Thursday, August 30, 2012

Moving to France - why the Auvergne?

Faithful readers of Sell the Pig will already know that my decision to move to France's Auvergne had a lot to do with a certain drinks advert.

Back in the 1970s, Dubonnet was advertised with a slogan of, I think,  "Way up there" to the sound of the achingly beautiful shepherd's song Bailero from Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne. This link is far from being the best ever version of the song but it does have the advantage of showing you some of the stunning scenery of this very green region with its hopefully extinct volcanoes.

Having listened to the music, I'd long held a desire to visit the region and as soon as I did, it captured my heart. So I was amused on a recent guided walk round a little local town, Cunlhat, (and if you think it looks hard to pronounce, I can tell you the locals pronounce it nothing like it looks!) to come across this painted gable end, advertising Dubonnet!

It's rather ironic, as when I first began work as a cub reporter in Manchester, my editor was nicknamed Pissquick - you can guess why - and his wife was an alcoholic, whose favourite tipple was Dubonnet.

But that's another story - perhaps for the sequel to Sell the Pig!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A kitchen, a cushion and a lot of gingham

Because I couldn't get the blasted photo to swivel itself the right way round, here's a link to the blog of my good friend Fiona Ridley with some lovely photos of said cushion and all about how she made it for me. She's now taking commissions!

Thrilled to say that sales of Sell the Pig are creeping up nicely since the big giveaway last Friday. And it's also nice to see some more reviews coming in and especially reviews from people who are completely unknown to me. When one self-publishes, it's inevitable that the first people to buy and review tend to be family and friends so it's reassuring to hear that it seems to be going down as well with complete strangers as with those who already know, or know of, me.

In that greedy way of authors hungry for praise, would love to see some more so if you've not yet left a review, please do. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life in France after Sell the Pig

Thought it was about time I updated the blog as it seems to have gone very quiet on here lately.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know that, some five years after the end of Sell the Pig I'm still happily living in France, though no longer at the Pink House, I plan to stay here, and recently celebrated my 60th birthday here in my own little "grottage".

I enjoy giving as much as receiving on my birthday, so to mark the occasion I gave away copies of Sell the Pig for the first and only time. Some 400+ new readers took advantage of the occasion to get their free copies, so I very much look forward to reading some more reviews.

Since living in France I've discovered the delights of Twitter and Facebook and have made many new friends, some in the flesh, some still as cyber-friends. And it turns out I have some very talented friends, judging by the marvellous presents I received.

Being totally useless at any form of crafts and completely unable to thread a needle or cast on to knitting needles or whatever, I was amazed at the stunning hand-made crochet cushion from my clever friend Fiona Ridley, whose stunning crafty skills you can discover for yourself at her blog KnitKnatKnotUK.

 And another very talented friend who is closer to home is Christine Phillips, who painted a beautiful water colour of my favourite rose, Wild Edric, taking proud centre stage in this photo. Christine runs the wonderful B&B and gite, Les Hirondelles, at Chabanol, barely an hour's drive from here, and you honestly couldn't find a nicer place to stay if you're visiting the Auvergne.

Also in the picture is the gorgeous fan sent to me by my soul sister Kay, back in UK, because while poor old UK has been freezing and drowning, we've been languishing in temperatures well into the 30s.

As usual, I do hope you will take the time to add your comments here and please, if you haven't already done so, do please add your review for Sell the Pig on the Amazon site from which you bought it. Thanks.