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Bon weekend from thundery France

Thundery sky over a field of blooming lavender in Bonnieux, Provence


I truly hope you and yours are well.

Just as we’ve officially reached summer, the weather has gone all spring-like after months of summery skies – it’s very topsy-turvy. Plump fluffy marshmallow-like clouds frivolously cavort across the sky, sometimes followed by ominous dark clouds, in between bits of deep Wedgewood blue.

Meanwhile, against my better judgement, and that of my neighbour and mentor Jean-Claude – I got more chickens this week. Before you judge my chicken addiction, hear me out.

Mark, my other half, and me went to the local bar and on the way stopped at the garden and hardware store for chicken food. They had some beautiful chickens in a cage and I went to say hello, ignoring the surprised looks of other shoppers – I always talk to animals. Mark came over to look and we both had the same idea at once: to change someone’s life.

Well actually, not someone exactly, but one of our family nevertheless.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray are twin cockerels, sons of Roger Moore, the boss of the chicken pen. They all live pretty much happily together though Roger Moore rules the roost with a sharp beak and he is definitely not into sharing the ladies.

However, Reggie fell in love with Annette, a fluffy, miniature coquette, and tempted by his youthful good looks, she squeezed through the wire fence and he hopped over the top and they eloped into the garden where they conducted their tête-à-tête away from Roger Moore’s beady eyes. Each night she returned to the pen and joined the rest of the gang. Reggie and Ronnie sleep in a tree overlooking the pen, and Reggie made gooey eyes at his true love from his perch.

But Annette tired of her young lover. Reggie was heart-broken. Every day he hopped over the fence, calling to her, cooing, cajoling and cocka-doodle-dooing. The hard-hearted Annette was unmoved. Reggie became a lonely heart cockerel.

So, we bought four more chickens from the garden centre. And as I said to Jean-Claude who thought we were preposterous to pander to the whims of a bird, they say money can’t buy love, but in this case, they’re wrong. He just raised his bushy eyebrows and shook his head.

We stuck the girls, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day and Rita Hayworth in a coop with Reggie overnight in their own pen. In the morning I got up early to let them out. The girls were wary, it was their first time outside of a cage. Reggie looked a bit confused by the whole thing at first then it was Reggie-steady-go, he did a little happy dance and the rest of the chickens and ducks welcomed the newbies with an almighty orchestra of clucks, quacks and what sounded distinctly like cackling. (You can see the video here on Instagram)… Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you happy!

Wishing you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
Bisous from France

ps Every day on FacebookTwitter & Instagram, I share a daily dose of France in photos. The most popular this week was the top picture of a thundery day in Bonnieux, Provence, by Helen Leather.

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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