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The Good Life France Newsletter December 2016



Brrrr it’s been a chilly week here in France reaching -7 deg C (20Deg F) mid week. It’s time to check my ducks don’t get their feet stuck to the cold mud! I’ve never seen that myself but my neighbour assures me it can happen and that several times he’s had to chisel his ducks out of the ground on particularly cold days! I think he’s pulling my leg, but I’m not entirely sure.

The Christmas season has got going here in the-middle-of-nowhere France, but in a very slow, unobtrusive sort of way. I’ve only spotted one Christmas tree in a house three villages away so far. The Christmas markets have started though and they more than make up for the lack of lights in village streets. Most of the big towns hold a Christmas market, usually only for a weekend, the bigger cities of course go on for the whole month, Arras Christmas Market which is near to me, has one of the best I’ve ever been to. It’s fun and colourful, authentic and welcoming and the setting is utterly gorgeous – it’s a real French winter wonderland. At just 50 mins from Paris by train and an hour from Calais by car, I can highly recommend it.

This weekend I am cooking dinner for my neighbours. I’m not very good at cooking so I thought I would make a typically British roast beef dinner for them which I can usually do without ruining anything.  My neighbours and French friends are all like Master Chefs, when I go to their houses they’ll bring out tiny, delicate little cakes they “just prepared” or golden, flaky croissants, melt in your mouth tarts and pastries.  I tried to make a jus once which nearly set the kitchen on fire. The trouble is, I get chatting on Facebook or I think of something I want to write and tell you about so, I set the timer to remind me to go and stir things or remove them from the oven. The timer goes off, I’m engrossed by then and I think “ooh just ten more seconds” and then smoke starts drifting around the house and the smoke alarm goes off and, oops I’ve done it again. So, if I’m quiet tomorrow on Facebook, you’ll know I’m in the kitchen, apron on, panicking!

With best wishes, bon weekend
Bisous from France

Don’t miss this week

20 beautiful pictures that reveal the magic of Christmas in France – from ravishing Riquewihr to captivating Colmar…

Win a return ticket Dover/Calais with P&O Ferries – I’ve got 2 to give away and the draw is on Saturday 10 December

Win some fine French caviar, it’s produced at France’s oldest caviar farm. The method was taught to French fishermen in the early 20th century by Russian immigrants and this caviar is used by top chefs. I’ve got 4 lots to give away so don’t delay and get yourself a tasty treat which will be delivered in time for Christmas!

Discover the quaint and quirky town of Dinan in Brittany – dinky Dinan is absolutely delicious.

Make a Paris Brest cake with a Christmas theme: a spectacular recipe from the queen of macarons in Paris!

How to get a Carte de Resident in France: As an alternative to naturalisation with its tricky cultural and language test, this may be a great option for expats.

It’s lovely to chat to you on Facebook (where I’m posting an advent calendar photo every day!), Twitter and Instagram, thank you for all your likes, comments and shares.

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