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Dogs running along a tree lined road, its banks full of wild flowers as the sun shines down


I hope you are well.

Here in France, being stuck at home is starting to lose its appeal, the rain which has arrived after a month of sun isn’t helping.

Claudette, my 90 year old neighbour does not find it at all difficult to stay home. She tells me that in all of her years, she has never been further than 20 miles from the village. Not once. She has never travelled on a train or a plane. She’s never been to Paris. She has, she says, all that she has ever needed right here. Her family and her friends live close by. Of course it’s not the same for most of us. My kids are in the UK. Thank goodness for Facetime. We lunch together virtually, chat for hours and plant kisses on the screen but I’m seriously looking forward to a good old fashioned hug.

“Wait it out with grace, this will pass, you will love your kids more than ever after this” said Claudette when we passed, two metres apart, on our daily walks. She told me that she is a fan of Victor Hugo. Actually thinking about it, I’ve never met a Frenchie who wasn’t. “Hugo says even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” she smiled as she carried on up the steep hill where her house is, stopping to smell the red roses that climb up over her door and are just starting to bloom. She is a very wise woman so I am taking her world for it. Also I have no choice.

I am finding plenty to keep me occupied. I’ve outlined the bones of a novel I dreamed I wrote, I’ve started to rough draft book III in the chronicles of life in the middle of nowhere France. And next week I’m excited to be interviewing author Kate Mosse (Labyrinth) about some of her favourite places in France for the next issue of The Good Life France Magazine. (You can subscribe for free here).

I’m also doing lots of YouTube dance and walk sessions. Some days I walk miles in my little pigsty watched by Churchill the dog, tucked up in his little bed in the corner. He’s a German Pinscher, like a tiny Doberman. He’s not boisterous like my other dogs. He’s more refined than them and likes to lay down a lot and observe the world peacefully. I’m not quite sure what he makes of my 80’s dance routine but I think he likes the music of Cher as he wags his tail when he hears her voice!

I have managed to grow a ridiculous amount of cucumber plants, so this weekend I will be sitting in the greenhouse potting them up with a glass of wine to console myself at the grey sky, the soggy garden and the fire needing to go back on!

I truly wish you and yours well,
Bisous from France

Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print and audio, on Amazon everywhere and all good bookshops online, and just published My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life

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