Sunday, July 10, 2022

Memoir of Expats in France Rural Village and Other French Things for #ParisInJuly

I've been having a great time for the first week of July, "transporting" myself to France most of the time, thanks to #ParisInJuly! Here's what I've been doing so far:


📕 My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream by Janine Marsh - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It's a memoir of a Londoner couple, Janine and Mark, who once visited France, had a coup de foudre with its rural village life, and decided to emigrate. Janine had a nice career in London, promising a secured high position. But that one trip she took, one afternoon, to buy wine for his grieved-father, unexpectedly brought her to sightsee some cheap farm houses in the rural Seven Valleys area in Pas de Calais, in northern France. One dilapidated house (used to be old barn), in particular, struck a cord in her heart. Several months later, Janine and Mark bought the house, left their comfortable metropolis life in London, to live a good life in rural France. Of course, starting new life in new country with different culture and lifestyle isn't easy; let alone in a quiet nowhere, with a rundown house.

This book is the first of a series of three (so far), focusing more on Janine and Mark's struggle to make their house habitable, learning social etiquette in France, and introduction to their neighbors. For a Francophile, this book is trully delightful, because it gives you insights about many towns or even small villages near Seven Valley, such as Montreuil-sur-Mer or Hucquelieres - what treasure one would find there, and sometimes even the name of the flea market or cafe worth a visit - which otherwise you would probably not know as tourists.

I also learned some fun facts about French people. For instance, how they like to kiss on the cheek, but not hug; that they are usually friendly even towards strangers - always greet you with "bon jour"; or that one of the most famous colors for kitchen is yellow - inspired by Monet's kitchen in Giverny! And I just found out about how easy it is to dump rubbish in France (there is the déchetterie: the municipal rubbish dunp). Here in Indonesia, you must pay someone (usually the workers) to dump the rubbish for you.

All in all, this is just a perfect book about something I love dearly: France. I love the way Janine wrote it, light, cheerful, humorous, not overdramatic, and you can feel the French vibes, as if you're there yourself. Now I can't wait to read the next book!


📺 Standing Up (Drôle)
1 season, 6 eps ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Comedy series about young stand-up performers, struggling to start career from a comedy club called: Drôle. It's created by Fanny Herrero (who also created Call The Agent!)

🎬 Midnight in Paris (re-watch) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


🎶 Stacey Kent's album "Raconte Moi"
🎶 Some random Paris playlists in YouTube


🍽 1st time eating French Onion Soup (canned, "Baxters")

What about you? What've you been doing for #ParisInJuly so far?


  1. The adventures of an Anglophobe (or other foreigner) who moves to a village in France and encounters local challenges of various sorts is a whole genre of books. “A Year in Provence” may have been the first but maybe just the most famous. Your series sounds like an interesting follow-on to this literary tradition. There are film versions as well.

    best… mae at

    1. True, there are so many of them that it could become a genre of its own. And I haven't even read A Year in Provence, yet.
      Yeah, the French series in Netflix are awesome, Call My Agent! is my favorite. Standing Up following close, but it's a shame it only has 1 eps.

  2. This looks like a charming book -- I'm always intrigued by those who pack up their lives and move abroad. I did a post on Marc Chagall's art and next week have an addition to an earlier post I did on guidebooks to Paris. Love Paris In July!

    1. It is charming, and lucky for us, there are 3 books of the series.. :)
      Same as you, I can't see myself deciding to move to other country, especially when we still have family. Maybe it's much easier when when we are living alone.
      Hope you enjoy your Paris in July too, Jeanie!

  3. There are so many books on expats in France out there. And according to my experience, most are really good.

    1. True! It makes it so hard to choose books for Paris in July.. :))

  4. I wonder how the French onion soup compares to soup in Paris...

    I didn't realize this book was one of a series of three!


What do you think?