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So, I haven’t posted anything since summer. It’s been a busy autumn, and a demanding year. Lots of things are ending, and I am really looking forward to 2017, and to new beginnings! We’ll spend a lot more time in France, for sure, and I cannot wait to continue my blog with interesting little snippets of stories from our area (as well as from other areas of France, too).

It’s a chilly new year’s eve here in northern Deux-Sèvres, every thing is veiled in a thick, white fog, and the frost covers cobwebs, blackberry bushes, as well as our garden tables and trees in our “secret garden”. So beautiful!

blackberries   secret-garden

And tomorrow, on January 1st, our administrative region, Nouvelle-Acquitaine celebrates its first anniversary. It is the largest administrative region in France.

“From a cultural point of view, the new region is one of the main constituent parts of Southern France (“Midi de la France”), marked by Basque, Occitan and Oïl (Poitevin and Saintongeais) cultures. Historically, it is the “indirect successor” to the medieval Aquitaine, and extends over a large part of the former Duchy of Eleanor of Aquitaine.” (Source Wikipedia)

I look forward to writing more from our lovely, mythical region. But for now, I’d like to share a local blog post on legends and ghost stories from the Marais Poitevin with you (in French, mind you). It is based on author Louis Perceau’s (1883-1942) posthumously published collection, Contes de la Pigouille, éditions du Marais, 1967, which contains 20 stories collected and written down between 1916 and 1920. The gorgeous Marais Poitevin area is situated right north/north-east of La Rochelle and well worth a visit!

Happy New Year & welcome back to our Discover Secret France blog in 2017!

Hanne & Jan

Sources & useful links:


Map of the new region with its twelve départements, coloured according to the historical provinces as they existed until 1790. CC BY-SA 4.0