Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Magazine news

French Village Diaries magazine news
La Plume, our village magazine

It has been a while since I’ve blogged, but now we have emerged from our winter funk and life has accelerated to full summer speed, I have lots to share. First up is some magazine news, as I’ve still been writing, even if I have neglected my blog a little.


La Plume

Since 2001, our village (of under four hundred people) has had a monthly information magazine that was one of the first things I got involved in when we arrived here back in 2004. It is run entirely by a small group of volunteers who meet each month to decide what to put in, including announcing and reporting on village events, sharing public service information like council meeting minutes and a Mot du Maire (word from the mayor – that we translate into English). 


Until recently, my involvement has been to help come up with ideas, translate the important things into English, and once it’s printed, join in with the stapling and distribution around the village. That was until May, when our friend and ex-Maire of the village Gérard, who had done all the editing, page layout and printing, got taken into hospital. Without him at the helm, the future of La Plume looked uncertain, so along with our friend Lesley, Adrian and I put together an emergency edition at the end of May. We are now just about to print a bumper 20-page edition for the summer that will be delivered at the end of the week. How brave of our French friends to entrust our Englishness on their French magazine, but at least we can rely on them to correct any grammatical issues and it’s certainly helping to raise my written French level. Gérard is now back home, but happy to step back and let La Plume continue in our hands. Merci mes amis.


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly Magazine

Up until the end of last year, I had been writing a regular 500-word column for The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine since 2012, or 121 issues, and under three different owners. It was totally understandable that back in January, Tony and Lynne made the decision to stop the magazine and focus on their health issues, but it was sad to think this part of my writing life was over. 


Happily, for all of us Anglophones living in this tucked away gem of west France, a little bit too north to be the real southwest and a little bit too south to be the Loire valley, new owners were found. In March of this year, Kathleen and Chris Butler-Donnelly took on the editorship and have been busy behind the scenes designing a new logo and website, as well as putting together their first edition. The July 2023 issue is back from the printers and ready for delivery at the usual drop offs in supermarkets, bars and restaurants in the Deux-Sèvres. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, and from Saturday 1stJuly you will be able to read an online version here. I’m now off to finish my August piece before the deadline this weekend.


French Village Diaries magazine news
French Property News July/August 2023

French Property News

Earlier this year I was contacted by a journalist for the UK based magazine French Property News, that we used to subscribe to and devour, over twenty years ago before we made France our home. She wanted to interview me for the My Village feature where someone who has embraced French life shares a little bit about their life.


I always enjoy things like this as the questions about where we live, what I do for work etc allow me to stop and think about our life and how it has changed over the years. It is always nice to be reminded about what a fantastic adventure we are on. I am delighted by the full page (p146) article in the July/August edition that is available to buy in the UK now.


A link to the blog was included and I’ve already had a lovely email from Monique Jackman who enjoyed reading it and has offered me review copies of her books aimed at getting intermediate French speakers to the next level. This summer more than last, I am feeling frustrated with my level of French as I’d love to be able to wax lyrical about the history of the Château de Javarzay and the themes of our musuem to the French visitors, in the same way I do for the English ones. Monique’s books, along with a training session in French from our local Pays d’art and histoire heritage association, should really help.