Monday, February 29, 2016

Free and discounted ebooks of the day

French Village Diaries free discounted ebooks kindle UK
French Village Bookworm


Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter may have noticed the lack of promotional ebook deals over the last few days. I am having issues with Amazon and at the moment am unable to post my top picks of the Free and Discounted ebooks set in France direct to Facebook and Twitter. 

So you don't miss out on all the bargains, here is my selection for today:

FREE for a limited time Car Wheels on a Gravel Drive - a murder mystery set in the Averyon, France. This is a new release by Steve Goldenburg who contacted me direct to let me know of this promotion. I will be reviewing this book in the coming weeks.

FREE for a limited time Biarritz Passion: A French Summer Novel - the first novel in the series A French Summer by Laurette Long. Laurette is an active member of the Francophiles Goodreads Group. If you are on Goodreads, do come and join us.

Reduced by 50% to only 99p A Spell in Provence by Marie Laval. I really enjoyed this mysterious romance, set in Provence. Read my review here.

Reduced by 75% to £2.59 Scent of Triumph: A Novel of Perfume and Passion by Jan Moran. This is a beautifully written novel of loss, love, war and perfume. Read my review here.

These prices are correct at time of posting, but may not stay on promotion for long.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book review of Messandrierre by Angela Wren

French VIllage Diaries book review Messandrierre Angela Wren France Book Tours
Messandrierre by Angela Wren

Messandrierre by Angela Wren

(murder mystery/romance) Release date: December 8, 2015 at Crooked Cat Publishing Ltd 119 pages ISBN: 978-1910510759 Website | Goodreads  

SYNOPSIS

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre. But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won't give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case. Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim? Messandrierre is the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

MY REVIEW


Strange things happen in small French villages, but the village of Messandrierre seems to have more than just secrets that are waiting to be uncovered. I was gripped from the first mysterious chapter and then we met Jacques Forêt, Gendarme, originally from Paris, with a past and currently not really sure where he belongs. I liked him straight away. He was just the person to unravel the seemingly unrelated events that have been reported in the area and keep an eye on the odd goings on of some of the village residents. He has his own way of working, that doesn’t always tie in with his boss, but his independent rebellious streak just added to his appeal. Someone who tries her best to ignore his appeal is Beth, past love interest of Jacques (lucky lady), back in the village to tie up loose ends before moving on. However, as she tries to sell the chalet she has inherited, it seems to open up her own personal mysteries that need to be solved before she can work out her future. Knowing who to trust is the key.

There are quite a lot of characters to keep track of, I could have done with making notes, and you do need your wits about you as you are reading this book. Angela cleverly drops in scenes from the past, designed to confuse the mind as you go along, but thankfully by the end, all is revealed. I’m hoping to get back to Messandriere with Angela very soon. In the meantime I have really enjoyed following Angela’s blog where she has some cleverly thought out character interviews with both Jacques (see here) and Beth (see here). These really added to my enjoyment of village life in Messandriere. 

This book would be a great read to take on holiday, where you have the time to give it the attention it deserves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Messandrierre Angela Wren Angela Wren Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. Iíve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life. I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Visit her website and her blog. Follow her on Facebook, Google +
Connect with her on LinkedIn
Buy the book on Smashwords see below for Amazon links.

Global giveaway open internationally: 5 participants will each win a copy of this book: print or digital for Europe residents digital otherwise Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, for more chances to win

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ OTHER REVIEWS AND EXCERPT

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Sunday morning coffee and croissant

French Village Diaries celebrating Bialetti coffee and real French croissants
Coffee and a croissant

My Sunday mornings are all about freshly brewed coffee and a real French croissant, both of which have been in the news this week.

French Village Diaries celebrating Bialetti coffee and real French croissants
The croissant debate
UK supermarket Tesco has made a controversial decision this week that has had quite some coverage in the press and on social media (see here). The humble croissant will no longer be made in the ‘traditional’ crescent shape by Tesco as shoppers have declared straight ones are easier to spread with jam. What a funny world we live in; this story headlined the British, Irish and French news and possibly further afield too. I also have a few words to say about this story. Firstly, who in their right mind would soil a perfect buttery croissant by spreading it with jam? Nightmare! It is almost as shocking as dunking it in your coffee. Secondly, look closely at my real French village croissant in the photo above. Shock! It’s not crescent shaped and in the eleven and a half years we have lived here and bought croissants from the village boulangerie, they never have been. And, do you know what? They still taste delicious and will always be my special treat on a Sunday morning, so give Tesco a break; there are far more important things to worry about in the world.

Also in the news this week was the story of an unusual funeral that took place in Italy (see here). A 93-year-old man, who I’d never met, but have cause to thank everyday, was laid to rest in a coffee pot. A coffee pot a little larger than mine, but otherwise identical, for this man was Italy’s coffee pot king, Renato Bialetti. The simple aluminium octagonal coffee pot was designed and patented by his father Alfonso in 1933, but it was Renato who dedicated his life to ensuring their coffee pot became a kitchen ‘must-have’ for families all over the world, bringing quality coffee to the home. Thank you Renato, I wouldn’t want to be without my Bialetti and have even been known to take it away on holiday. May you rest in peace and I’ll be raising my daily coffee cup in your memory.

Whatever the shape of your croissant, or preference for jam or no jam, I hope you have a peaceful Sunday.





Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love in a French Village

French Village Diaries Love in a French Village boulanerie St Valentin
Saint Valentin gateau from our village boulangerie

As it is St Valentine’s Day I thought I would share a little of the love I have found in our village. Our neighbours, who have been happily married for over fifty years, certainly seem to know the recipe for love. Talking to Pierrette recently she was almost giggling in girly excitement when she let me into a little secret. Dominique, her husband loves pancakes, although she admitted they do not eat them very regularly, so on this particular afternoon once he was safely off working in his vegetable garden she rustled up the batter, adding a drop of rum, and left it resting until his return at dinnertime. For Pierrette, love is, surprising your man with pancakes!

Another village love story, which unfortunately has a sad ending, is of Mauricette and her husband Jacky. She is a regular at the library, choosing novels for herself, but as his health was deteriorating and he couldn’t follow a story she always chose large, photo filled hardback books for him as he still enjoyed looking at the pictures. She also ensured he never missed an event in the village, even if it meant her pushing him to the salle des fêtes in his wheelchair. Five years ago he was just one of the old soldiers standing with flags at our 11th November ceremony. Last November, he was the only one and was sat in his wheelchair. Sadly, he passed away this week. I didn’t know him well, but I will miss him. I will also miss selecting books for him from the library bus that visits four times a year and ensures we get a good supply of different books for our library.

French Village Diaries Love in a French Village
Remembering a special villager

For me, love is days out on the bikes with Adrian, especially if it includes a morning boulangerie stop, a picnic and an afternoon  beer stop. At the moment life is throwing spanners in our cycling plans as work is busy, which keeps Adrian away and the weather has been a bit wild, too wild for me on the bike. 

It is not unusual for us to spend St Valentine’s Day apart, but this year we were full of hope with his planned return home on the evening of 13th. Then Tempête Ulrika arrived blowing her best all day yesterday, threatening the Atlantic coast, whipping the waves and bending the trees inland too. More worryingly for us was the effect she would have on Adrian’s return flight to La Rochelle, where the end of the runway is at the edge of a cliff, but thankfully he made it. Love is, making it home in a storm. To reward his efforts I’ve prepared a special homemade meal for tonight, but I can’t tell you what it is, as it’s a surprise.

Now, over to you, do you have a love story to share?

This post has been linked to the Dreaming of France blog link. Click here for more posts.

Friday, February 12, 2016

France et Moi with Carol Drinkwater

Welcome to ‘France et Moi’ where this week, as part of the blog tour to coincide with the release of her new novel The Forgotten Summer I am talking to actress and author Carol Drinkwater about what France means to her.
 
French Village Diaries France et Moi interview Carol Drinkwater The Forgotten Summer blog tour
Carol Drinkwater
Carol Drinkwater, known for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small, is the author of the nonfiction Olive Farm Series of memoirs which inspired The Olive Route, five documentaries following her travels in the south of France. Her memoirs were great comfort reading for me when we moved to France in 2004 and everything felt daunting and different. She is also the author of three bestselling Kindle singles.

1) I think France is a special place, famed for many things including its cheese, wine and diverse holiday locations plus, dare I say it strikes and dog poo littered streets. What do you think makes France so very unique and ‘French’?

Carol: Our dogs run free on our land so we have no part to play in your observation of French streets!
France is a republic where the individual counts above the crowd, and that is very important to the psyche and the way people live here. The French, although I don’t usually go in for sweeping generalizations, respect freedom of the individual. They will stand up for this, as last year’s attacks proved. The right to think, worship, live as each feels is fundamental (within the law, of course). It is this philosophy that is at the heart of the hugely diverse choice of cheeses and wines. Each region, even a tiny village, is protected by its hard-earned AOC - Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée - label. Our olive oil, for example, comes under the AOC ‘Olive de Nice’. This oil cannot be produced anywhere else. As with all AOCs, it is the marriage of soil, climate, product.

2) What is your first memory of a trip to France?

Carol: Riding on a coach tour with my parents down to Italy, stopping for sunny lunches on terraces, flying through the Alps, hitting the Riviera coast –the Belle Epoque villas, the glittering Mediterranean, that hot embracing sun - and then a stroll round Monaco. I was about ten or eleven so, I would guess, early times in terms of tour operators to “the Continent”, but I thought it was magical. It was all so exotic to me back then, and so glamorous.

3) When you first arrived in France what was the best thing about being immersed in French life and the scariest thing?

Carol: Our very first summer, I went to Nice university and enrolled in a two-month course in French. I had studied Latin languages at school but this was essential. I have two fabulous step-daughters, who were thirteen at that time. They both spoke some English but refused to converse with me in my mother tongue. If I wanted to engage with them it had to be in French, and they were not slow in correcting my errors!

4) Do you have any embarrassing language mishaps you are happy to share?

Carol: Here is one I have recounted in The Olive Farm. My parents were coming to stay for the first time. I was nervous, keen for them to approve our mad purchase of a dilapidated olive farm overlooking the Bay of Cannes. I had cleaned up everything as much as was possible with little money to spare and next to no furniture. Wild flowers in vases in the bedroom, our best linen on their bed. Wine and food all ready to be served. And then I noticed a rather unattractive “leak” seeping out of a drain right alongside the swimming pool, newly renovated and filled for the first time. I panicked, ran indoors and called the plumber who was not home. His wife answered. I yelled that her husband had to come immediately. There is a HUGE TROUT coming up through the drainage system and it will slip into the swimming pool any minute now.
‘A TROUT, Madame?’
‘YES, please get your husband here as soon as possible....’
The plumber was there within fifteen minutes.
‘Where is this giant fish then,’ he grinned.
‘FISH? What are you talking about. We have a LEAK.’
I had confused the words: TRUITE for trout and FUITE for leak.

5) How does France inspire your writing?

Carol: In every way, and more and more profoundly. I regularly read about France, read in French, dig into history. I am keen to get beyond the clichés to discover the spirit of the country. I am also constantly bowled over by the beauty and the variety of geographical locations here. The wild Atlantic scenery, the Mediterranean’s chic yet natural beauty. The elegance, the snobbery, the poise of capital city women, the love of art and language, cinema, literature. The investment in the arts, the pride the French take in all that is French... Every day, there is something new...

6) Your new novel The Forgotten Summer is set on a vineyard in Provence, how important do you think it is to match your French wine with your food? Any top matching tips you can share?
 
French Village Diaries France et Moi interview Carol Drinkwater The Forgotten Summer blog tour
The Forgotten Summer

Carol: We don’t have this habit. We drink lighter wines in the warmer seasons – Chablis, for example, with a home-grown salad dressed with garlic and our own peppery olive oil. With our winter foods such as Boeuf Bourguignon or Pot au Feu we would go for a red Bordeaux such as a Saint-Emilion.

7) Imagine you are sitting outside a French café at 10.00am on a sunny morning watching the world go by, what do you order from the waiter?

Carol: Coffee. Double espresso. I am not a great one for food in the morning so I am happy with my coffee. When I am at home, I might sweeten it with a semi-spoonful of honey. Otherwise, I drink it neat.

8) France has many different cheeses, this is a silly question, but which French cheese are you? A hard and mature Tome, a soft, fresh and lively goat cheese, a creamy and rich Camembert or a salty and serious Roquefort?

Carol: Je suis fromage! Ha ha. A soft, melting, creamy Brie full of delicate tones.

9) Can you describe your perfect French apero for us, including the drink, the nibbles, the location and the company?

Carol: Champagne on the terrace at our home overlooking the Bay of Cannes where we can watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. In the company of my husband, Michel, (who prefers chilled rosé) and perhaps also several dear friends, with our dogs dozing at our feet. On those warm evenings with jasmine and orange blossom perfumes wafting our way, we eat outside. We have three barbecues of varying sizes. Michel will have the fire going to get the meat or fish grilled and as we sip our drinks, the scents of cooking waft our way. We grow the ingredients for our salads and mixed herbs, our own potatoes... Usually, to nibble with our apéros, we like to serve roasted almonds (also grown on the land) and slices of charcuterie. Not too much or we will have lost our appetite for the dinner yet to come!

10) France has some beautiful cities and there are a few that constantly battle to be my favourite, what is your favourite French city and why?

Carol: Paris, toujours Paris. It has everything. Even after all these years, it thrills me to be there. There are certain quartiers I know better than others and I tend to head for them. I am particularly fond of the Bastille area. I shop and hang out around the 5th and 6th arrondissements. This includes Bon Marché, the splendid department store which has a fine bookshop and a small restaurant on the same floor. I buy books and then dip into them while enjoying a coffee or lunch. I go to the cinemas around L’Odéon or along the Champs Elysées.

Finally, do you have any current projects you would like to tell my readers about?

Carol: I am at work on a new novel, also set in France. It is too early to talk about it but I am aiming to create a story that is epic and dips into some recent French history as well as being a very up-to-the-minute tale.

Thank you for taking the time to give some great answers to my questions about France and you. I really enjoyed The Forgotten Summer, even if it did make me cry and I’m sure readers will love it. I will be waiting patiently for your new novel.

The Forgotten Summer was released in hardback and ebook format on 11th February and will be available in paperback on 14th July 2016. To read my review, click here. You can find Carol on Twitter, Facebook and her website and don't miss out on the other stops on The Forgotten Summer Blog Tour organised by Penguin Random House.



Carol’s Olive Farm and Olive route books are available in paperback and ebook format. Her Kindle Singles are ebook only novellas. Links to Amazon can be found below. My reviews of two of her Kindle Singles can be found by clicking on the links below.

The Girl in Room Fourteen
Hotel Paradise



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book review of The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater

French Village Diaries book review The Forgotten Summer Carol Drinkwater Blog Tour
The Forgotten Summer, Carol Drinkwater

My review today is for the brand new novel The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater, released in hardback and ebook format today

The Forgotten Summer is set in Provence on a family run wine and olive estate. When a devastating drama hits the family, a web of hidden secrets come to light that cast doubts on the past and threatens the future of the business. Someone needs to step in, but who will be strong enough to take control?

Jane and Luc Cambon appear to be a close couple from different backgrounds, who split their time between their life in London and Luc’s family estate in Provence, where helping with the harvests is something they always look forward to. The estate is a special place for them both, but a difficult relationship with Luc’s mother Clarisse, leaves Jane emotionally exhausted and although Luc tries to reconcile the differences between the two women, they have an old secret neither have shared with him. Clarisse is the matriarch, hard and cold on the outside, set in her ways and with a strength that comes from a difficult past. I found her a very interesting character to get to know.

This book is intriguing from the start. Carol is an excellent storyteller; layering the story from the beginning with lots of little morsels of family secrets, feuds, family history and French history, all dotted in and built on throughout the book. My mind was often running ahead and supposing what was coming next and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very emotional read that did make me cry, but following the initial despair and heartbreak comes the rebuilding and back-tracking into the past, solving the mysteries that will eventually enable them to move on to a better future. 

Set with a backdrop of Provençal vineyards and olive groves, with scents of the French countryside and sunshine to warm you, Carol will take you away as you become immersed in the unusual life of the Cambon family, where no one is quite who they first seemed to be. I'm sure readers will love it.

The Forgotten Summer is published by Penguin Random Housewho kindly sent me a review copy. It is available now in hardback from all good booksellers. It is also available in ebook format and links to Amazon can be found below. It will be available in paperback from 14th July 2016.

The Forgotten Summer Carol Drinkwater Blog Tour


You can find Carol on Twitter, Facebook and her website and don't miss out on the other stops on The Forgotten Summer Blog Tour, including joining me back here tomorrow where I will be chatting to Carol for my France et Moi interview feature. 



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Volunteering in the village

French Village Diaries volunteering library
My French Village Library

Since arriving in France over eleven years ago my motto has been to say “oui, d’accord” (yes, OK) whenever I’ve been asked to help out. This has opened many doors of friendship, helped my French and given me a wealth of experiences I would otherwise have missed out on. Rural villages with small, often aging populations need volunteers willing to give their time and their ideas to ensure there is social centre at the heart of the village. Our village library may only be open for a few hours, a couple of times a week, but it is as much a place to gather for a chat for the older people as it is a place to pick up books.

One of the first things I became involved in was the village magazine committee and I can vividly remember sitting in the meetings and not understanding a word, let alone being able to contribute anything apart from helping with the folding, stapling and distribution. However, I stuck to it and soon found myself able to translate the monthly Mot du Maire (Mayor’s Word) into English and even suggest the odd idea or two. It wasn’t long before I was also volunteering at the village library, the treasurer on a village committee and running a Family Fun Day in the park every August. 

Ask not just what you can do for your village, but also what volunteering for your village can do for you! Volunteering has given me friends as well as neighbours, has increased my French vocabulary, given me a social life and every now and again offered me a tasty meal too.




French Village Diaries volunteering meal out mixed seafood entree
Mixed fish entrée


French Village Diaries volunteering meal out haddock main course
Haddock main course


French Village Diaries volunteering meal out chocolate dessert
Chocolate dessert


Last Saturday night the library and magazine volunteers were wined and dined at a local restaurant to thank us for another year of service to the village. We are a mixed bunch in all sorts of ways and the only thing we have in common (apart from our love of village life) is that none of us were born here. We are English, Welsh, Moroccan born French and French, originally from Brittany to Montpellier and Paris to the Pyrenees. We have different ideas, different strengths and different languages, but I can tell you there was a lot of chat and laughter around the table on Saturday night.

If you would like to help out in your town or village I would suggest making enquiries at your Mairie or speaking to someone on one of the committees who organise events. It won’t always be easy, but it will be rewarding and it will help you to find your place in your community. 


French Village Diaries volunteering
The volunteers

This post has been linked to the #MyExpatFamily blog link. For more posts click here.

Seychelles Mama


Monday, February 8, 2016

Celebrating the feast of Saint Jacqueline

French Village Diaries frangipani Saint Jacqueline
Saint Jacqueline and the frangipani slice


I think I have reaffirmed the belief that I am the ‘slightly bonkers English lady’ in the village on my trip to the boulangerie today. I am not usually to be found buying cakes on a Monday, as a Sunday is my day to indulge, so the boulanger was a little surprised at my request of a frangipani slice this morning.
“You’re being a little greedy today” he joked with a smile.
“Aah, I’m celebrating, it’s the feast of Ste Jacqueline today” I replied.
His blank look meant that although he (and his wife) may make the most flakiest puff pastry, filled with the most delicious almond frangipani; that shatters and comforts with each bite, he is a bit lacking in the history of the frangipani. I explained that Saint Jacqueline was born in 12th Century Rome; she married Gratien Frangipani and was quite an accomplished baker of almond cakes. These cakes, called Frangipani after her family name, were given to the poor, the unhappy and the rich and also bundled into her little chariot to be handed to the other pilgrims she met on her annual pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. What a lovely lady she was. I have to admit to having had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my name when I was growing up, primary school writing was much harder for me than my friend Emma, but funnily enough I’ve always had a thing for sweet almond desserts. I’m also fascinated (and very tempted) with the Chemins de Saint Jacques, the French routes to Santiago de Compostela that pass very close to where we live. We are obviously kindred spirits.

I then went on to say that it is the law that all those named Jacqueline must eat frangipani today in celebration.
“Oh, really” he said. “That is an English custom is it?”
“Aah, no, actually it’s just in my head, but I think it should be the law!”

So, if you are called Jacqueline, or you know someone who is, please spread the word and indulge in frangipani today. It certainly brightened up my morning coffee and would make Saint Jacqueline and me very happy indeed.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A family day out on La Grande-Cote, Charente-Maritime

French Village Diaries family day out on La Grande-Côte, Charente-Maritime
La Grande-Côte

Today we had good weather, we were all home and we had no plans – this is unusual, especially in February. We packed a picnic, threw in some old clothes (which wasn’t easy for Ed who is a bit of a fashionista) and set off for a family day out at the beach.

Since September Ed has been staying away at Lycée during the week, he often has plans with friends at the weekend and Adrian’s work also takes him away during the week and some weekends. It is a difficult time (for me) as I’m happy to see Ed enjoying his independence and gaining in confidence, but just a little bit sad at the speed in which he is growing up. The last two school holidays, in October and at Christmas, we have packed up, shuttered up and left for the UK to have fun with our families and as Adrian will be away working for a lot of Ed’s fortnight holiday at the end of this month, we have been rather lacking family time together.


French Village Diaries family day out on La Grande-Côte, Charente-Maritime
Ed and Mini on the dunes

It is an hour and a half drive to our favourite off-season beach, which starts with twisting back roads through Cognac vineyards. We are in the middle of vine pruning season, some are neatly pruned and ready for spring, some are still awaiting the vintners who were wrapped up against the chilly air, pruning, even on a weekend. It was a beautiful blue sky today, the air cooled by a breeze, but plenty of sunshine to warm from within and nature was all around us. There were hives half hidden in sheltered hedgerows, hares darting across ploughed fields and buzzards circling in the thermals overhead, as we made our way from village to village. The Charente Maritime villages have an air of elegance, the houses made of smooth cream stone with pale shutters and today windows were flung open to air the bedrooms. Nearer the coast we drove through skeletal fruit tree orchards and passed bright orange hunters watching and waiting at the edge of woodland, before arriving among the coastal pine forests. The last part of the drive can be very busy in the summer and parking isn’t easy, but not in February, even on warm, sunny days.


French Village Diaries family day out on La Grande-Côte, Charente-Maritime
The Atlantic defences

Summer at the beach can be too hot and uncomfortable for me, and the combination of a sweaty body, sun cream and loose sand is my idea of a nightmare. It is also only possible to take Mini the dog to the beach out of season and she loves to run, dig in the sand, climb the dunes with Ed and play endless games of ball. Fully clothed means I don’t have to touch the sand so a day at the beach is much more my thing in the winter.

Between St Palais-sur-mer and La Palmyre along La Grande-Côte, at the top of the Gironde Estuary there are remains of the Atlantic sea defences. Eerie looking concrete blockhouse constructions left abandoned after the German Occupation. Many years of erosion have caused them to slip down the beach where they now wonkily sit in the sand and the sea, depending on the tides.




French Village Diaries family day out on La Grande-Côte, Charente-Maritime
Driftwood sculpture

This stretch of coast has kilometres of flat easy walking and tumbling waves that bring in stones, shells and jellyfish. It was warm enough today to leave the coats in the car, despite the healthy breeze that erased our footprints in the sand as we walked along, which we did for at least an hour and a half. The beach was littered with washed-up wood, worn smooth from it’s travels by sea and providing a sculpture exhibition for the many walkers, dog walkers and even two donkey walkers. We certainly all benefited from fresh air, a change of scenery, exercise and family time together.

French Village Diaries family day out on La Grande-Côte, Charente-Maritime
Donkey walkers

This post has been linked to Paulita's Dreaming of France blog link up. See here for more posts.