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February 11, 2012


It's cold outside – minus 8 as I write this, dressed, for the record, in snow boots, four layers of clothing and a knitted hat. (One of those layers is a fake gorilla fur gilet, in which I really do look like I'm closely related to Biff.)

Downstairs, the log fire is roaring and the oil-fired central heating is on (so expensive, that it's like throwing gold bullion out of a windows, but at times like this, it's hard to care). All this and I'm still cold!

Fortunately, I had enough advance warning of this cold snap to organise an oil delivery before the roads iced over and the Arctic conditions swept in. According to a French friend, we are seeing a replay of the legendary winter of 1956, when it was mild and balmy until early February, when the mercury hit minus ten and stayed there for three weeks.

On the bright side, the village really does look stunning when the snow first flutters down, casting everything in pure blue-white light as night falls. The local lake has iced over and looks like a moonstone, while earlier in the week, the baker's wife built a snowman, with a croissant for a smile. They also scattered sugar sprinkles outside their shop when the snow turned to slippery ice.

But I feel for friends who live in cold stone houses or draughty barns, or who rely on just one wood burner to heat their house. Friends in a nearby hamlet report that it hit minus 14 degrees one morning this week, and that their loo has frozen over. Stories of burst water pipes abound.

There is however, one little chap who LOVES the snow, rolling around in it like a black polar bear cub. And when Biff is not bouncing around in white powder he is polishing up his pencils and tidying up his paws, ready for a series of book signings to coincide with the launch of Tout Soul on 7 March.

In addition to the list below – weather and ancient Golf permitting – I've had a number of invitations to sign books in various towns and villages in the region. It really is time for me to get out and explore a bit more of France, so further dates will be added soon.

In the meantime, keep warm everyone and remember, it could be worse: it's minus 36 in the Ukraine!

Sunday 11 March and Sunday 18 March: The Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, Le Breuillac, 79190, Caunay. Tel 05 49 27 67 29. I would like to invite anyone booked in for lunch, to join me for a pre-lunch cocktail and book signing from 12.30 pm onwards.

Monday 12th March, 6.00 pm onwards: book signing at the first ‘Fish and Chip night’ of the year (oh the glamour!) at Bar Les Tilleuls, Champniers, 86400. Tel 05 49 87 08 99; www.champniersbar.com.

Tuesday 13th March: 10.00 am - 1.00 am book signing at La Grande Galerie, 7 Rue de Temple, 86400, Civray. Tel 05 49 87 73 02 www.grandegaleriefrance.com

Thursday 15th March, 8.00pm: I will be giving a reading of Tout Soul and answering questions, about... well, anything really, at the Entente Internationale meeting, Lycée les Terres Rouges, Rue Jean Moulin, Civray. Tel 05 49 87 21 28 for information.

comments (15)

1. Posted by Lilliebo on February 11, 2012 12:37 PM


I have been really enjoying reading your books on my often dull journey in to the office.I was wondering will you be doing book signings in the UK and if so where and when?

2. Posted by mimipompom on February 11, 2012 1:55 PM

Hi Lilliebo

Glad to hear that you enjoyed the books. It's very likely that I will be launching Tout Soul at Waterstones, High Street Kensington either at the end of March or early April, but have yet to confirm the date.

Mimi x

3. Posted by Lilliebo on February 11, 2012 2:08 PM


Brilliant, I look forward to getting my copy signed.


4. Posted by Vanessa@Luxuria on February 11, 2012 2:40 PM

Hi Karen

Well if it's any consolation we are freezing too in Southern Spain; absolutely bitter but no snow where I am in Seville. Your images are stunning :-)

5. Posted by Lucie on February 11, 2012 4:41 PM

I can't wait to get my hands on the book!
Would it be rude to ask when the kindle edition is coming out? I've been on the look out all january, checking frantically amazon everyday!
Sorry, I'm not the patient kind...
Your books are fantastic, I loved the first two and I'm sure this one too will be a ray of sunshine on this dull winter

6. Posted by mimi pompom on February 11, 2012 5:46 PM


What a lovely message! It is currently being converted for Kindle by my printer – it takes time to do it properly – and it should be up by the end of February. I will keep you posted.
all best
Karen x

7. Posted by Jennifer Finney on February 12, 2012 3:52 AM

Hi Karen, I know you're ever so busy but, I am out in Goa until the end of April and, like Lucie, I too have been scanning Amazon for your latest book (kindle). Please would you let me know when its out and I can download it from here and read it on the beach. It will keep me smiling as your books always do. Thank you for all the weather updates. I always miss France when I'm here but not this time, I hate the cold and hope my pipes have not burst. Thanks again, give Biff a little cuddle.

Jennie x

8. Posted by dean smalley on February 12, 2012 1:26 PM

L'absie are we going to see you here

i have been blogging all week, frenchlifebed.wordpress.com

9. Posted by mimipompom on February 12, 2012 8:43 PM

Hi Dean

Yes, I'm hoping to come along to Absie. It's on my list of things to organise tomorrow. Thanks again for the suggestion.

All best


10. Posted by Angela on February 14, 2012 5:44 PM

Great to see you back Karen, have missed you. I have preordered my copy on Amazon and can't wait to get it. Hope you are not too cold,
Take care, love to Biff,

11. Posted by mimipompom on February 14, 2012 6:31 PM

Thanks Angela and everyone for the lovely messages. I hope you are all going to like Tout Soul. Can't wait to hear...

12. Posted by Angie on February 15, 2012 11:37 PM

I can't wait for you new book to come out.I've read and re-read the other two -you really bring France to life for me. Alas, despite my dreams , reading your books is the closest thing I will ever get to it..Thank you for brightening up my days!! Love to Biff!!!

13. Posted by Amanda on February 16, 2012 1:05 PM

Great news about your book Karen, I've just been on to Amazon and ordered my copy and will be very excited to get hold of it in March - although I will be saving it for my holiday in April (or trying to)!

I hope the weather is improving and we all get a glimmer of spring before long! xx

14. Posted by frances judd on February 22, 2012 10:49 AM

Good luck with your new book. Really enjoyed your first two and am sure number three will be a success.

15. Posted by Cheryl on June 9, 2012 2:48 PM

Hi Karen!

I have just finished all three books, one after the other! I bought all three to read on my hols in the Dordogne in August but couldn't put them down when I read the first page! Do you plan on writing anymore?

Thanks for writing such fab books!


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