Bonjour and a great big welcome to all our new subscribers – it’s great to meet you.
This week in France I’ve also been joined by several new members to my ever growing animal menagerie. Doris and Daphne the ducks each had 5 chicks hatch. Fluffy, yellow squeaking ducklings are irresistible to pretty much everyone, including my cats and the buzzards which we have in profusion here in my part of rural France. Since some of the ducks refused to stay in the pen to nest but found spots in the garden close to the house, I’ve had to dash about creating makeshift runs to protect the chicks from being targeted. Doris is under the gazebo and Daphne is on the vegetable patch which is challenging in terms of making them safe and protected.
I have to tell you, Dillys, Doris and Delilah the ducks are also nesting. It did occur to me that I might be a bit quackers to pander to their whims and have to feed them in different places and set up a makeshift pond in the garden. Delilah is nesting under an upturned wheelbarrow next to the tractor and Doris and Dillys are actually in the pen but they are in the chicken coop, nesting side by side in the same box.
Proud dad Dicky has been barking all week (yes he barks like a dog and wags his tale a lot), I like to think he knows that he has done his duty. Personally I don’t know what the girls see in him, he hardly ever goes in the pond and is really quite grubby and unkempt.
Thankfully I’ve still found time to write and to bring you loads of fabulous new features about France this week…
Best wishes and bisous from France
Oliver’s Travels offer sensational rental properties in France – and they really are spectacular. We talk to Oliver and check out some of the chateaux and celebrity owned villas that can be your holiday home … and if you’re looking for a last minute bargain, they have a very special offer for you of 50-70% off selected properties in August and September: http://www.oliverstravels.com/last-minute-summer-offers/
Better Travel Photos in Paris: When a Facebook friend shared a photo of Paris with us, it was so gorgeous we asked her if she is a professional photographer. No, she told us, she took a photography tour in Paris and was shown how and where to take stunning photos. We were so impressed we contacted the company to find out more….
5 Places you should not miss in northern France: Regular reporter Roger St Pierre goes to 5 places in 5 days in Nord-Pas de Calais and discovers some real gems….
5 Great gardens in Finistere Brittany: France’s best known garden journalist Georges Leveque shares his tips for the best gardens to visit in Finistere – and where to stop for lunch at off the beaten track, authentic Breton restaurants in the area.
Photo Gallery feature – Hospices de Beaune, Burgundy: I visited this unique Gothic hospital built in 1443, incredibly preserved and restored, I was really amazed by what I discovered there…
Book Review – The Sea Garden by Deborah Lawrenson: Author of the best-selling The Lantern Deborah’s new book is a delicious read – three stories intertwined, haunting, mystic, romantic – set in Provence and the island of Porquerolles in WWII to present day… We’re giving a copy away. Details will be posted on our timeline next week but if you post the words The Sea Garden on our Facebook Timeline this weekend (9th/10th August) we’ll put your name in the hat twice!)
3 great reasons to travel to France by ferry with family: Do you fly, take the train or drive to France via the ferry – here’s why the ferry is often the best option when you have family and lots of stuff to transport…
Expats guide to cheaper train travel: We’re always hearing how train travel is so expensive but there are ways round it! Donna Kerridge, expat in northern France shares her top tips for expats to travel cheaper on the train.
Ten trips to make travelling with kids fun: Travelling with kids this summer? Here are ten great tips to make it more fun and less stressful!