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Vintage Renault van turned into a bread van in the snow in Alsace

Hope you had a great week.

Though I am now in crazy writing mode finishing my next book (hugs, wine and chocolate needed!), I managed to sneak off to the Gers region for a few days last week. Many of us call it Gascony but that name actually hasn’t been used since before the French Revolution, and it covers a wider area than Gers. However, the locals call themselves Gascons and the sight of musketeers isn’t quite as rare as you might think! I have to say, of all the places I’ve been to this year in France (and I’ve been to a lot), Gers is one of those that has totally surprised and ensnared me. It is a beautiful region, unspoiled and uncrowded – do you know there isn’t a single motorway in the Gers department? It has the friendliest folk. It’s also made me put on weight, they seriously like to live the good life there! Articles coming up soon on the website and I highly recommend a visit.

Meanwhile, Gina and Lucky, the chicks abandoned by mum Joan Crawford, have transferred to the nursery pen where it’s cold but they’re fully feathered up so they’ve been happy with a bit of extra room. And, Barbra Streisand’s offspring are starting to sprout feathers over the top of their soft fluff. With a bit of luck I won’t have to have smelly birds in the house on Christmas Day! And, since everyone appears to have given up laying eggs for the festive season (42 chickens and not one egg this week – how does that happen?) I don’t need to worry about more babies arriving any time soon.

Last week we had roses, clematis, marigolds, geraniums and even passion flowers still in bloom. In the far north of France – it’s unheard of. This week the big frost arrived at last and so that was the end of the flowers. Everything was covered in chilly sparkles from the roads to the trees. This is the cue for much moaning from my neighbour Jean-Claude. “Il fait un froid de canard” he announced rubbing his hands together inside his heated van as we trudged past wrapped up like Arctic Mummies. “It’s duck cold”. What? I might think I’m getting the hang of this French language malarkey but then again, I’m not getting it at all!

Lots of great articles on the website this week (links below) and the Advent Calendar is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There are different photos on each of them to get you in the festive mood!

Best wishes and bisous from chilly France…

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