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Bon weekend from cheese and wine loving France…

Cheese tray laden with French cheeses on a table with a bottle of wine and basket of bread


I truly hope you and yours are well.

I’ve been taking a bit of time out, which is why you’re only hearing from me every two weeks! That doesn’t mean I’m totally relaxing though as the next magazine is in progress. It’s free to subscribe to via the current issue (here), and it’s a super edition featuring Kate Mosse the author and tons of fab stuff. Plus I’m putting new features on the website almost every day. And I’m on social media daily and love to chat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I’ve also been doing heaps of gardening, and cooking with my French friends (you might have noticed there are lots more recipes going on the website!). As a result, when I go to Les Gets in the French Alps next week I may be rolling rather than strolling in the alpine meadows!

It’s very strange to meet up with friends, some of whom I’ve not seen for ages, and we don’t kiss on the cheek or shake hands but wave across to each other and talk about the “good old days” as if they were years ago, not just March. The person I’ve seen most during these months of staying home, (apart from my other half) is Bread Man.

Unfailingly jolly, three times a week he toots the hooter in his little van outside my gate. He winds down the window, passes me a loaf of freshly baked bread, stops for a chat and tries to tempt me with cakes and pastries, sweet almondy madeleines, glossy tarte tatin, irresistible cherry clafoutis.

“Are you writing about me this week” he sometimes asks.

Apparently a British couple holidaying several villages from mine asked him if he is “THE Bread Man” mentioned in My Four Seasons in France by Janine Marsh (my book).

“Oui” he said “c’est moi, that’s me. I am ze best baker in the norf-er ”. He means north, he has trouble pronouncing “th” and often adds an ‘er’ sound to the end of words in French and English. Bonjour for instance sounds more like Bonjour-er).

Actually I didn’t write that he was the best baker in the north, but apparently I should have done! I have strict instructions from him to clarify this in my next book.

Since I’ve been teaching him English words and phrases so he can help his daughter with her homework, his English has come along leaps and bounds. I have though given up on any words beginning with “h”, beach will always be “bitch” and just don’t ask him to say anything containing the word sheet.

Wishing you and yours well, bisous from my little pigsty in rural northern France,

ps: Photo is the cheese board at lunch time in a restaurant in the village of Essoyes, Champagne. It was the most popular pic on Facebook this week – on Cheese & wine Day!

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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