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Bon weekend from an ancient hamlet in France

Pretty port town of Auray in Brittany, ancient half timbered houses and cobbled streets


Hope you had a great week.

Traditions are held dear here in France. You only have to look at how popular singer Johnny Hallyday was (The French Elvis Presley) for almost 60 years. In fact he’s still popular despite sadly no longer being with us, his face adorns T-shirts everywhere and there are tribute acts galore. French people hold onto the things they love whether its food recipes, buildings, singers or events. In my part of France, summer shows are a big thing, some events have been going for years – any excuse for a party I think! Tractor shows are common and the oldest tractors are always the most popular, the memories they bring make the eyes of old men shine. Not that old tractors are only seen at shows – there are plenty still in use.

Jean-Paul, my neighbour and mentor, drives an ancient tractor with a tiny cabin which he can just about squeeze his cake loving frame into. But as he says, it works, so why not. Well it works sometimes, occasionally we have to help him get it started by pushing it down a hill and he pumps the clutch at the right moment to fire it up. One time he asked us to help push it and it had a trailer on the back for added fun, it only shifted when his mother-in-law tiny, 80-something year old Marie-Claude came out to help push!

He goes past our gate at the same time every day, chuff-chuffing along in his tractor, belting out a Johnny Hallyday song. He always tips his hat to Bernadette who lives on the corner and comes out at the same time every morning to wash her doorstep wearing her housecoat and rubber boots. It could be a bit “Groundhog Day” if it wasn’t for the ever changing weather – but I love the continuity of country life, the comfort of knowing that some things don’t change, except the seasons…

Wishing you a bon weekend,
Bisous from France,
Editor The Good Life France

Ps I’ll be away next week – I’m taking a holiday, my first in eight years and I’m off to Brittany for a few days so I won’t be here to write next week’s newsletter, but there will be one the week after I promise! Why don’t you come with me on holiday – I’ll be posting on Instagram as I go

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