FIVE MINUTES WITH...
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