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Foot bump greetings from France

Cleopatra's Needle Paris reflected in a rain puddle

Soggy cockerels, walking dogs through waterlogged fields and cats who refuse to leave the house because they don’t like to get wet – that’s pretty much been my life this week. And not even any kisses to make it better. Thanks to the Coronavirus scare, even here in the middle of nowhere rural France, my neighbour Jean-Claude has halted his usual lunge to the left and the right for me and a firm handshake for my other half. I told him some people are doing foot shakes – where you bump your foot to your friend’s foot. We tried and failed as he is rather roly poly, has no sense of balance, had just had a glass of red wine, and was more likely to fall over and hurt himself from doing that than anything else.

Otherwise, it’s business as normal in these parts though everyone is being highly hand-washy. To be honest, we’d all been doing this a while since normal flu is doing the rounds as it does every winter.

Despite the persistent rain, trees are starting to blossom and hedges have a green leafy haze. Spring is definitely on the way here, albeit arriving on a surfboard. The wild birds are back in force, every morning is like an orchestra of bird song when I open the door to commute (across the courtyard to my office in the pig sty).

And at last my Christmas chicks are ready to go out into the big wide world. They were born at the end of last year, way too late in the season to survive outdoors with not very good mum Barbra Streisand so they lived in the house with us for weeks. Here they are as babies on Instagram. Sadly we lost one who was born with a wonky neck and had trouble eating and even our lovely vet couldn’t save her. But the other three are now in a nursery pen in the garden to get used to the rest of the birds are almost ready to join the rest of the gang. They are very feisty girls a bit like how I’d imagine baby dinosaurs to be, growling and pecking and charging at me. I’ve called them Terri-Dactyl, Trexie and Raptora.

Bisous from France

Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print and audio, free on Kindle Unlimited (UK) and on Kindle Unlimited Australia.

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