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French recipes, cocktails and more for the weekend…

turrets and towers at twilight at the Chateau de Chambord, Loire Valley


I hope that you and yours are well.

Here we’ve been cutting hedges before spring proper starts and birds begin nesting.

Between our garden and Claudette’s next door, we have a long hedge of hawthorn, laurel, elderflower and hazel trees. Our garden was once two fields of a farm that belonged to Claudette’s family, and the hedges remain from the old days, more than 100 years ago. In fact when we first bought the house, we inherited an ancient smelly sheep in one of the fields! The trees have now grown so tall they top the upstairs window of Claudette’s house. She doesn’t mind she says. At 90, she doesn’t climb the stairs anymore and all that she needs is on the ground floor.

“Victor Hugo said that 40 is the old age of youth and 50 is the youth of old age, I’m not sure what he’d say about me” she said when I popped round to let her know we were in hedge chopping mode. “Yoko Ono says some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90” I told her. That pleased her a great deal.

Claudette loves meaningful quotes. Since I told her that I sometimes tell you what she says, she has become extremely liberal with the great words of her favourite French writers and philosophers. She is a great reader of books “reading brings us unknown friends” she says quoting French writer Honoré de Balzac. I think we all agree with that one, especially in this day and age. And, I’m looking forward to telling you about my next book – since I am now busy writing book no. 3 about the life of a tiny village and its quirky inhabitants in the middle of nowhere, rural France. I’m not sure of the title yet but I do promise Bread Man, Jean-Claude, Claudette and many more of the wonderful characters and animals I meet on my adventures in France will be featured!

Wishing you well, bon weekend and bisous from the middle of nowhere, rural northern France
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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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