FIRST OF ALL A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF MY AMERICAN READERS AND FRIENDS – keep reading because as a huge Thank You I am giving away both of these signed original paintings


What a journey; I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that a year ago when I started writing this blog that it would still be going from strength to strength today. It all began as a way of staying in touch with friends; showing a few photos and telling them about our life in France and now I can still remember how nervous I was when I hit the ‘publish’ button for the very first time, my finger hovering over the keyboard; did I dare do it? Then, within a couple of months, I had one or two complete strangers following along, for I realised I had never made the blog private! I also just never imagined it would go SO public either!

Yet here we are, one year later with 63 blog posts, thousands of photos and over one hundred thousand views (I still am in shock over that number) down the line and I’m loving it! So many of you have become virtual friends; I look forward to your comments and I so enjoy chatting with you. I love sharing our life here in France, the antics of Bentley, Evie, and the chickens. The ducks are quite another story, but I’ll share that one with you in the New Year.

So now it’s time for me to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone around the globe; thank you for taking the time to read my posts, and thank you for taking the time to comment, like and share our experiences and stories. This blog is far more about you and my family than me. I have the easy part, I just write the stories and take some photos, but you all listen, and my darling children have got so used to me stopping and taking photos, one after another. When we go somewhere, anywhere, they used to ask WHY; now they just assume “this is for the blog!”. Of course Roddy also takes photos with me, and he listens to my ideas, so it’s really a family affair for without them, and you, there would be no blog! But I have enjoyed every second of this. It has been far more time consuming than I ever imagined, but I have, as a result, a far greater appreciation of everything around us; there is so much I want to share and thanks to you all I have an audience to share it with. Thank you also to many other bloggers. When I started this, I had no idea how blogging really worked. I read blogs, I followed blogs, but I had never ventured into writing my own. I asked advice from several people and I was quite overwhelmed by how friendly people were; everyone was willing to help, point me in the right direction and teach me things I certainly did not know. I still have much to learn, but I’m getting there and I always welcome your ideas.

Anyway, to say ‘thank you’ I would like to give away, not one, but TWO original pieces of art. These are original pastels by my late mother-in-law, Margot Rampton.  She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art in London and exhibited in London, Paris and Provence. Later in life she settled in the Channel Islands where she held many local exhibitions and supported many local charities. Very rarely does her work come up for sale nowadays, but occasionally it does and an original is sold from £300 ($450) upwards. Many local Channel Island shops sell limited edition prints for £25 to £50. But my giveaways are NOT limited editions –  they are ORIGINAL signed and dated pieces of art. She lived for many years in Provence, she adored France and spent a lot of time in the Charente Maritime. The two pieces are from her portfolio of French scenes, many of which hang on our walls, one measures 22″ x 16″ (56cms x 41cms)  and the other 17.5″ x 14″ (45cms x 36cms).

All you have to do to win one here on the blog is (1) subscribe and follow (if you do not already), and (2) leave a comment telling me that you’re either already following, or you are a new follower. If you would like more chances to enter then you can invite a friend to follow; if they subscribe and leave a comment telling me they have done so and also telling me who invited them, then you will get a second entry and they will also get an entry themselves of course…..I hope this is fairly simple.  You can also enter on Facebook and Instagram and I have details on both of my pages, so hop on over there and enter again if you want to and double, treble or quadruple your chances!

You  have until next Wednesday morning, the 2nd December to enter.  We will then do this the old fashioned way and the children and I will write down everyone’s name (for in France there is no school on Wednesday afternoons), we will put those names in a hat and draw out two lucky winners and I will announce the winners later in the day, a week from today, so I can get these wrapped and mailed out to the two winners to arrive in plenty of time before Christmas. They are a thank you present, a Holiday present, or a Christmas present from me to you and it’s open to absolutely everyone, everywhere.

Finally whilst you ponder which one you would like to win, I once again hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving has a wonderfully happy day. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in either France or England, but I am still extremely thankful to my wonderful family, my husband and best friend of 20 years and our incredible five children who make me laugh and smile every day. And again a huge, heartfelt thank you to you, for your support and following and I look forward to another fabulous year sharing our French lifestyle.  Susan xxx




  1. Hello. I receive your blog via email and would love to win one of these beautiful paintings! Thank you, Elaine

    1. Hi Liz, I have never been to the Alsace, I have read so much about it, it sounds so beautiful and it is somewhere I really want to visit with the children at Christmas, if not this year then next 🙂

  2. Sorry, don’t know if my previous comment posted…So I’m enjoying your blog from Alsace — that way I learn about a region I haven’t visited yet.

  3. I have been subscribed for quite a while now and love “traveling” with you. Your mother’s paintings are lovely and I could not venture to choose which I prefer. Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving, even though it is not celebrated in France. Maybe start a new holiday there as France could use something special right now. My best regards to you and your family as the holiday season begins.

    1. Hi Holly, I think the Thanksgiving holiday is actually a lovely idea, our daughter is cooking for all her friends at University in the UK today, even though she too is British, but she has friends there who are American and so they are all joining in together!

  4. I’ve enjoyed your posts and photos! I’d love to be entered in the drawing, and I have just the spot to hang either beautiful painting in our little cottage in the Redwood Forest in the Santa Cruz, CA mountains,

  5. I am following your blog ! I would love to win ! I will be nice and ” share “…..even though that decreases my chance of winning !( I have ” shared ” you before ! )

  6. Wonderful pictures – and thank you for all your work too. It’s been great fun reading about your adventures. I have to ask, when is the book coming out ????

  7. I love your blog! The paintings are beautiful. What a sweet thoughtful gift on your part. Blessings to you and your family this holiday season

  8. Susan, these paintings are beautiful and anyone would be a very lucky person to win one. I have only found your blog recently and really enjoy reading all about your time in France. Will share for you on my facebook page. Keep up the good work. Sacha xx

  9. I have really enjoyed your well-written and interesting blog since its very first post. Great to see a different part of France highlighted and always something new to learn. Go girl!
    The paintings are very pretty and a beautifully original giveaway too. Creativity on all fronts. Lovely.

    1. Hi Tricia, thank you so much, I always try to be original and not follow the crowds!!! As I have said, thanks to the blog I am learning much about this area too so in short we are all happy 🙂

  10. I so enjoy following your blog! Was in Paris for a short time this year and can’t wait to return! What beautiful paintings…would look amazing on my wall. Prayers for peace this Thanksgiving from Plymouth Mass!

    1. Hi Gail, thank you so much, I am glad you enjoyed Paris and next time try and head over this way! I will certainly make sure your name is in the hat. I hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving in Massachusetts 🙂

  11. I always did like Margots paintings. I hope they go to someone who deserves it.
    Happy Christmas and keep up the writing.

    1. Hi Roger, thank you. She certainly was very talented, and had so many different styles from different countries, I have to admit the French ones and the Cyprus ones are my favourites. Lots of love to all the family x

  12. These paintings are beautiul and anyone would be proud to have them in their home. I so very much enjoy your stories particularly about your family. Your blog is myy favorite.

  13. These paintings are beautiul and anyone would be proud to have them in their home. I so very much enjoy your stories particularly about your family. Your blog is among my favorite. You have such a lovely and easy writing style which is a pleasure to read, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas

    1. Hi Mary, thank you so much, I am so glad you enjoy reading the blog and following along with our adventures. Your name will of course be in the hat, good luck and a very Happy Christmas to you too 🙂

  14. Greetings this Thanksgiving Day! I have been loyally following each and every post for several months, and although I’ve only visited Paris twice (2012 and 2014), I love to read about life in the French countryside. Have added my name to your subscription list. Would be delighted to win either of the paintings. Your late mother-in-law was a wonderful artist. My living room is currently getting a makeover, so a French painting would add an outstanding new focal point. All my best for the holiday season!

    1. Hi Judy, Thank you for following along and I am so happy you enjoy reading about life in the country here, it is certainly different from a Parisian lifestyle, but we love it. I shall make sure your name is entered into the hat, good luck and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you

    1. Hi Christina, thank you and so happy you have been following along for a while, I shall certainly make sure your name is entered in to the hat and I wish you a very Happy Holidays

  15. I have beem following your blog for over a year. In addition to reading it, after posting a comment you often respond. It is wonderful to k own that you take the time to read our thoughts.

    1. Hi, I promise you I read every single comment, they mean so much to me. I try always to reply to every single one, if one slips through the net, then it is my mistake, but it is only in the reply, for I read every one. For me the comments are just as important as the blog itself, they are very much a part of it. I know you comment on nearly every blog and thank you so much for your fabulous support 🙂

  16. Religiously follow your blog, it is my secret treat on a Thursday afternoon at work.

    We holidayed for a number of years not far from you down at Les Mathes so I particularly liked your blog on Mornac-sur-Seudre and it was even more special that I knew exactly which shop Roddy was talking about with the shrunken heads etc.

    Keep up the good work, it really does make a difference to the rest of us.

    1. Hi Eugene, thank you so much. How much fun you must have knowing exactly where I am writing about, I love the pretty village of Mornac, now that we have found it, and that shop, oh my goodness what an incredible treasure trove. We went back with friends visiting from Florida, it was incredible, I have never been anywhere quite like it before! I love having you following along and thank you

        1. Hi Eugene, thank you so much, I have to admit, I have sat down two evenings running now with a lovely glass of French red wine and read every single message. They have all been such fabulous messages, how could I not reply! This blog gives me so much pleasure because I am simply amazed that so many people enjoy it! Have to keep on writing and reading! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  17. I love reading your blog and following your little day trips, like the one to the island nearby after your daughter had her tennis lesson earlier that day……..and , of course, your dogs & other critters. I just found out that I might have a half sister in France, long story during WW2, so now I have an even stronger attachment to France. I will need to make a few trips to research this news.
    we are busy today in the States, cooking turkeys. Wish I could invite you to dinner! have a Blessed and Happy Day on our Thanksgiving Day! Patty

    1. Hi Patty, wow, imagine discovering a half sister on the other side of the world, do research it, how wonderful and if it means you get to come over and visit, so much the better. I would have loved to join your Thanksgiving dinner, thanks for asking! Hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂

  18. Your lovely blog really feeds my desire to go to France! Thank you for bring a bit of France to me every week!

  19. Thank-you so much Susan for all your wonderful posts & photos. Also, Roddy (how is his foot now?) and your childrens’ input. As others have said, it’s lovely to hear about another part of our beloved France. The paintings look wonderful so either would be much appreciated. Félicitations & bonne chance pour le futur.

  20. I love your blog and follow it from this summer. I live a little way up north along the coast of The Netherlands in a small town:like you i love the see, the dunes and a relaxed life.

  21. I love your writing and how it makes me feel as though I am right there along with your family having adventures so different than my urban life. You’ve made me want to visit that part of France some day soon.
    Your Mother-in-law’s paintings are so mood evoking – I could look at them every day and count my blessings

    1. Hi Bonnie, Thank you and I really do hope you do get to South West France at some stage, it is such a beautiful area. I will most certainly make sure you name is in the hat and good luck!

  22. I believe I must have been one of your first “followers” but didn’t realize it as I had no idea, until this blog, that you had just started “blogging” a year ago. You are certainly NO novice and I find you blogs so interesting. I can’t wait to get back to your lovely country as it has been too many years. You are fortunate to have had such a talented mother-in-law. Her paintings are exquisite and so remind me of the lovely villages and seascapes we enjoyed. Thank you and I continue to pray for Paris and your fellow countrymen/women! Blessings to you and your family!

  23. Already a devout follower!!!!!!!!!!
    These paintings are toooooooooooooo GORGEOUS! How incredibly generous of you to offer these. SO, so special.

  24. What a wonderful offer. I have enjoyed your blog for several months. Your articles and pictures are always interesting. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
    Nina in Michigan

    1. I absolutely love following your blog! You are living the life I dream of! One day…
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire family and may the holidays be filled with good health, laughter and lotsa love!

  25. I have been following your blog since returning from a trip to France in September 2014. I would be thrilled to hang one of those lovely paintings in my home. Happy holidays!

  26. I’m not sure who gets more enjoyment from your blogs, the writer or the readers! It certainly has been satisfying to read along with your adventures and the change of seasons. It definitely helps in not missing you and the family quite as much, since I can see what you’ve been up to. The location of the paintings is perfect where you photographed them, and I think they should stay there!
    Xoxo, Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy, Thank you so much, of course we all miss you so much too and so hope you will come and visit. Alas, I had to remove a mirror to put the paintings where they are so they would make a good photo, so they can’t stay there and someone has to win them!!! Hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving xxx

  27. I look forward to each of your posts (I am an enthusiastic subscriber). My family has rented a house in Provence next summer and look forward to experiencing French life first -hand. Thank you for sharing with so many of us.

    1. Hi Kelly, thank you. How exciting that you are coming to France next summer. Provence is extremely beautiful, you will not be disappointed and I hope you have a fantastic holiday, try and get away from the tourist traps and mix with the locals!

  28. The paintings are lovely. Either one would be a treasure. We have been to France man y times and are looking forward to visiting again soon.

    Really enjoy your blog describing your French life.

  29. Congratulations on your blog. I started mine sometime ago and have friends from all over the world,some of which I have been lucky enough to meet. Love the paintings, and yes I do follow you though I am lazy about commenting! Sorry. Diane.

  30. What a beautiful prize. I love your blog. It always makes me happy to read it, and your photographs are lovely. They give such a wonderful insighf into your life, and one can imagine being right there with you. I am definately thankful for the joy you bring to your readers around the world.

  31. Thankyou so much for your blog. I look forward with eager anticipation for the treat of reading it when it appears in my inbox. And what a generous giveaway!

    Your photos are beautifully framed. Your exceptional writing makes me feel I am right alongside you.

  32. Susan, New to your blog, but have talked to you on Facebook😉 How generous of you to share your mother-in-law’s work. I am an art lover & would love a chance to win.

  33. Oh my goodness, you are so wonderful to share your precious artwork with us! I have a friend who forwarded your posts to me for awhile—she knew I would love your stories of Bentley (and now Evie) and all your sweet children. I recently thought I would follow your blog myself and believe me, I don’t “click” the link to follow many writers often at all… But your writing resonated with me from the first time I read about Bentley! Reading your posts are much the same as finding a letter in the post box from a friend living faraway and sharing her adventures with me, with photos too! You are beyond kind to let us peek in on your life in France—-a lovely, dreamy place many of us wish we could live or at least, visit! Thanks again

    1. Hi Christi, thank you so much for your wonderful message, I am so glad you did click follow! Bentley and Evie are such characters, in fact I adore all our animals, they each have their own personality and it is such fun to be able to share them with people. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  34. Hi, I am relatively new to your blog. I love all the pictures and stories you share! One of your mother-in-law’s paintings would have a happy place in my home!
    Thank you! Katie

  35. Thank you for the opportunity to win such a lovely prize. I found your blog via Sharon Santoni’s blog early this year and am a new subscriber . I really enjoy reading about your wonderful adventures and seeing such great photos of your region of France. You are making wonderful memories for your family and thank you for sharing with your E-friends too. Best wishes from steamy Queensland , Australia, from Amanda

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for your comments and I am so glad you are following along. I have visited Queensland more than once and love it, so it may be lovely here but it is also lovely where you are! Have a great hot summer weekend, whilst we are chilly and wet!!!

  36. I am so glad you decided to blog because I have enjoyed every one. I have never been to France so this blog has been a treat to me. I love French decor….and the French paintings. Thanks again for your blog!
    Reading from the United States of North Carolina

  37. Love reading your blog & learning so much about your life in France. It has been years since I visited your beautiful country.
    The paintings are treasures & would love to win one!

    1. Hi Kathleen, thank you, I am so glad you enjoy receiving the blog in your inbox and thanks for following along. I hope you have a lovely weekend and a very happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  38. How very generous of you to offer the paintings. I love France, so reading your blog has kept me feeling in touch with that beautiful country. Thank you for writing such interesting pieces about your life there.

  39. Hello Susan Just seen this on Instagram. But having read here that they are by your late mother-in-law, I am amazed. Not only at how lovely they are, how atmospheric, but at yours and Roddy’s generosity in giving them away as a thank you. What a lovely thing to do. I know that whoever the lucky winners are, the paintings will be cherished for many reasons. They represent you, your family, your blog, your life in France which you share so generously with your readers and your late mother-in-law’s talent and love of France. So whatever the outcome for me, thank you. Marian, England

    1. Hi Marian, thank you so much and it is lovely to realise that so many people would truly cherish these paintings. It has been a fantastic response and I have been quite overwhelmed by the wonderful comments. Hope you have a lovely weekend and that it’s not too wet or cold! 🙂

  40. Well..your blog is the first one that I every commented on. As I type I am in your former area of France….the sunny South.

    Congratulations on a very special blog.


    1. Hi Ali, hope you are having a great time in the sunny south, from the sunny south west (well it was sunny today!) Have a lovely weekend, you are certainly in such a beautiful area with many happy memories for me 🙂

  41. Love both of these paintings and would be more than happy to display either in my home!! Love this blog – I have been following for a while now and really appreciate the time and effort it takes to post on a regular basis with such a busy lifestyle. Keep up the great work!!!

    1. Hi Patricia, thank you so much, it is hard work, but very rewarding thanks to all of my wonderful readers like yourself and it is great fun to share so much of our French life. Have a great weekend 🙂

  42. My apologies if this is a duplicate comment. I am a new follower and saw a post on FB from My French Country home which I follow sharing your blog and this giveaway. The paintings are beautiful and I look forward to following your posts.

  43. So excited to learn of your blog. I am a new subscriber (as of today) and look forward to getting to know you! Thank you for the opportunity to win one of these beautiful works of art!

  44. Hi,

    I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. Visiting France is on my bucket list and until I’m able to make that dream happen, your blog and pics make me feel like I’m there.

  45. Hi, Susan. I am a Francophile, and I swear I lived in France in a previous life. I am slowing in the process of decorating my home in a French Cottage style. I am also an artist, although I have yet to try pastels. We also collect fine art when we are financially able to do so. Both of the paintings are exquisite, but I am particularly drawn to the second one. My husband and I spent a week in Mougins, and that painting reminds me of that village. Congratulations on your blog, and I am so glad I found you!

    1. Hi Debra, I am so glad you found the blog too! Your cottage sounds as if it is going to be fabulous, there is something quite special about French style. I can quite see how the paintings remind you of Mougins, she painted a lot in Provence and here in the Charente Maritime. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  46. Hi,

    I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. Visiting France is on my bucket list. Until I can make that dream happen your blog and pics make me feel like I’m there.

    1. Hi, thank you and I am so glad you enjoy reading the blog. Follow your dream and make your visit happen! It’s a beautiful country with so many different places to visit. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Melinda, thank you for subscribing and welcome to my blog, great to have you following along. Of course, your name will be in the hat and good luck. I hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

  47. I enjoy your blog so much and love the your beautiful photographs! I would be honored to win one of your mother-in-law’s fabulous paintings and treasure it!!
    Please enter my name for the drawing. Thank you so much.

  48. Hi, I am a new subscriber and a lover of all things French! Love the paintings which would find a lovely spot In my home.

  49. Wow! How did I not know about your blog?! I am a new follower thanks to Sharon at “My French Country Home”! I have now subscribed to your blog via e-mail and Facebook and look forward to reading your past posts. The paintings that your late Mother-in-Law painted are absolutely fantastic; what a wonderful talent she possessed! Thank you for the opportunity to win and I am now so honored to be a subscriber and fan of your blog! Visiting France has long been a dream of mine and I do hope one day to finally have the good fortune to seeing your beautiful country!

    1. Hi Pat, firstly thank you for commenting and welcome to my blog, it is fantastic to have you now following along. I do hope you realise your dream and visit France one day, it is a beautiful country with so many different places to visit. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  50. Hello! New follower here! Being of French descent, I adore anything Francophile! I have been to Paris twice and to Provence a couple of years ago – loved it and hope to go again. Absolutely love these paintings, but especially love the one with orange roofs – so reminiscent of my travels there. How fortunate you are to live where you do and to have this wonderful artistic legacy!


  51. Ok, let’s try this again 🙂 I think my first post is floating in cyberspace!

    Being of French descent I adore everything Francophile (née LeToile). I have been to Paris twice and to Provence a couple of years ago – hope to go again soon! I love both of these paintings! So reminiscent of my time there, but have to confess I especially love the one with the reflections in the water :-). How fortunate you are to live where you do, and to have this artistic legacy! Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. Hi Wanda, thank you for messages and welcome to my blog, so happy to have you following along. I hope you do get to come back and visit again, especially as, as you say, you are of French descent, it’s a beautiful country. Have a lovely weekend:)

  52. I have been following your beautiful words and pictures and look forward to see what else you have for us. It would be wonderful to have a beautiful piece of art of your mother’s here in my home in SUMMERLIN, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA. Please continue your blog and thank you for allowing us to spend time with you.

  53. Been enjoying your blog for a few months. I got my husband into reading it as well. He is a huge fan too. Your area a France is stunning. Cheers

  54. How delightful to run across this on FB. The beautiful paintings caught my eye:) heart sigh…love the colors and the subjects. Gee, what a talented artist. Only something I could ever dream of doing. Although, I dabble here and there. I too am of French ancestry ( Alsace Lorraine, as it used to be called) France and everything French always calls. Looking forward to the blogs:) Happy Thanksgiving!! Lisa

  55. Dear Susan, I have been reading your charming blog for quite aahike and just now, finally signed up to get it in my email. What an honor it would be to actually own one of these exquisite original pastels by your late mother-in-law, Margot Rampton !! I have dreamed of going to France all my life. In the meanwhile, our home decor has been inspired by the elegant French aesthetic and I travel to France vicariously through the pictures and stories that you tell. Thank you for your kind generosity.

  56. I’ve followed you on Facebook for quite some time with great enjoyment and have just become a subscriber. I’ve recently moved to a new home in Florida and either one of these paintings would look beautiful in my library.

  57. I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile, and enjoying so much your stories about your ideal life in my favorite part of France. I also enjoyed your “scary” story for Halloween. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hi Judy, thank you and am so glad you enjoy following. The Halloween story was something a little different but great fun to write! I will be continuing with the same family at Christmas!

  58. Hello Susan,
    I check your Facebook page throughout the day to see what new photo(s) you have posted. I find them all enchanting sources of inspiration. I had not known about your blog but now will follow it. Like all others here, I would be thrilled to own one of these beautiful pastels – do you know where these scenes are? (My own ancestry is French wa back when.)

    Thank you for sharing so much with us.


    1. Hi Carolyn, thank you and great that you are now following the blog. I don’t know exactly where the paintings are. The first one I am quite sure is Provence, the second I believe may well be here in the Charente maritime, one of our Atlantic Islands , the Île de Ré the Île d’Oléron perhaps.

  59. Just discovered your blog and enjoying it so much! The pictures are both fabulous. I live in Louisiana where our culture is very close to the French and I have visited lovely Provence a few years ago. I was sad when I had to leave but have some great memories.

  60. What an awesome gift this would be!!! I read your blog often and am signing up to follow right now. I have admired your work for a while now and love reading about your French adventures. I’ve only been lucky enough to visit France once…..only wetting my appetite to go back for more. The paintings are so gorgeous!

  61. The paintings are lovely. I would be honored to hang either in my home. My day is brighter each time your blog appears in my in box. I have been a Francophile for years and am looking forward to taking my grandson and granddaughter to France in May.

  62. Hello from Texas! What a treat to find your blog! I’m looking forward to reading some of your past entries. These paintings are beautiful. What a treat to be able to own one of them!
    I’m off to begin reading!!

  63. I absolutely love your blog! Your stories are like tiny chapters in a wonderful ongoing novel. I have always dreamed of visiting the French countryside, and I can through your stories! We have had a peaceful Thanksgiving here in South Carolina. So much to be thankful for.

    1. Hi Sheran, thank you. I hope one day you will get to visit France, it’s such a beautiful country. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. You are right- we are all so lucky, with so much to be thankful for. I know I certainly am

  64. I am a follower…I am enchanted with all of the info and photos, both. It is a wonderful way to garner knowledge and also, to help plan for my trip to France!

    1. Hi Lee, thank you and glad you are gathering information for your trip to France. It is a beautiful country to visit, so many different places, try and get away from the tourist areas and off the beaten track a little.

  65. Hi!
    I follow you and my mom does as well. She told me about your blog and beautiful pictures. She absolutely loves reading all of your posts! I would love to win a painting for my mom!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen, thank you for following and I promise you name will be in the hat. How lovely that you are trying to win one for your mother. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, both of you 🙂

  66. Like many before me wrote, it is wonderful to follow you through stories and photos of the French countryside. And, I must say, how nice it would be to win one of the original paintings done by your mother-in-law! I would be honoured to hang it on one of my walls.

  67. Hello! I have just come across your blog today and I look forward to delving into past stories. My own family has been back in Australia now for a couple of years after a 3 1/2 year adventure near Annecy in the French Alps. I am sure that as I read I will be constantly nodding and smiling at similarly shared adventures. My own children at the time of arrival were 6, 9 and 12. Yes, a tricky age on one hand, but a perfect age on another. Very happy to share our experiences – or feel free to look me up at butyouareinfrancemadame.blogspot.com.
    Regards, Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine, I shall be sitting down and reading and no doubt emailing you! Sounds as if we have much in common. Ours were 8,9 12, 14 and 18 when we returned to France after four years away. The older ones spoke French the two youngest, scarcely a word. As you say in some way the age is difficult, in someways it was easy, they have literally loved every day here and I have never seen them so happy, so something is working!!!

      1. Thank-you for getting back to me. I’d love to chat more with you about your four years away before moving back to France. Motivations, reasons for leaving and then coming back etc. We returned to Australia at the time that my oldest daughter was in her last two years of school. Have I ever really re-settled? Probably not. In the words of a friend, who tried hard to console me before leaving France, “now, you will have two places to call home”. And. yes, this is true, but the pull to return to France is still very strong…so, I am curious to hear more of your story (perhaps it is in the blog?) as I am sure there will be resonance from my end.
        Regards, Catherine

        1. Hi Catherine, I think we have much in common, including the fact that our youngest was born in your continent, not Australia, but NZ. I am going to email you tomorrow and we can then chat further, susan

  68. I’m a regular reader and not much of a writer but in this case I want to let you know that I so enjoy your posts and pictures – love your pups. The pictures you are giving away are beautiful – such a talented mother-in-law you had! Oklahoma could really use a touch of France 🙂

  69. I found you today via My French Country Home. I am so excited and looking forward to reading your adventures. It has always been a dream of mine to visit. It is now also my daughters! So I am giving her a vintage leather suitcase for Christmas, for her to collect her books and treasures about France and our place to stash our vacation money! I am also furnishing my home with a French influence. I would certainly be honored if I were to be the recipient of one of the beautiful paintings. Thank you for the opportunity. I will be sharing your blog with my daughter!


    1. Hi Rachel, what a lovely gift for your daughter and what a fabulous place to keep all her French treasures. Follow your dream and I really do hope you both get to visit, it is such a beautiful country with so many different places to visit. Your name will definitely be in the hat and good luck! Fabulous to have you following and a big welcome – have a great week 🙂

  70. Hello, I a a new follower and I find your blog very interesting and well made.
    The giveaway is really fantastic ! Thank you ! claudiag

  71. The paintings, and your blog photos, are indeed beautiful. I am an artist these days (yay) and love all things French, so your writing and images brings me much happiness to vicariously enjoy your wonderful adventure in life and living.

  72. The paintings are both lovely. Thank you for sharing your life in France with us and allowing us to vicariously live our dream. I,and I’m sure I am not alone, am very jealous.

  73. I’m writing from the Midwest in the United States. I found your lovely blog by way of My French Country Home. I would like to enter the contest to win either one of the stunningly beautiful paintings…although I must admit, the village scene makes my heart pitter patter faster. Your mother-in-law was a wonderful artist and you are a wonderful blogger. Thank you for your generous spirit.

    1. Hi Brenda
      Thankyou so much and welcome to the blog, great to have you following along from the Midwest, an area I have never visited, but I hear is quite beautiful. Your name will be in the hat and the very best of luck 🙂

  74. I noticed your blog via your comment on Sharon Santoni’s, and I am so glad to have found you! I look forward to reading more. Thank you for the generous giveaway. This is my absolute favorite type of art!

    1. Hi, welcome to the blog and I am so happy to have you as a new follower. Your name will be in the hat for the draw tomorrow and good luck. I am very much looking forward to my second year of blogging. In the meantime wishing you a very Happy Holiday season, Susan

  75. I noticed your comment on Sharon Santoni’s blog and am so happy to have found your blog! I look forward to reading more. Thank you for the generous giveaway; this is my absolute favorite style of artwork!

  76. I have just found your lovely blog and subscribed. It would be great to win one of your very talented mother in laws pastels…. The last time I won something like this I was five and I won a yo yo…more years ago than I care to recall ( A hard days night by the Beatles was the new number one!!) I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

    1. Hi Suzie, welcome to the blog and great to have you following along. It’s funny you mention yo yo’s, our youngest won one the other day at a school event in the village hall, she played with it all day and actually got pretty good at it! Looking forward to another year of blogging and in the meantime wishing you a very Happy Christmas

  77. How lucky you are to have a collection of your mother-in-law’s beautiful paintings….she was a very talented lady! Both of the art pieces are lovely and I would be privileged to have either one hanging in my home. Living in Canada, we do not get to enjoy these types of scenes unless we travel. I really enjoy reading your blog for the content as well as your writing style that includes us all in many of your family adventures. Your photographs share the beauty of a far away country that I truly hope to visit one day!

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Cher, thank you so much and I would love to see a painting go to Canada, I have many distant relations in British Columbia, your name will be in the hat tomorrow and good luck! I really do hope you get to visit France one day, it is a beautiful country with so many different places to see.

  78. I am new to your blog,and it is a wonderful trip to France. My home in Southern California is very French and one of the paintings would look spectacular and would be greatly enjoyed.

    1. Hi Sally, firstly thank you for following and welcome to the blog. I am so excited that so many people from all over the world would like one of these paintings, my Mother in law would have truly been thrilled. Your name will be in the hat and good luck

  79. I am a new “official” follower but I have read your blog before and find it charming. The paintings are beautiful and whoever wins will be very lucky.

  80. As the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland says: “I’m late. I’m late for a very important date!” Never mind. I’m new here and discovered your lovely blog. Your Mother-in-law’s art work is simply gorgeous. I know they will be loved in a new home. Many years ago (1969) my parents treated us with a trip to Europe and France was very, very special for me. I cannot wait to catch up reading your blog!

    1. Hi Elisa, I am so glad you did find the blog and welcome, great to have you following along. France is indeed a beautiful country and I feel very fortunate to be able to live here and raise our children here. Hope you have a lovely weekend, best wishes Susan

  81. Hi again Susan, would be most interested in continuing to chat about your family making the decision to return to France after some time away. As I mentioned in my last comment, the return to Australia was difficult for my family and, although many would consider us lucky to have been able to live in our adopted country( as do we) it has left us open to not fully investing in the here and now.
    I”m not sure whether you found my blog Butyouareinfrancemadame – Hope that you enjoyed a browse if you did. Look forward to hearing back from you.
    Regards, Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine, I promise I will email you this week, I am actually looking forward to comparing notes and chatting. I have just been so incredibly busy with this tennis tournament. Tomorrow, I promise, susan

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