was no one in the garden except me and the dogs and I was pretty sure it wasn’t them – they speak French as does everyone else in our village. The yelled greetings were coming from the little road in front of our house, so I wandered round and there were four ladies hanging over the fence.

“Hello, hello – are you the celebrity Janine Marsh?” they said. That made me laugh out loud.

“Well, I’m Janine Marsh” I replied, “But I’m not a celebrity, I think you have mistaken me for someone else.”

“We are Belgian ladies” said one of them, “And we know you write books – you are a celebrity! And we want to have our photos taken with you.”

I was covered in mud and very dishevelled, but they insisted on the photos, so I gave in and gave them my best grin as I posed not very celebrity-like in front of our dustbins! Of course Pierre the farmer who lives at the top of the hill chose that very moment to go by in his tractor, shaking his head at this latest odd behaviour of his strange English neighbours.

“We’ll have to move now” said my husband Mark when I told him. “It’ll be like Peter Mayle, coaches will start turning up next!”

He was of course joking. But he needn’t worry – it turns out that they were friends of our Belgian neighbours a couple of villages away, and they’d revealed where I live as the ladies were taking part in a treasure hunt party and one of the challenges was to find a celebrity and have your photo taken with them. Phew… we can stay!

Best wishes and bisous from a ‘celebrity’ in the middle of nowhere rural northern France,

Read the whole newsletter and see this week’s top feature and recipe picks

Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream,  My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life and Toujours la France: Living the Dream in Rural France all available as ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online. Her new book How to be French – a celebration of the French lifestyle and art de vivre, is out now – a look at the French way of life.

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