Tag Archives: rural life

Another Seasonal Hazard in SW France: Mosquitoes

Here’s another seasonal hazard: mosquitoes. I am their favourite meal. There are several reasons for that (see below) and they are becoming more of a pest down here. Do you have blood group O? Do you have a high metabolic … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Noises Off on a Country Evening

The poor old blog has been sorely neglected of late. The trouble is that there’s this pesky thing called work, a necessary evil that keeps me away from what I really want to do. And it’s nearly always at its … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


You don’t often see them, since they are shy creatures and hide in the long grass. But at this time of year, once the hay has been cut, you’re more likely to see a hare around here. I love our rare … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Ups and Downs of Life in La France Profonde

  I spent much of last week in London, which led me to reflect on the differences between urban and rural life. As it turns out, this was quite timely, since the French government had been carrying out a charm … Continue reading

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Sunday Promenade Around Félines

  It was more like a forced march, actually. The SF did military service in the Swedish army and can still do a 20 km yomp bearing a 14 kilo pack with the best of them. Last Sunday morning, the … Continue reading

Posted in Places, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Typical Quercy Farmhouse (and an Anniversary)

  In a couple of months it will be 18 years since we first saw our house. A lot of wine has flowed under the bridge in that time. The photo above shows it in the early 1970s just before … Continue reading

Posted in French life, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Counting Heads: the French Census

  We had a visit today from the local census taker, having been warned a couple of weeks ago that this was imminent. This happens every five years in a small commune like ours (more on this below). But did … Continue reading

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5 Reasons why Autumn is the Best Season

  Not least because of the luminous wall-to-wall blue skies we have enjoyed here for almost two months. Every season has its charms, even winter, although by the end of February they’re well hidden. But for me, autumn is a … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Walking in France, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Day the Village had No Bread

Our life here has its Clochemerle moments (explanation below). I experienced one of them yesterday when our local village had no bread. Bread is not just the staff of life to a French person; it’s an essential accompaniment to every … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

17 Years in France: What’s Changed Since 1997?

Well, I’m 17 years older. And I don’t want to think about how old I will be in 17 years’ time. So let’s look back instead and think about what’s changed here since 1997. Yesterday was the anniversary of the … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Wildlife and Weather: June 2014 Update

Visitors who are used to the constant hum of city life sometimes ask us, “Don’t you find it a bit quiet here?” The answer is no. I’ve never been a city-dweller by temperament and much prefer la France profonde. I … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Trip Along the River Aveyron

I went to the hilltop village of Puycelsi in the Tarn département on Friday to interview some victims for one of my magazine articles. It’s about 50 minutes’ drive from here but the route is one of the most spectacular … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments


We have vandals in la France profonde but they aren’t the human variety. After the ravages of deer, wild boar and moles – next up are woodpeckers. The first three have confined themselves to destroying the garden (bad enough); not … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Trip to Planet London

  I am becoming a country bumpkin. No; not becoming – have become. This was quite clear during a recent short trip to London. I haven’t been there for a while and noticed some changes.

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A French Country Upbringing

‘Of course, Occitan was my first language,’ our friend Georgette said. I was sitting next to her at an association lunch today. She has never talked much about her childhood but, once I had started questioning her (no one is … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, History, Personalities, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments


Living en pleine campagne, the animal kingdom is in daily evidence. Some animals are more welcome than others. The baby hedgehogs living under a bush by our kitchen door, the red squirrels and the hares are delightful. I love to … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Answer to Last Week’s Conundrum: Potter Wasps

Last week I set a conundrum: what do these photos represent? Actually, it wasn’t much of a conundrum, since Caroline got it within five minutes of my posting. I shall have to come up with some more difficult ones for … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Walk Back in Time on the Saint-Antonin Causse

Last Saturday night’s thunderstorm caused us little bother – except for water seeping under the kitchen door as usual – and cleared the air. In parts of Aveyron, we hear, the damage was considerable and a church spire is reported … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Original Exhibition at the Abbaye de Beaulieu

I have to admit that contemporary art isn’t always my tasse de thé. However, they do put on some good exhibitions at the Abbaye de Beaulieu, a Cistercian gem a few kilometres away. As well as being an historic monument, … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monthly Météo: Weather in SW France January 2013

“Is France weather getting worse?” This was a search term someone used to land on my blog today. Given how dreary the weather has been since New Year, you could be forgiven for asking that. In fact, I almost didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Snow Again…

This is starting not to be funny. Yesterday it rained and the snow had almost melted completely when we went to bed. By the time we woke up it had all come back; as much as before, if not more. … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Nature, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Chestnuts and Chestnut Recipes

It’s that time of year again when the sweet chestnuts are falling. Very few chestnut trees grow near us but not far away, around Najac and Laguépie, they clothe the slopes. If you walk along the River Viaur, a tributary … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, History, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Moving to France – a Cautionary Tale

Life in France is wonderful, isn’t it? Well, up to a point. If you come with certain preconceived ideas you are bound to be disappointed. I just want to tell you a story I heard today, which underlines all the … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Traditional French Hamlet – Flouquet

The last of the summer walks at Espinas took place yesterday. As ever, our guides Nadette and René Curato have provided lots of interesting information about the history and culture of the places we have seen. Almost every year one … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chestnut Fair at Laguépie

It’s the time of year for gathering in the fruits and nuts before the weather turns at the beginning of November. Our kitchen is full of produce: boxes of walnuts – our own; cases of sweet apples – a friend’s … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, History, Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Walking the Viaur Valley

  After a weekend of cold winds and low temperatures – I was picking walnuts wearing a woolly hat and a jacket on Sunday – the weather turned again on Monday. A cloudless blue sky and temperatures in the mid-20s … Continue reading

Posted in Aveyron, French life, Nature, Places, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Blithe Spirits: Quirky French Apéritifs

Behind the bar in all French cafés lurks a selection of bottles with evocative names such as Byrrh or Suze. They are usually made from aromatic plants to closely-guarded recipes. You still see ancient advertisements for them stencilled onto barn walls – … Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Customs, Food/drink/recipes, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Awesome Auvergne

This week we made our annual short visit – almost a pilgrimage – to the Cantal Département. It is a spectacularly beautiful, mountainous area in the Auvergne Region, about two hours’ drive from us. It offers excellent walking: the peaks … Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Nature, Places, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Change of Name

I’ve decided to change the name of my blog as of now. Formerly it was ‘A writer’s lot in France’. Henceforth it will be called ‘Life on La Lune’.  Why change? Several reasons – please read on.

Posted in Books/writing, French life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

White birds and weather August 2011

It’s already 6th September and the SF (Statistics Freak, aka my husband) is going frantic because I haven’t yet posted up the weather update for August. Before I do, I’ll share with you the image above that I took a … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Nature, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments