Sunday 5 April 2015

Giving birth to the "New Provincial Lady"

I guess all first lines are difficult and if some of some of them come fluently, others cause pains and labour. Due to shyness sometimes. Well, due to shyness in all cases when it comes to me!

And in this particular case, due to numerous causes of shyness.

First, I am French and here am I blogging in broken English like Princess Katherine to Henry Vth - not that she was blogging to him of cause, but merely speaking, and what a lovely scene that was in the film directed by Kenneth Branagh when he was playing to Emma Thompson's Katherine! - but I digress.

Here we go then: second, I digress a lot, and I don't feel bloggers should be digressing, not those I read anyway.

Third, I am taking the garments of The Provincial Lady and for who has read E.M. Delafield, there already must be a suspiscion that these garments will be far, far too large for me.

Well, so why do you do this, would ask me any normally constituted and sane human being?

In all humility and truth, I would answer:
  • because I fell in love with English when I was very young, and since then I have been thinking in English, reading in English, writing in English, speaking in English to myself, dreaming in English, bothering all friends and relatives with English, and eventually learning English;
  • because I have made friends who speak English, be they British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, from all the Commonwealth, and even from the United States of America (although there would be a lot to say about their own language(s));
  • because I feel the prick in my fingers - and not only my thumbs - to write and tell you about my life in "la Dordogne";

  • because "la Dordogne" is both international and terribly parochial and that makes the kind of blend the Provincial Lady would have loved - or Mrs Miniver - or Mrs Thirkell - or all these women who had to stay at home but would not be bound by the confines of home, and would talk to escape madness and routine and endless days becoming endless years.

So here are to be found a series of sketches and vignettes of provincial life in one of the most lovely area of France, and a diary of the small events of the daily life and big events of my "little family", including myself and my best friends - my books!


  1. I look forward to reading more, my dear friend.

    1. Fiona, this is so kind of you. It is a way of healing after the bad years I have had and it is also a way of finding some meaning in the life I live here. My choice would have been and would still be Paris, if only I could. Perhaps, writing will be a means to put a distance with the harsh reality.

  2. How exciting! I look forward to reading your blog, and I invite you also to read mine, which treats of similar themes. I think already, from the exchanges we have had on Facebook and through the Trollope Society, that you and I have some similar interests. I, too, like to write about books I've read, films and plays I have seen, art and museums I have visited, and all the little and big happenstances of everyday life. Like you, I am fond of gardens and all things that grow. I already have one Facebook friend who has started blogging about her life in the lovely Irish town of Wexford, and I very much love getting glimpses of how we are all so the same in our hearts and in our love for beauty and serenity, yet have such different exterior circumstances because we live in such geographically dissimilar places. I am thrilled to hear about life in "la Dordogne" from you, and perhaps you will like to read about the adventures and misadventures of a recently-transplanted Manhattanite who now has deer, coyotes and wild turkeys romping through her backyard. My blog is called "The Quill and I" - I look forward with great pleasure to reading yours, Camille. Incidentally, I am a great fan of the Provincial Lady's and I have all her books in hardcover!

    1. I shall certainly read with pleasure "The Quill and I". I am afraid I did not choose to be a "Provincial Lady" and I certainly did not choose to live in the Dordogne. Would circumstances have been otherwise, I would certainly have lived a very contented life in Paris and round the world. But it was not to happen. Writing in English puts some distance between reality and myself and the awkwardness of my adopted language will help show the life in this countryside. Thank you for your enthusiasm and I look forward to comments to later posts.