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

Summer 2022

Discover captivating Corsica, the island of beauty and glitzy, cinematic Cannes. Explore Antibes, less well known than it's neighbours Nice and Cannes, it's incredibly pretty and authentic, and the Camargue in the south of France where wild white horses and pink flamingoes roam. Come with us to arty Arles, historic Agincourt and Aisne in Picardy - the ancient cradle of France. Meet artisan gin makers in Cognac, discover the prune route of France, fabulous recipes, guides, gorgeous photos, the best tours, what's new in France and delicious recipes - and more...

Last Word In the last 18

Last Word In the last 18 years since I bought my old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere rural northern France – much has changed in my village, and much has not. With a new, young and energetic mayor came streetlamps, pavement, a football pitch and fast internet. The local supermarkets now open on a Sunday morning, though most shops still close for the sacrosanct 2-hour lunch break and Sundays. What hasn’t changed are the people and the way they choose to live. Bread Man delivers cakes, bread and pastries three times a week. You can hear the hooter of his little van as he drives up and down the valleys alerting customers to his arrival. When the previous Bread Man retired and there was talk of the service being cancelled, it caused uproar in the village. A new Bread Man was swiftly appointed. The annual straw sculpture contest between the villages is still one of the highlights of the year, as are the village ducasses (an old French word for party) and summer illuminations (don’t get excited, people light candles and hang up Christmas lights in the front garden – might as well get more use from them!). My personal favourite tradition of summer in these here parts is the barter and sharing of produce. Over the years we’ve helped neighbours with whatever has been needed from potato picking to looking after animals, been roped in for rat catching, mended things from fences to gates, roofs to doors (my other half is a carpenter) and helped build the village boules pitch. It’s all about community. In return our neighbours have befriended us and are generous when it comes to the fruits of their labour. Always first to arrive is Jean-Claude with lettuces grown under glass in his garden. Salade, he calls it. This is cause for celebration. Wine is served and we sit and admire the green leaves. And always he shares instructions for how it should be eaten. Torn, not cut (that makes the leaves go brown), served on its own with vinaigrette “it doesn’t need anything else.” Trays of ripe cherries are left on the doorstep, boxes of new potatoes, bags of tomatoes and as the season progresses, plums, apples and jars of home made jam. Life here is like Jean-Claude’s lettuce, being surrounded by such welcoming friendly people – it doesn’t need anything else. Janine Janine Marsh lives in France with her husband and 72 animals. Her latest book, Toujours la France: Living the Dream in Rural France, is out now on Amazon and all good book shops. 118 | The Good Life France

The Good Life France | 119