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Wishing you well from confinement in France…

Aerial view of Chinon, Loire Valley in the spring, pink blossoms contrast with slate roof tops

Bonjour from France

I truly hope that you and yours are well.

Here I think it’s fair to say, people are weary of being confined but from what I see on the news, it is starting to feel like our actions are having the desired results.

Staying positive as much as possible, I’ve introduced my mother-in-law to the joys of FaceTime, given her a virtual tour of the garden and shared a glass of wine with her – virtually. I’ve discovered online Zumba which I do in my little pig sty in front of the computer screen. My cats watch in astonishment as I kick my legs up in the air and spin around. I’ve grown 87 tomato plants – I didn’t actually mean to, I planted some old seeds and to my surprise they all sprouted! We didn’t go shopping at all this week but the chickens are laying eggs at a rate of knots and Bread Man is still coming so I shall be egg on toast shaped when this is over. We continue our walks with the dogs over the valleys and get a little bit further every week whilst keeping to the 1km distance rules. It’s a joy to see the fields coming to life as the farmers carry on working as always – unsung heroes.

Meanwhile my elderly neighbour Claudette who is not far off 90, continues her daily walk up and down the hill outside our house. One day she even dropped off yet another renegade cockerel of ours which was lured by the clucks of her clearly very attractive chickens, to breach the fence between us. She rang the doorbell which made us jump, with everyone staying home, that doesn’t happen very often these days. We went to the door and there she was with the naughty bird held in a firm grip in her tiny hands (she is sparrow-like).

“We can’t come near you” I said, you’ll have to chuck him through the gate”.

“What do you call this one?” she said after she’d released him back into our care.

My neighbours find it strange that I call my birds names. They hear me out the garden calling “Brad Pitt, pack that up”, “Joan Crawford, come and get your dinner” and such like.

“That one, I said” is “George Clooney”

“Bah, I can’t see the likeness” she said, “but he has a good strong voice, you should call him Serge Gainsbourg.”

So, if you pass a little French farmhouse and hear someone shouting “Serge Gainsbourg, get down off that fence and leave those girls alone” – you’ll know it’s me! (You can see some of my birds on Instagram here).

Finally, I’ve been working on the new magazine and it will be out very shortly, a little later than anticipated because we’ve added some extra pages with more for you to enjoy while we’re all stuck at home. It’s totally free to subscribe to (you can do that via the current issue in the link below and it’ll fall into your inbox like magic!). It’s free to download and free to read online. It’s just going through the finishing touches and I’ll be sending it out in a couple of days’ time.

I wish you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
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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