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Wishing you well from my family and other animals in France

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, plants growing up the walls and trees in leaf at the side

Bonjour,

I truly hope you and yours are well.

Here, we are preparing for the easing of lock-down rules next week in France. Not that there is much preparation to do as it will be a slow and steady lift and continued restrictions on travel, restaurants etc. But it does mean that I can walk the dogs further than 1km each day and I don’t have to carry a piece of paper stating where I come from and what time I left the house.

I have been loving the walks we’ve been doing, we search for the magic in every day – blossom opening on the wild elderflower trees and hawthorn bushes, the scent of bluebells under the trees, a blackbird trilling in a hedge, deer streaking across the fields and pheasants croaking overhead. Yesterday I took the dogs along a little wooded walkway behind my house. It has no official name but the older locals call it the “chemin des heures” – the alley of hours, because many decades ago, there was a village school and the kids used to go to church lessons 3 mornings a week and the wooded walk was a shortcut from the school to the church. We haven’t been that way for a while but I stopped in my tracks at the sight of a white horse in a field full of buttercups – there was something truly enchanting about it. (There are some pics on Instagram).

Not all things are so serene. Roger Moore woke me up at an unusually early hour on Thursday morning. He’s normally a bit of a slacker in the mornings, likes a lie in and then slowly gets his act together before filling the countryside with his loud cock-a-doodle-doo – or cocorico as the French call it. I was a bit groggy still when I went out the garden to see what all the kerfuffle was about and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Napoleon, one of the baby cockerels, had pinned Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in the chicken coop attempting to “woo” them. Roger Moore was most indignant that the young upstart was trying nick his girls. He couldn’t deal with it because Genghis Khan and Charlemagne, the other two baby cockerels were lurking round the rest of the girls, waiting to see if there might be an opportunity.

There was nothing for it but to separate the new boys. Cockerels Reggie and Ronnie Kray have learned their lessons and behave according to Roger Moore’s rules by and large so I leave them all together. The naughty boys are now in with the naughty ducks. Calm was restored to the pen after this and several of the girls piled into a dirt bath with Roger Moore. I think they have a more exciting life than me right now.

I wish you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
Bisous from France,
Janine
Editor

ps The photo is of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris, where work has apparently re-started in a controlled manner to continue the restoration.

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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