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my village

November 12, 2011

my%20village.jpgIt's been a while I know - I've been working flat out on the edits for Tout Soul - but when I woke up this morning it felt as if everything had fast-forwarded six months to spring.

The sky was hyacinth blue with a few swirls of white cloud and my neighbours were heading up to the market minus their duvet coats.

Several of the shopkeepers on the square meanwhile, have been busy sprucing up their facades.

As I walked Biff around the village yesterday afternoon I was treated to a scene straight out of Chocolat.

A crowd had gathered in front of the boulangerie where the new baker was perched on a ladder painting the letters above his shop. Meanwhile his lovely wife was busy painting the interior in a mix of fondant lilac and chocolate eclair.

My friend Pierre-Antoine, the owner of a fashion boutique on the square, has spent two weekends updating his wooden fixtures with silver metallic paint. 'C'est beaucoup plus moderne,' he declared, admiring his own handiwork.

And not to be outdone Félix the local artist has also had his paint brushes out. Since this picture was taken yesterday he has also painted his shutters bell pepper red, thereby flaunting the local regulations, which state that buildings on the square must be painted in tasteful blue and ton de pierre (literally 'tone of stone').

Every time I walk past the 'boho corner' as I call it, it brings a smile to my face. For all the talk about its brain-numbing bureaucracy, one of the things I love about France is that officials know when to exercise discretion.

The French treat their artists with indulgence and the mayor I'm quite sure, will turn a blind eye to Félix's eccentric decor and look instead at the bigger picture and the jolly bolt of colour that he brings to the village.

I've even been doing a little redecoration myself, having suddenly been hit by a pressing desire to paint the side doors to the garage earlier this week. It had nothing at all to do with avoiding the aforementioned edits.

comments (6)

1. Posted by gwenda on November 13, 2011 10:02 AM

Welcome back!!!! Although I follow your tweets it isn't the same as this blog, I really enjoy your take on your village, friends and life.

2. Posted by tricia on November 13, 2011 12:12 PM

Welcome back, you have been missed. Glad to hear about Tout Soul, can't wait to read it. Loving the photo. It is a beautiful day here in UK as well, sounds like we have same weather, beautiful blue sky. Watching the Remembrance Day parade on TV & London looks so beautiful in the sunshine.

3. Posted by Emma LP on November 13, 2011 5:15 PM

A lovely post - and that corner of your village makes me miss France so much!

4. Posted by Val on November 15, 2011 8:36 PM

Great to 'see' you back! Hoping the edits are going well. When is the publication date?

5. Posted by Nadine Kaminski on November 22, 2011 5:59 AM

This is my first post having read your books and at the same time experiencing a re-kindling of my desire to spend some "real time" in France.I am about to enrol in a french language course, which I hope will help me out (atleast a little ) when I travel from Australia. My four footed soul mate is a Bichon Frise' called Merlin. I identify with your amazing relationship with Biff so much! Please please keep writing and giving us your fresh take on rural French village life.

6. Posted by parisbreakfasts on December 11, 2011 2:53 PM

That photo looks more like an adorable painting!
More please.
And more Biff + Biff photos
Yes to a book by Biff
Loving the Tout Sweet
merci carolg

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