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Lilac, Moles, Alps and amazing holiday homes Newsletter from France



Hope you all had a great week. I’ve been out and about in my region Pas de Calais, we’ve had the most glorious spring sunshine, with temperatures reaching 30 deg C in sheltered areas, it feels like summer! The lilac blossom is blooming and fills the air with a heady scent.

This week down in the chicken pen we’ve had visitors – moles. I knew something was up when I went to feed the birds on Wednesday morning and they were all quiet. Normally when I open the back door of the house I’m met with a cacophony of clucking, quacking and honking. It’s a bit like stepping out on to a stage with a very noisy audience. That day though, it was remarkably quiet, only George the goose was raucous and that was because he had escaped from the pen to be with his girlfriend Gertrude who has hurt her leg and had to be separated from the rest of the birds. He spends all day pacing up and down and walking round her. If any of the ducks or chickens (who are like the Houdini’s of the chicken world and climb over the fence) go near her he chases them off.

I entered the pen, no round of applause like normal. Avoiding the many mole hills that had appeared overnight, I had a look round for the cause of the silence and there was a mole with his head popped out of a big pile of mud. He looked at me, I looked at him. The birds looked at me as if to say “what is it?” Then off he went and not to soon either as Jean-Claude, my neighbour, popped his head over the fence. There is nothing that Jean-Claude likes less than a mole. I once saw him snoozing on a chair in his garden. He had a stick with a net on the end clasped in his hands, mouth open, snoring gently. “”What is he doing” I asked his belle maman (mother in law) who had come out with a cup of coffee for him.

“Pfft” she said “He has been sitting there for 8 hours non-stop, he is waiting to catch the mole that keeps coming up and spoiling his vegetable patch”.

8 hours waiting for a mole. Zut alors! There are some days when I know that however hard I try, I am never going to fit in completely here in rural France.

Wishing you all a very bon weekend
Bisous from France

This week’s top features:

We take a look at holiday homes in France that cost less than a Ford Focus (or half a swanky handbag!

Summer in the French Alps – it’s the hot new destination for a brilliant break…

Expats set up a new volunteering network to help animals: LAARF is looking for more willing animal lovers to help out

Will I be getting the Legion d’Honneur? It’s been suggested! 

Behind a quiet door in Nice – the Palais Lascaris is an incredible museum with a rare collection of musical instruments and an ancient pharmacy…

If you have moles in your garden like me, you may like this unusual old French tradition for getting rid of them!

If you’re in Paris you might like our tips for 5 great things to do in the spring

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