The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 20

Inspiring, tempting and gorgeous, this issue is packed with destination features - Chartres with its gothic cathedral, the French Riviera, the Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau, the Tarn region, Valence - gateway to the south and more. Mouth-watering recipes, plus useful guides for those dreaming of living in France...

My Good Life in

My Good Life in France.... This year’s summer was extraordinary in the far north of France, pas-de- Calais. In the south I’ve heard my region referred to as “the north pole of France” – but not this year. We had a late sunny spring which turned into an early sunny summer. While the rest of France suffered from rain and storms, the tip of France basked in record heatwaves. It was so nice, we even took our coats off! Seriously, this year, the north was the new south. Every day on my walks with my three dogs, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Bruno and Churchill, through the village, the main topic of conversation was the weather. I’d learned long ago not to respond with “je suis chaud” which literally means I’m hot but is taken to mean “I’m sexy”, you have to say “J’ai chaud”. Mostly people said “it’s too hot to work” watching us render the walls, paint shutters (one day it was so hot the paint bubbled as I applied it), lay tons of gravel and replace the roofs on two outbuildings. We finished just in time to join in the end of summer harvest party at the Town Hall. Called a ducasse, this sort of party has been held for centuries in small rural villages. Whole familes attend these events from babies in pushchairs to wizzened and bent over ancient great-grandparents. We were told to be there for 7.30pm. The wine was flowing and it meant there was lots of time for welcome-to-the-party-kisses-on-cheeks and lots of chat so that everyone was ready when the starters arrived just after 10pm. The DJ-with-a-muffly-voice (he does all the local parties and no one can understand a word he says) played lots of Johnny Halliday music which got everyone up dancing and waving their arms in the air. Well everyone except the tables nearest the doors, they were taken by the village oldies, mamies and papies in their 80's and 90's who wouldn't miss this annual event for anything, for some of them it's the 97th party they've attended! They left by midnight but the rest of us partied on until well into the next day. The morning after the night before, the village returned to its usual trainquil and silent self, save for the wild birds gathering in hordes in the trees getting ready to take off as fall approaches. Welcome to autumn...

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