The Ceret Diaries: A rural life in France
By MJ Keevil
Bill and Marian rode into Ceret in the summer of 2007 and never left. After buying a huge ramshackle farmhouse in the hills above the town, they bought llamas, goats and chickens, started restoration work and taught yoga and chanting to the bemused locals. This is the story of their mistakes as well as the joys and pleasures of living in France.
What did I think of the Book?
How not to move to France…
The Ceret Diaries: A rural life in France by MJ Keevil is a beautiful memoir of a husband and wife who, after an impromptu cycle holiday, ended up buying a rather dilapidated old house in Ceret, France.
With only an O'Level in French between them, they are determined to make it work. Their experiences are portrayed in this delightfully funny, but at times incredibly moving story of how they not only renovated a house, but how they threw themselves into learning the customs and the culture of their new neighbours.
There is much humour in this book, especially when it involves llamas, goats, sheep, pigs, and of course the odd wild boar who thinks it is his right to tear up the garden. We also meet some wonderful eccentric people — from the men who fixed the roof, to the man who thinks he is going to be the next beg scriptwriter in Hollywood ~ if only he could write!
I loved the way that nothing seemed to faze this couple, they were met with so many disasters, but with humour, they pulled through.
The memoir is a very compelling read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I Highly Recommend.
Links For Purchase
About the author
MJ Keevil was born in Gillingham, Kent in 1960. Living in Cumbria for many years she worked as a freelance editor for BBC Books and other publishing companies. As well as being an avid reader she also became interested in yoga, finally qualifying as a yoga teacher with the Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation in 2008. Her interest in yoga as a practice and a philosophy took her to Chennai in India to study at the KHYF Mandiram. She also studied Vedic Chant and is qualified as a teacher of Vedic Chant. Her interests lie in investigating the link between mind, breath and body, and how this impacts on health.
Another abiding obsession for many years has been history in which she has a degree from the Open University. An interest in family history led to a desire to really understand the experiences of her grandparents during WW1 and this led to her first novel, Letting Go of Love.
She divides her time between Bexhill on Sea in East Sussed and Ceret in the south of France, where she enjoys the sunshine and walks her dog.