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Happy New Year from a rural corner of France

Beautiful green and cream coloured buildings in Paris


I hope that you and yours are well and had a good Christmas.

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote to me in reply to last week’s newsletter – I can’t tell you how much your lovely messages moved me, and I’ve read them all to my neighbour Claudette. (If you missed last week’s newsletter with Claudette’s wise words, you can read it here). I’m replying to every one of your emails and I truly appreciate your kind words. Claudette says she feels a bit famous now, but she is not sure that she is wise, just that the older she gets, the more she feels that how you greet each day, and set your mind to try to make something better if you’re not happy about it, is important. “Change your attitude, change your day, and maybe someone else’s” she says. Yes – she is wise!

This Christmas the markets were in full swing and restaurants and bars were open so it was a definite improvement on last year, and I have hope that next year will be even better. On Christmas Eve Bread Man arrived in the village with baguettes and cakes – a buche de Noel decorated with a tiny Champagne bottle and glasses, St Nicolas biscuits and jewel like petit-fours. He also made traditional British mince pies (and that’s another story, but it will be in my new book out next year – you can see the lovely cover on Instagram here!). And Fish Man delivered seafood platters that would make the most ardent fish fan happy. On Christmas Day the wind howled around the Seven Valleys where I live, rattling shutters and barn doors. My cats curled up on the sofa with me as I read and the dogs lay in front of the fire – and we all in our own ways felt thankful for what we have.

I wish you good health, peace, happiness and a much improved new year, may it be filled with fun, family, friendship and all the good things in life…

Bisous from my little pigsty in a cosy corner of rural northern France,

Photo: Paris, Sorbonne District, by Dawne Polis, one of our ‘Photos of the Year’ which I’m posting on Facebook, as well as Twitter and Instagram for the next week or so…

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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