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Bon weekend – from an animal-mad corner of France!


I hope that you and yours are well.

How is it that June is here already? I don’t know about you, but this year seems to be whizzing by and I can hardly believe it’s just a couple of weeks until summer starts and the summer issue of The Good Life France Magazine will be out – I can’t wait to share it with you (subscribe here for free).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or rather the little French farmhouse I call home in rural northern France, there is much excitement. Oops I’ve done it again. Well actually this is not my fault this time. I am a serial collector of waifs and strays: cats, dogs, hedgehogs, doves, chickens and ducks included. But my other half, Mark, bumped into a neighbour who invited him to see his dog’s puppies – he was seeking a home for them. I guess you know what’s coming next.

One of them looks just like our beloved Ella Fitzgerald, the most loyal and loving dog ever, who sadly passed away a while back, we miss her so much. Well, Mark came home and told me it was love at first sight for him, so he persuaded me to go and have a look at the puppy. She was in a cage with her sister and I have to say they were very grubby and unkempt which tugged at my heart strings, and then they cried when they were separated so… we took them both. Since we already have two very boisterous Labrador pups (Reggie and Ronnie), who reached their first birthdays this week, life is going to be even more fun than usual! Luckily we have a big garden, live in the countryside where we can walk for miles, have room for them in the house, and plenty of room in our hearts. So welcome to our ever-growing furry and feathered family Nina (Simone) and Lady (Ella), (here they are on Instagram)!

Meanwhile, I am off to Rouen in Normandy next week for the Armada, a gathering of tall ships, and a fabulous festive and fun event that’s held every 4 years. I’ll be sleeping aboard a tall ship and sailing down the Seine as fireworks go off on the opening night – and I’ll share photos and videos on Instagram.

Sometimes I think, blinking hell Janine, you do make yourself busy but then I remember something my late dad told me. He said that he had learned from life that if you want something, you must work very hard to make it happen, hope for a bit of luck because sometimes hard work isn’t enough, be humble and grateful to those who support you along the way, and always say yes if the chance to do something adventurous comes up as there are only so many tomorrows. And I just want to say how utterly grateful I am to everyone who reads my newsletter, shares it, and messages me, and to those who read my books (and leave me lovely reviews!), and for reading my magazine, engaging on social media and listening to my podcast. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I’m off to groom the cats, walk Ronnie and Reggie, make sure Doris the Dove has fresh water, clean out the chicken coops and cuddle Lady and Nina – wishing you a very bon weekend from my little zoo!

Wishing you a very bon weekend from a little corner of rural northern France from me and my dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese!

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Bisous from my little corner of France,

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.

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