French hairdressers and pigstys – your weekly dose of France

Written by on May 23, 2020 in Newsletter from France

Field of sunflowers and lavenders captioned Where flowers bloom, so does hope"...


I truly hope you and yours are well.

Here in France, each day it feels a little bit more normal. A new normal for sure, but more like the old normal. While I was walking the dogs one morning this week I saw “Young Man” going to work in his van for the first time in weeks. His full name in the village is actually “Young Man who built his own house”. A few years ago, he bought an old wreck of a building near the town hall, a shell really, with no windows or roof. He did the whole renovation himself with a view to asking his girlfriend to marry him when the house was finished. Everyone in the village encouraged him and we watched in awe as he tackled every job with a smile on his face. I’m glad to say that at the end of it she said yes!

Hairdressers are now open, though there’s a long wait for appointments. I’ve resisted going to a French hairdresser for years. Ever since I went to one in a little town close by and had a disaster. The shop window is alluring. Black and white photos of models with sophisticated hairdos, you know the type. They wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. I decided to give it a go. In I went, and I must say, I did think that the lack of mirrors and the old fashioned equipment was a tad at odds with the elegant window photos, but I went ahead. I told the hairdresser I wanted a trim – not more than 2 centimetres cut off, and a few blonde highlights in my long, light brown hair.

I emerged several hours later with short ginger hair. It is the first time my husband has ever noticed that I have had my hair done. It was the last time I went to a French hairdresser. A previous appointment at a different salon had also resulted in lots of hair being cut off because the hairdresser told me that she was the expert not I, and she knew that I would look better with short hair. I don’t.

But, not knowing how much longer I must wait to go to my normal, cherished hairdresser in the UK, I’m either going to have to cut it myself or give in and try again! Since I have started writing book 3 in the chronicles of life in rural France, it may make a good story even if the result is more “sheared sheep” than “sun-flecked shoulder bob”.

A few people have asked me about the pig sty where I work and sign off from each week. “It sounds malodorous” said one, “Are there traces of the former inhabitants?” said another. So for those who are wondering, like the Bread Man who thinks I actually have pigs in the house because I told him I work in a pig sty, whether I’m telling porkies, here’s the pigsty before and after on Instagram!

I wish you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
Bisous from an un-coiffed expat in rural France

ps Photo inspired by the sunflowers that are starting to pop up all over my garden – not in bloom yet, but their day of glory will come!

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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