I hope that you and yours are well.
Here, it really does at last feel like things are becoming more normal. Everything is open, visitors are returning albeit in small numbers compared to BC (before Covid), people are sitting at terraced cafés drinking hot chocolate on chilly days and watching the world go by, museums are putting on fabulous new exhibitions and the Christmas markets are confirmed as going ahead. And next week I’m travelling – to Caen in Normandy to enjoy a foodie festival – I’d love you to join me on Instagram…
In my little village it often seems that very little changes from one year to the next. But there has been a bit of excitement when recently something very 21st century happened…
I am happy to admit we live in the sticks. There is no bar or shop in my village, and more cows, chickens and cats than people. And so it is with many villages in the Seven Valleys. Most of us live less than 10 minutes by car from facilities but to save us all having to drive miles to buy the necessities of life, the shops come to us.
Each Tuesday Fish Man arrives in his van, stops outside customers’ homes and pulls out a blue and white striped awning over the top of the large side window where you can view his fresh fish. This is the cue for local cats to come running and brush around your legs trying to tempt you to treat them.
Wednesday is spice and general store day. The local butcher delivers once a week, and Bread Man visits three times a week.
And now there is a bread vending machine in the next village along. It’s a tranquil place of 242 inhabitants, making it the 647th largest village in the region (out of 895)! The rust-red coloured vending machine, filled daily with fresh bread, is outside the town hall, next to a 15th century church and opposite the local chateau. At first people weren’t too sure about it. But after careful thought, and being able to cycle 3km to get bread to supplement Bread Man’s deliveries, the villagers are agreed – it’s a good thing, and we in the sticks have sort of reached the space age.
Wishing you a very bon weekend from a bread loving village in the middle of nowhere, northern France,
Editor The Good Life France
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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