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. 24

Bringing you the best of France - full length features on Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Montpellier, Boulogne, Le Havre, the Dordogne, the French Alps and loads more. Delicious recipes, brilliant guides - don't miss this jam-packed issue - it's the next best thing to being there...

Here in the sticks, in

Here in the sticks, in the lovely Seven Valleys, rural northern France, autumn and winter seasons are party time. The farmers have finished harvesting the crops for the main part, the fields are ploughed and ready for the spring planting. The cheese makers days are shorter as the goats and cows don’t give quite so much milk. Everything slows down to take account of the mornings not being light until gone 8 o’clock and dark by 4 o’clock. This leaves people with a bit more time on their hands than usual. And in the Pas de Calais department, they love nothing better than a party. Each village holds a party to celebrate the end of the harvest – but not all on the same night. To make sure villagers can get together, the parties are held on weekends throughout autumn. Then of course the Christmas parties start and the New Year parties follow, after that we’re into carnival season! My village is one of the first to celebrate autumn with a “ducasse” an old French word for party, and nothing to do with famous chef Alain Ducasse. I doubt he would be impressed with the chip (fries) wagon that parks up in the car park of the town hall ready to fry bucket loads of sliced potatoes to go with the charred chicken that Monsieur Dieval, the local wood cutter, produces on a giant barbecue. This year our village of 142 swelled to three times that number for the party in a tent which threatened to blow away in a raging wind. The Mayor’s speech (it is impossible to have a speech-less event in France if there is an official present) welcomed villagers from far and wide. We all raised a glass to this village and that. It was a long night, starting at 7pm and for those hardy enough, going on until 7am. You need stamina to be a party animal in these parts - but as they say here, no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep - and besides, being happy never goes out of style!

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