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Mona Lisa truck ride and back stage at the glitzy Palais Garnier Newsletter

mona lisa

Last week in London I met with lots of my friends and colleagues in the French tourist industry, from the north to the south, from the east to the west. We English speaking media lot were there to find out about new events, exhibitions and get updates from tourist professionals from all over France. The main topic of conversation was just how mild the winter has been in France and as today is the 1st March we’re all just hoping it stays that way! Spring officially starts on 20th March, flowers are already blooming and trees are beginning to bud and one of my ducks is even nesting. She is wasting her time as my poor male duck Dicky sadly didn’t make it through the wet damp, albeit mild winter we’ve had. I am due to take delivery this weekend of Gregory Peck, a new male duck to escort my girls.

This time last year in my part of France the temperatures plummeted  to -20 deg C and my friend Annette had a duck that got its feet frozen in an ice puddle. She had to cut round the ice and thaw the poor thing out in the bath tub. Unless we are very unlucky, there will be none of that this year and indeed my neighbour Monsieur Partout says we are in for a scorcher of a summer… apparently the frogs spawn, ants nests and fungi are all indications. He’s certainly not more wrong with his predictions than the professional weather forecasters with all their high tech equipment so who knows – he might just be right.

With best wishes and à bientôt
Janine

Top 5 Features this week:

The best way to experience Paris – Lisa Buros-Hutchins arrived from America ten year ago. She sat on the stairs of the Sacré Coeur and wondered what life would hold in store for her. She spoke no French and knew no-one. Read how she got on and is now one of the most respected Paris experts with her own company.

Backstage at the Palais Garnier – Lisa Buros-Hutchins goes behind the scenes at the Paris Opera to find that it is no less glamorous than the front of house.

Rocky road to success for expats – Lucy Pitts interviews a British couple who have worked hard to make their life in France work for them and it hasn’t been easy.

Strange story of the Mona Lisa – Evelyn Jackson, inspired by the new Hollywood film “The Monuments Men” takes a look at the Mona Lisa’s secret journey by truck across France!

Great British Curry in France – Two facts are true: French cuisine is the best in the world and the Brits love curry. Even Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge loves a good curry but in France, they are not easy to come by. We meet an enterprising couple who are looking to change all that.

Don’t Miss:

Dreaming in French – you know that you’re fully integrating into your new country when you start dreaming in French!

Frejus celebrates the Bravade – Mohammad Reza Amirinia visits Frejus and discovers the festival of Bravade – a joyful and colourful Easter event.

Hiking holidays in France – author Glen Craney walks through Cathar country on the trail of heretics and Saints, Minerve, Montsegur and Foix Castle

D-Day Anniversary football match – Diane Condon-Boutier updates on a very special football match planned for the 70th D-Day Anniversary as more than 1000 children from Europe and the US will take part in the Liberty Tournament.

Next week: update on my visit to Dordogne, everything you need to know about satellite broadband in France, news of an exciting writing competition and lots more!

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