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Spring weekend newsletter from The Good Life France

Saumur Castle, Loire Valley with spring flowers in the foreground


I hope that you and yours are well.

This week celebrates National Pet Day (April 11). There’s no such thing in our house since every day is Pet Day! It started with a kitten some years ago. We were sat in a restaurant in Boulogne-sur-Mer, a fabulous and historic town on the Opal Coast, having lunch when my lovely mother-in-law Sylvia gasped out loud. I thought she’d probably seen the man on the table next to us tucking into a bowl of steak tartare (raw mincemeat), a delicacy in France. But no, she’d seen a little kitten being attacked by a much bigger cat. We took the injured kitten home. He’s now the biggest cat in the village.

A month later we got a dog that was going to be put down as no one wanted it. The dog howled all night until we went and got the dog he had been locked up with. She too was at risk. Then a stray kitten turned up at the door – he moved in. Then three more kittens and FatCat arrived. We rescued a dog whose family had moved and left him behind, poor creature. Then more cats. Chickens. Cockerels. Ducks. Geese. Hedgehogs. The ducks bred like rabbits so that at one point we had more ducks that we could shake a stick at and had to re-home them, driving miles to make sure they went to people who would keep them as pets and not for the pot.

Another stray cat we called Ginger Roger arrived, and then a one-eyed kitten called Hank Marvin He’s Always Starvin. Then Little Socks, Marie-Antoinette and Ugly Cat a band of stray cats who never come in the house but feed from our back door.

Occasionally I baby sit goats, though it’s more like a hotel for delinquents – but that’s a whole other story.

I have realised that I pretty much live in a zoo. It has happened without me being quite aware of it and certainly it wasn’t planned, but my family of animals, feathered and furry, four-legged are much loved and as spoiled as can be and wish you and yours a bon weekend from the middle of nowhere rural northern France.

Bisous from my little pigsty,

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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

Read the whole newsletter here – or get a sneaky peak at a little of what’s in it:
Weekly virtual Visit to France: The Louvre museum has put its entire collection online, and a virtual map of its galleries
Recipe of the week: Michel Roux Jr’s recipe for croque monsieur in honour of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day on April 12
Spring time in Provence

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