mon coeur de campagne

living a simpler, rural French life

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Beating the Blues




Vauminot, Lac de Pannecière


It’s been a hard few months.  A long winter and health problems since last October have made it extra challenging.  Husband hurt his back working on daughter’s renovation project.  He went from doing pretty much everything around the house to nothing.  A huge shock for me!  I had to get stuck in, despite my back problems and do all the dog walks in rain, fog and snow, the cooking and work too.  Bringing the wood in was the particularly tough.  Believe me there is no romance in lugging wood however warm and inviting wood burners look in homes magazines, the reality is a bit different.

Two bouts of very debilitating flu since New Year has not been fun either. It felt like Groundhog Day.  I just had to focus on getting through each grey day.

And all the time coping with a daughter with severe epilepsy.  So yes I have felt sorry for myself, probably been moaning too much and been seriously questioning how we can manage living here as we get older.

Today Husband is on the mend, our hacking coughs are gradually going and the sun has come out for the whole day!  Instantly life seems brighter.






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Letting Go




It may be another National Holiday here in France and talk of politics is everywhere. Le Penn, la blonde, got well and truly beat.  Macron will be the new President. I live in La Nievre where Le Penn won the first round.  I was holding my breath but over 76% of the local population turned out to vote with Macron winning 59.92% of the votes against 40.8% for Le Penn.

It’s time for all of us to let go of stress whether it’s politics, health worries, not enough money or too much work and not enough time!  It’s the start of another working week for me. Life goes on and that’s great…but sometimes it can be overwhelming.

How about combining learning techniques and gentle exercise to help you de-stress with a holiday in the beautiful Burgundy countryside? You can’t fail to relax when you are surrounded by green hills, forests and  lakes with the freshest air in Europe.  A three day Letting Go workshop is being held by international life coach and therapist Orsolya Rist in July.

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PianO du Lac



Playing a piano on water, floating under the stars with nature providing a breath-taking backdrop, le piano du lac is a transhumance flottante across France.

3 months and 60 concerts from July to October, the piano, pianists, singers and musicians – one wearing a bespoke dinner jacket styled from a wetsuit playing the tuba underwater – are performing a mesmerising spectacle from the Alps to Paris and the south of France.

We watched the concert at the Lac de Panneciere in Le Morvan, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte enjoying a picnic and listening to the magical sounds of the piano drifting across the water.

It was a very hot day and we needed a swim before the concert. We changed on the beach and my glamorous friend Stef, donned dangly earrings and a long dress  – you would never have guessed we had come straight from the beach.

We found a nice spot and set up the picnic, a feast of local ham, olives, salad, baguette and Brie, washed down with a chilled Crement de  Bourgogne.

When the concert finished, the audience were invited up to play.  We listened to a fabulous mix of classic music, rock n roll and pop as the night enveloped us and the stars twinkled in the sky.

It was an unforgettable way to spend a summer’s evening.