France - - Contents -

Ex­pat Ja­nine Marsh dis­cusses her book on pur­su­ing the ru­ral dream in France.

The Bri­tish ex­pa­tri­ate and au­thor talks about the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind her first book, My Good Life in France: In Pur­suit of the Ru­ral Dream ( see re­view, right), her house in Pas-de-calais and her love of France.

Six months af­ter I moved to France, my dad got sick. I re­turned to the UK to help look af­ter him for a while, and one day I found a few min­utes to scrib­ble down on a bit of pa­per my ex­pe­ri­ences of my new life in France.

When my dad woke up, he asked me what I had writ­ten, so I showed him. Im­pressed by my anec­dotes, he said I should write a book, and the idea stayed with me.

My hus­band and I have been here [in Pas-de-calais] for ten years now and ab­so­lutely love it. My house, which started as a ram­shackle old barn, is now a proper ru­ral home with some in­ter­est­ing fea­tures. We dis­cov­ered when restor­ing it that the first room – with its flint stone walls and thick oak beams – is 400 years old.

There is so much of France that my hus­band and I love. What I par­tic­u­larly like is the fresh air in Pas-de-calais; the food mar­kets found all over the coun­try; fresh bread made by an ar­ti­san baker; the fact that I pop across to a lo­cal farm to buy de­li­cious, fresh cheese; and be­ing able to hop on a train and get to fab­u­lous cities such as Paris and Lille in next to no time. Ja­nine Marsh was speak­ing

to Peter Ste­wart

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