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Your weekly virtual visit to France

Fields of daffodils surrounding the Chateau du Rivau in the Loire Valley


I hope that you and yours are well.

I missed chatting to you last week. I pretty much ran out of time (and steam) as I’ve been flat out working on my website as it had a few technical issues lurking in the background due to its age! It’s fixed now and also has a fabulous new fresh look which makes the brilliant features and fabulous photos look even better I think.

Of course my animals don’t care about me being stressed by this sort of thing. As spring is rapidly approaching, the cats are playing outside more and the older cats Winston, FatCat and Marie-Antoinette (who is a boy but we didn’t know that when he turned up, and as he responds to that name, he’s kept it) are keeping an eye on Tigger the kitten who is wide-eyed at the wide world outside.

Meanwhile the chickens are laying eggs at a rate of knots and trying to conceal them from me so they can hatch them. It’s a game of hide and seek every morning as I try to keep my flock to a reasonable size – there is to be no repeat of the “Summer of the 52 Ducklings and 28 Chicks” in my garden!

I had to go and have my finger prints taken last week at the main prefecture. Don’t worry I haven’t done anything wrong! I needed a new Carte de Sejour, a residency card. On the way there I stopped at a tiny two-pump petrol station. I filled the car, went into the little shop to pay and was greeted by an old spaniel and a small and ancient sausage dog (a Dachshund if you don’t call them that where you are) who dragged themselves out of their beds to come and say hello. A wizened old lady finally appeared from somewhere behind a door at the back of the shop (actually her front room).

“That wind is souffle” she said (it means blowing a gale). I could only agree as we looked out of the window at trees bowing over like they had just been presented to royalty and a dustbin merrily escaping down the road. Then she said “Love is like the wind – we don’t know where it comes from, so said Honoré de Balzac”. I’m beginning to think that all old French ladies spend all day learning quotes by great French writers!

I hope you like the new-look website and wish you and yours a bon weekend from my little pigsty in the middle of blustery nowhere, rural France,

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

Read the whole newsletter here – or get a sneaky peak at what’s in it:
Weekly virtual Visit to France: Strasbourg Cathedral
Dream tour: Literary Tour of France
The ancient floating gardens of Amiens
Picture perfect Provence in the spring
How to make Poulet Roti

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