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Newsletters that shouldn’t be newsletters from France!


Now some of you, though I hope not all of you, will have received two sets of old newsletters in the last few days from me. Well sort of from me! Ever since I started blogging 5 years ago, I’ve used a system called Feedburner to send you a newsletter. And it’s worked perfectly. Until now. Google own Feedburner and they’ve apparently decided not to support it so it seems it’s gone a little crazy and keeps sending out newsletters of its own accord, almost like its begging to be kept going “see I can do it!” it’s saying. I’m sorry to say I am a complete numpty (idiot) when it comes to technical things but as I type, my clever tech partner is working on replacing Feedburner with a new newsletter system. It’s taken a while as almost all newsletter systems are based on people trying to sell something to you which makes them expensive to use. I don’t try to sell to you so it’s taken me a while to find the right system but I think we’re nearly there.

So – a massive apology from me to you if you got some old newsletters, please bear with me while I sort it out this week.

Meanwhile, here in my little part of France spring has sprung and no, that’s not my house and garden in the picture, it’s the gorgeous Chateau du Rivau in the Loire Valley where I was last week! Every morning the sound of the wild birds chirping in the hedges and trees that line my tiny little road is so loud it wakes me up in my little bedroom in the top of my old farmhouse. It’s a strange old house. It started out as two rooms perhaps as much as 400 years ago. Those early owners put in a sort of mezzanine floor which they used for sleeping on whilst their animals slept downstairs where they kept a fire going and cooked, stored their food and lived. Over the years, various dwellers have added rooms of different shapes, sizes and levels – it’s a real old hotch potch but somehow, we’ve ended up sleeping on that mezzanine floor just like they did centuries ago.

Out in the garden the ducks are hiding eggs under hedges ready to sit on and hatch their babies. I try to stop them, I really don’t want any more ducks, I kind of think 30 is enough. My neighbour says he will take some ducks from me as a favour, but I worry he will eat them. I don’t have to trouble about the chickens, they are so fat and lazy they can’t be bothered to sit still on an egg for long enough to hatch it, they sneak them in with the duck eggs sometimes though. The geese have prepared a nest as they do every year but they’ve never been successful in getting a single egg to hatch, poor things. They are so determined and they sit it out day and night in all weathers, they lose weight and get straggly, but still they try. Perhaps this year they’ll be lucky enough to have a gosling join their close knit group.

Daffodils and Snow Drops are in full bloom here in the north, early blossoming trees are starting to show colour, tulips are budding, the nights are getting darker much later and the days are getting lighter much earlier. My neighbours filled the air with the sound of lawmowers, chain saws and strimmers at the weekend as preparations get underway for seeds to be sown. Everyone here grows their own vegetables including me. It’s a way of life and there’s nothing that tastes quite so good as a home grown salad on a sunny day!

Wishing you a great week ahead
bisous from France

Don’t miss this on the website:

If you’re taking a day trip to Calais, don’t miss the street markets in the area. I take a look at 5 marvellous markets you’ll love.

Markets of Provence – it’s the quality of the market not how big it is says Provence market expert Marjorie Williams as she reveals one of her favourites.

Irresistible wine tasting in Provence – it’s not just the lavender that’s delicious, the wine is wonderful too!

Oingt in Burgundy – a little gem of a town and well worth a detour.

Win a copy of One Sip at a Time: Learning to live in Provence – a feel good and fun book.

Expats corner – useful guides and advices:

Your tax questions answered: our finance expert Jennie Poate looks at some commonly asked French tax questions and new legislation for Assurance Vie Policies

Thank you so much for following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – it’s great to chat to you there!

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