The Good Life France

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French bread, a car rally and cossetted cats newsletter

Baguettes in a basket in the sort of bread shop you find everywhere in France

Bonjour,

Hope you had a great week.

As I write this the Le Touquet car rally is going on outside. It’s an annual event which apparently kickstarts the rally season in France. It also shakes my pigsty/office, as what sounds like hundreds of drivers fling their cars down our little rue and round hairpin bends on the hills of the Seven Valleys where I live.

Souped up amateur cars, pros and car club members hurtle along, I and my neighbours are hanging out of windows and leaning on gate posts to cheer as the strong winds of “Storm Gareth” buffet against the speeding cars or push them along. Jean Claude is helping out. He held on to his hat as he went past us, checking that there is no debris in the road. Bent over against the gale, bits of twig hitting him on the head from trees thrashing about, bushy eyebrows threatening to blow away and eyes watering – “bit windy out” he muttered, making every one laugh. He is the King of the one liners in these parts.

All the fast cars means I’ve had to keep the cats in all day. Shadow has made a nest on a woolly scarf in my shopping basket. Loulou is curled up on the sofa where she can see the CD player. She has become infatuated by the opening and shutting of the disk holder. Winston, the biggest cat in the village, is not amused. He is very vocal about it and gives me evil looks each time he sees me. Not letting Winston have his own way brings risk. He has form. I once didn’t let him out exactly when he wanted so he left me a parcel outside my bedroom door despite his litter tray being easily accessible.

Yesterday I went to the boulangerie to get bread as the rally means the roads around here will be closed or diverted for about 24 hours, so the bread man can’t get through in his van. It seems most the village had the same idea. The boulangerie was doing a roaring trade with people buying several loaves to last the rally! I read somewhere that 320 baguettes are eaten every second in France – that’s a stonking 10 billion a year. It is a national obsession to eat bread and when the baker goes on holiday, it is the cause of much moaning. We once had the Tour de France go through our way and the thing that people remember most was that the boulangerie ran out of bread by 3 o’clock – what a dough-pas!

Wishing you a very bon weekend, and hope you enjoy the features below.
Bisous from France,
Janine
Editor

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