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bon weekend newsletter

Bonjour and Bon Weekend!

This week has been a bit of a trial in my little French village. Our new Mayor has decided to widen the single road that runs through our hamlet joining one side of the valley to another. The builders have been on site for some weeks now but it hasn’t been an easy time for any of since they decided to start working at both ends of the road and work inwards! This means that at certain times, we haven’t been able to get out of the village without driving across the fields that surround us, and occasionally even that exit has been blocked off. There has been much mumbling, groups of villagers have been seen huddled together debating what is to be done and I fully expected them to stage a rebellion. As the only Brit in the village I have kept quiet… and yet it is me that has caused the biggest problem so far!

I drove out of my little cul de sac and into the main village road and the way to one side was open – no diversion signs so I took a chance and drove down the  narrow , bendy, windy little road which had big ditches on either side which had been dug away for drainage pipes. I got about a quarter of a mile and came across the builders, tractors, dump trucks, diggers, huge piles of rubble and other paraphernalia blocking the road…

A shirtless hairy builder motioned me to go back. I racked my brain for “you must be joking, I can’t reverse round those bends with the drops on either side” in French. Another builder told me to drop into the drain lanes and reverse – hmmm, how do you say “get out of it, you’re having a tin bath” (London for laugh). Eventually after I tried a bit, failed, battered my eyelids (more of a nervous tic at this stage than a womanly wile) they moved everything – the machines, the huge piles of rubble and sand, the men, the trucks  – it took half an hour.  My new nickname in the village is “Madame qui ne peuvent pas conduire” (She who cannot drive). I guess it’s a step up from “Madame Merde” which I got after our septic tank disaster…!

Have a very bon weekend
Best wishes and bisous from France
Janine

Top Features this week:

The Unfaithful Baker’s Wife: We’re delighted to introduce you to Peter Schoenmaker who has joined our writing team and is the most brilliant story teller. This is a true tale of his encounter in the bakery in his little French village…

Amazing cheeses in France – great places to eat in Saint Omer: I visited the shop of a “grand expert” cheesemaker who adds coffee, chicory, spices, honey and all sorts of things to cheese in his quest to produce new cheeses – absolutely delicious!

History of the French Riviera – the American Connection: Great feature from Margo Lestz about how less than 100 years ago the summer beaches of the French riviera were totally empty… until the Americans came!

6 things to do in the south of France: 6 great ideas for day trips if you’re in the French Riviera – away from the crowds and off the beaten track…

Happy Birthday Alexandre Dumas: Born July 24 1802, a fascinating characater, a bit of a rascal and a secret way of writing that almost saw him to go prison…

Do the French hate the British? Okay – we know that’s not true but this is in response to an email I received from a reader who told me to “Get real” – so here’s my reply!

Montpellier then and now: Lucy Pitts retraces the steps of her grandmother who left the UK for France in the early 20th Century and was wood by a royal prince…

Beer in France – Brasserie de Saint Omer: I met a man who had a passion for beer, making it himself, delivering it in his little van – now he is one of the biggest beer makers of France, and its a wonderful story of success…

Majestic Wine Calais: So many of the booze cruise outlets have suffered during the recession and some have gone. We look at how Majestic Wine Calais has done so well and discover a crate load of incentives! 

French Property tips: The “I want that one” syndrome. Some great tips to help you find the property of your dreams in France…

Languedoc – the biggest Vineyard in the world: Honor Marks takes a wine tasting tour in the Languedoc…

Thank you so much to everyone for sharing our great features on our France Blog, liking, sharing and commenting on Facebook and Twitter – we really appreciate it so much (the share buttons are at the bottom of all our features!)…

 

 

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