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Bon weekend from roasty toasty France

Hollyhocks flowering on a street at the harbour of Saint Martin de Re, a town on the Ile de Re, France

In the last 12 weeks I’ve spent 8 weeks on the road but I’m home now for a few months and I’ll be writing, writing, writing – about where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. And I can’t wait to share it all with you.

I’m also on a mission to get my second book finished and off to the publishers. I’m very behind with it but life does tend to get in the way of plans sometimes doesn’t it? To everyone who has emailed me to encourage me to get on with it – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful compliments about my first book and for your support (there’s a link below if anyone is interested to know about my book)…

I had a surprise when I got home on Friday early enough to feed the animals, Patsy Pom Pom Head, a fluffy miniature chicken with a sort of Marie Antoinette style feather head arrangement, managed to hatch three eggs in a plant pot! They are tiny little things and I’m trying to get a photo of them to put on Instagram but though we managed to get her into a safe cage with the babies, she growls when I go near (something I’ve never heard a chicken do before) and pecked me very hard when I put some fresh water in this morning!

France is currently experiencing a canicule (heatwave) and here in the far north where I am, it’s not hot-hot like the south but warm enough that during daylight hours it’s silent in the streets as everyone is staying inside their cool, stone built homes. It’s like the village of night creatures – as soon as the temperature drops, the kids are out playing, people head out to their gardens for a barbecue and to enjoy the scent of warm blossom that carries on the air over a glass of something chilled. The most popular drink here at the moment is called an Aperol Spritz, it’s THE trendy drink of the summer in France and Europe. Made with Aperol (a bitter orange liqueur), sparkling water, a splash of dry white wine and ice, the Italians call it sunshine in a glass!

Marie-Claude, my octogenarian neighbour who was the only person I saw out and about yesterday – she was looking for an escaped goose – told me “the summer is here to stay”. I am not at all sure how she knows this but I managed to help her chase the goose back into her garden and over a tiny glass of her home-made wine (I’ve had it before, I always say “just a tiny tiny glass, I have to work”  as it tastes like it was made in a smelly old bucket at the bottom of a thousand year old well) we chatted about the village and how it’s changed over the years and the British Royal Family. She loves anything to do with the Queen and I tell her stories of how when I was a kid my nan used to take me to polo matches at Windsor and how Prince Charles gave me a polo ball when I was 11 and I stood open mouthed like a total idiot and couldn’t speak. Or the time when I was on my lunch break, eating sandwiches in a square near St Paul’s Cathedral and a Rolls Royce pulled up and the Queen hopped out and went into the sweet shop!

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you a very bon weekend
Bisous from France

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