The French Escape series continues and today we have fellow author Jenny O’Brien talking about her French idyll. I first met Jenny online, but thanks to the RNA Brittany chapter we’ve since met up in person. Anyway, enough of the preamble.
Over to you, Jenny.
When Suzie asked me to write a little something about France as part of her book launch preparation for the French Escape, I’d just embarked on a delightful journey of discovery down the west coast to Biarritz and beyond into Spain. Now I’m back in Guernsey and facing the end of the holidays and the countdown back to work and school.
Guernsey is only a hop, skip and a jump from France and the obvious first choice when planning holidays. But when your husband has a large dollop of French blood in his veins buying a little French retreat to escape to was always going to be on the cards. The ideal opportunity hit when I found that we were expecting twins. With three kids of three and under holidays weren’t going to happen unless we could provide a little home-from-home for our growing family.
Our French Idyll isn’t very big. In truth, it’s in the middle of nowhere but nowhere’s far from anywhere in France. We can jump on the boat and within four hours be pulling up outside our little bit of France.
What I love about France.
What’s not to love. The food (all that cheese). The fact that I can sit on my doorstep and not have a car go past from one hour to the next. The wildlife that we don’t get over here from tree frogs to woodpeckers. We even have wild boar reputed to live in the wood down the road, not that I’ve gone looking. I love just sitting in a roadside cafe with small cup of rocket-fuel caffeine and just watching the world go by. The French are a nation of people watchers and think nothing of taking up a table for the afternoon, a book propped up in the centre as they just sit. What a great playground for a writer. I also love the fact that my husband is pretty fluent in French because I’m not. I can get by but there’s a wealth of difference in managing in cafes and supermarkets and tackling tradesmen.
The only thing I don’t love is the fact that winter is coming and I have responsibilities and ties that mean we have to close up the cottage from October to March in the hope that our resident mole decides to pack his bags some time soon.
Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey. She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a 2016/2017 RoNA judge. She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books. In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.