Your daily dose of France fun & fab newsletter!

Written by on May 17, 2020 in Newsletter from France

Deckchair in a field of red poppies, perfect for relaxing and dreaming


I truly hope you and yours are well.

I didn’t think my animal life could get much odder until I opened the front door to find a blackbird eating out of the cat food bowl I leave for strays on the doorstep and two very fat hedgehogs rolling about in the cat food bowl I leave out at the back door. I think I have to face facts, I have turned into Doctor Doolittle.

Life here in France is very slowly starting a new normality. Chateaux in the Loire Valley, zoos, museums and beaches are announcing reopening dates – not all but some, a bit at a time. Many restaurants are functioning for take away meals. Shops are reopening.

It is strange to go to the local shops and see everyone wearing a mask. It’s hard to tell if anyone is smiling at me, I’m sure they can’t tell if I’m smiling either – so I wave a lot. I have quite a small face and the mask covers a lot of it and it makes my glasses steam up. Added to my Smurf blue plastic gloves, it’s necessary, but not necessarily a good look as I wave my way through my new life.

Out on walks, now without a form stating my date of birth, address and time I left the house, and able to walk up to 100km (!) I see more of my neighbours emerging from their cocoons/houses, chatting at a socially acceptable distance. Everyone misses human contact, friends and family.

Bread Man is still delivering and attempting to speak English with me, though muffled through his mask it’s sometimes hard to understand him.

“Next week I make happel pee” he announced on Thursday.

It’s strange that he can’t pronounce English words beginning with ‘h’ – horrible is ‘orrible, happiness is ‘appiness’ (let’s not go there) but words beginning with vowels sometimes receive a ‘ha’ to start them off.

“Pommes, pommes” he said when I couldn’t work out what ‘happel pee’ was.

“Ah apple pie… we say pie, not pee”.

He was a bit suspicious about this, I could tell by his eyes narrowed above this mask. Nevertheless he is bringing me a “happel pie” next week as a thank you for the English lessons which are helping his daughter who continues to study from home.

Meanwhile, I have a huge favour to ask, and wish I could send you an apple pie to say thank you. I know that some of you very kindly bought my new book My Four Seasons in France, and if you enjoyed it, I would love a review on Amazon, GoodReads, iBooks, Waterstones, wherever you bought it. Thank you ever so much, I would be enormously grateful for your help and will think of you when I am eating my happel pee.

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

ps The poppies, coquelicot as the French call them, are out everywhere this month in France – here are fee gorgeous photos on Facebook.

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

Don’t miss the weekly newsletter from the best website about France

Read the whole newsletter here 

It’s easy to subscribe if you don’t want to miss my weekly newsletters of musings from France and a round-up of fab features, plus exclusive random newsletter giveaways. Just scroll to the bottom of this post if you’re on a mobile device, or look on the right on a laptop, type in your email address and click subscribe…

For your daily dose of France – hop over to Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram for fabulous photos, top tips and a great community…

Related Articles

Bon weekend from cheese and wine loving France…

Bonjour, I truly hope you and yours are well. I’ve been taking a bit of time out, which is why you’re only hearing from me every two weeks! That doesn’t mean I’m totally relaxing though as the next magazine is in progress. It’s free to subscribe to via the current issue (here), and it’s a […]

Continue Reading

Bon weekend from a lavender field in France

Bonjour, I truly hope you and yours are well. Here we’ve had a bit of a damp week which has made my 47 (eek, what was I thinking?) cucumber plants happy. My pumpkin plant now has 38 baby pumpkins growing along its sprawling vines. And 4 new chickens have joined Reggie and Ronnie Kray’s pen […]

Continue Reading

Almost normal France weekly newsletter

Some weeks I sit down to write to you and despite not travelling, it feels as if the days have whizzed past – and in other ways I feel like we are all living in limbo land with a long way to go until normality returns for everyone. But, this week there are a few […]

Continue Reading

Inspiration from France…

Bonjour, I truly hope you and yours are well. Last week I went out to dinner for the first time since February. Mark (my other half) and me went with our friends Gary and Annette (if you read my first book My Good Life in France, she’s the one who kept an abandoned, nearly ready […]

Continue Reading

Bon weekend from thundery France

Bonjour, I truly hope you and yours are well. Just as we’ve officially reached summer, the weather has gone all spring-like after months of summery skies – it’s very topsy-turvy. Plump fluffy marshmallow-like clouds frivolously cavort across the sky, sometimes followed by ominous dark clouds, in between bits of deep Wedgewood blue. Meanwhile, against my […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.