The Good Life France

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This week’s newsletter and a quackers tale

Hilly cobbled street, lined with ancient houses dripping with flowers in the town of Dinan in Brittany,

Bonjour

Hope you had a great week.

For me life is all about writing right now. I’m writing the sequel to My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream and I’m hoping to be finished soon. I have many of you to thank for being in this position, everyone who bought my book has had a hand in me carrying on writing and I am so very grateful for your support (and for all the lovely comments on Amazon, GoodReads and Apple books etc).

There’s no chance of it all going to my head here I can tell you, life continues as normal outside the little pigsty where I write. I have 17 baby chickens with voracious appetites, dogs to walk, cats to cuddle, geese to run away from and 9 attention seeking male ducks.

I’ve also had to part with my last remaining female duck Bella. She used to live with her mum Belle in a separate pen from the males after the summer of love when my then one male and 6 females produced 52 ducklings. “Never again” said my husband as we bought up around half of them in the house as not all the mum’s were enthusiastic about parenthood. I managed to rehouse most of the ducks to families who wouldn’t eat them but no one wanted the boys. And I couldn’t bear to part with Belle and Bella as they were so friendly.

Belle recently passed away and Bella started nesting. I didn’t think it could be possible but we’ve had weird things happen before when it comes to eggs so I let her be. After two months it was clear the egg was never going to hatch. Bella though had become obsessed, she was hardly eating or drinking and had lost a lot of weight. We staged an intervention and put her in a little pen on her own with lots of her favourite food. She started eating and drinking but it was clear she was depressed still. She kept pull her feathers out to make a nest and she just wasn’t the usual friendly, waggy tailed duck I know.

I decided to take her to my friend Annette’s house. Annette has lots of ducks and I thought maybe it would cheer Belle up to be with them. When we got there one of Annette’s ducks had hatched ducklings a few days before. Tiny little balls of yellow fluffy feathers were running about the yard. One of them broke away and ran straight over to Belle.

Belle peered at the duckling and gently nuzzled it. She walked about the yard and the duckling followed her closely. Belle kept looking down at it and gently pushing at it with her beak. After an hour, they were completely inseparable. The real mum appeared to take no notice whatsoever.

I left Belle there with the duckling, I was sad to see her go but her dream had come true and I don’t know if it’s at all possible for a duck to smile but she certainly seemed to be happy (you can see her with her duckling here on Instagram)…

So now, back to writing the book and lots of posts for the website – there’s something new to read every day and a round up of the week’s features below.

Wishing you a very bon weekend,
Bisous from France
Janine
Editor

Photo: Dinan in Brittany, a fairy tale town…

Read the whole newsletter here

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