Friday, February 7, 2014

An evening out

Last night I went out. I don’t mean out as a taxi service for Ed, or out to drop off or collect Ade from the airport, or out at a village committee meeting, I mean taking myself out of the village and indulging in an evening for me, doing something I wanted to do. I was so pleased with myself, I still had a big happy smile on my face this morning.

Local author Karen Wheeler was talking about her French inspired diet book The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight at the Entente Internationale du Pays Civraisin. This was just too good an opportunity to finally meet someone who has shared her life in France via the pages of her three memoirs Tout Sweet: Hanging Up my High Heels for a New Life in France , Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France and Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France , despite Civray being about forty minutes away and across the departmental border. I am not the greatest fan of driving alone at night and last night we were under the threat of a severe weather warning, but I consulted the oracle that is my husband, grabbed a friend for company (thanks Paula) and set off for my night out. Thankfully, despite the weather attempting to blow a spanner in the works, we made it there and back without any problems. It seemed for our area at least there was more hype than power in the gusts of wind, phew!

When you are used to plodding around the mud in the duck hanger wearing old clothes and wellies, the thought of meeting a former London fashion editor and international writer was quite daunting. As I predicted, despite having immersed herself into rural French life for the last eight years Karen still turned up in a pair of heels the like my feet have never seen. I did drag out a skirt from the back of the wardrobe, dug out my ‘posh’ boots and cobbled together what I hoped was a fresh faced, hint-of-natural make up look – ie applied face cream after shower and rummaged around in make up bag for eye shadow and a bit of lippy. Please note the flushed look on my cheeks is my natural blush and has nothing to do with one too many wines as, a) I was driving and b) no alcohol has touched my lips all year.

French village diaries Karen Wheeler Poitou-Charentes Entente Internationale Pays du Civraisin
Blogger meets writer

Karen, like me is passionate about what she eats and how it is prepared. I’m glad I’m not the only one who would love to be in a world where everyone has the time, money and knowledge to shun the processed rubbish and cook and bake good wholesome food for their families. We could have exchanged homemade cake recipes, discussed the many benefits of chicken bone stock and soup being the dieter’s best friend all night. I was a little disappointed that her beloved dog Biff didn't join in the fun, but she had filled the car with homemade cakes to share instead.

I will admit to being a bit star struck and probably embarrassed myself a little by being the first fan of the evening to pull out the camera and plead for a picture. I also pulled out my copy of Tout Sweet, the only paperback copy of her books I own, to be signed.

You can read my review of Tout Sweet here, Toute Allure here, The Marie-Antoinette Diet here and my France et Moi interview with Karen here