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The animals take over newsletter from France


Bonjour to you all!

I realised this week that I am no longer in control of the house and garden… the animals have taken over.

I sat working away in my little office, deadlines galore, pitches to write, features to finish, next month’s magazine to put to bed, crazy busy, a normal day for me. There was a tap at the window, I looked up and there was Hank Marvin He’s Aways Starvin, the one eyed kitten I took in last year. I let him in and went back to work.

Five minutes later there was a vile squeaky noise at the window – it was ‘Enry Cooper, rubbing his grubby paws up and down to get attention. I let him in.  Five minutes later Winston arrived, he is neurotic and doesn’t like the fire under the window so I had to turn it off even though it was a bit chilly. Then Loulou, followed by Ginger Roger and Shadow. They all want a cuddle, something to eat and drink – then they go out. This happens throughout the day. It dawned on me that I spend rather a lot of time letting cats in and out of windows and doors.

Later that week Ella Fitzgerald (who was supposed to be a spaniel but turned into a German Shepherd) and Churchill (a Germany Pinscher but the other half thought he was a Doberman Pinscher when we got him!) managed to get out of their bit of the garden. They made straight for the basket where I collect the eggs for the day – and ate them all. Churchill promptly threw up all over his dog bed which I had to clean.

Bruno the Labrador we took in a couple of years ago has taken an intense dislike to my next door neighbour. The poor man only comes to the house once a week to do the garden but Bruno barks his head off, so I have to bring him in with me where he constantly squirms for attention.

Fred, Flo, Gloria and George the geese have all been really misbehaving and picking on the ducks and chickens so I had to separate them yet again. I tried leaving them in the garden but they started pecking at the back door for food so I put them into the biggest pen with the pond on their own. This then meant I had to dig out another pond for the ducks who’d lost access to the one they used to have.

As I sit here writing this, I wonder are humans really more intelligent than animals? Well me, at any rate!

Wishing you all a very bon weekend
Bisous from France

Don’t miss this week’s top features

Biggest bottle of Champagne in the world – made by  Champagne Drappier, this huge bottle holds 400 glasses of Champagne, that’s a cork we’d all love to hear go pop! Now, what would go best with Champagne, hmmm – how about a strawberry tart… or even better:

The Biggest strawberry tart in the world! The annual strawberry festival at pretty Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne in Limousin is where you’ll find the world’s most ginormous strawberry tart! Don’t believe me? Click on the article to see this extraordinary cake!

Le Tour l’Horloge, Guines… a great family day out at this unusual little museum in Pas de Calais where you can take a ride in a Viking boat, you and your family can dress up like a queen or a knight, and you can visit a watch tower built by the vikings that turned into a clock tower in the 1700s!

Mousse au chocolat – okay, it’s not Easter any more but who needs an excuse to make a delicious mousse au chocolate and decorate it with more… chocolate!

Discovering Charles de Gaulle – visiting La Boisserie, Charles de Gaulle’s country home and the memorial centre in lovely Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, an exhibition that puts the 5th republic, of which de Gaulle  was the first President, into context.

La Belle Vie – The Good Life and a delicious little video taster of where I live! 

75th  Anniversary Operation Dynamo to be commemorated at Dunkirk with 5 days of events including the arrival of the “little ships” from Britain – 21-25 May.

Expats set up pottery school in Normandy – we meet two expats who far from retiring in France have set up a pottery school and opened a gite…

Ten incredible facts about Paris: If you missed it in our magazine – check out these quirky and actually odd facts about Paris, the city of light (and bins, benches, clocks….)

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