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Autumnal scene in Provence, golden leaves blow round cafe tables

I hope you and yours are well.

First a little update on Mimi the Marmalade moggy, the stray kitten who turned up at my back door three weeks ago. She has transformed from a skinny, starving, scared little creature to a rather round-bellied, bold little baby who loves cuddles and playtime!

Since September 15 is National Crème de Menthe day in the US (yes really!) I thought I’d tell you about a local man called Paul who is famous for his home-made crème de menthe. He is getting on a bit, an ex-university professor and very academic but eccentric. He once adopted a chicken called Cherie which used to sit on his shoulder like a parrot when he went out – she would ride quite happily in the car and even went into shops with him (though the local supermarket did reject her presence on account of the ‘souvenirs’ she might deposit) and cluck at everyone in a friendly way. Cherie slept in a box on his bed and shared his life until Sylvia his girlfriend got fed up with the chicken scratching, sighing and squawking all night long and made him give it away.

Anyway, Paul is not just a chicken fan – he adores crème de menthe. He makes it every year and grows more than 40 varieties of mint to feed his passion for this minty, sweet syrup. But I must warn you, should you ever meet him, don’t fall for his offer to pour you a cup. A sip is all you need, drink the whole lot and I assure you, you’ll have dreams that will make you wonder if you’ve lost your mind and you’ll sleep for two days. But if you’ve got a cold it will be cured! If you’re interested in making some yourself, here’s a recipe that’s perfect for sipping and cocktails!

Happy crème de menthe day and bon weekend from my little pigsty in the middle of nowhere, rural France…


Photo: L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue looking autumnal.

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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

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Inspiration of the week: The Four Seasons of Provence in photos…  guaranteed to inspire day dreams and wanderlust.

Weekly spotlight: Vallee de Chevreuse, bucolic countrysdie near Paris…

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