Updated: Jul 6, 2019
Ah! Yes! Exactly who are the 'Wives' that are The Very UnFrench Wives?
Time for an intro......!
I'm Donna of Humble Tart Kitchen fame, which was my first fumbling foray into food blogging and my first love. After a long illness, I closed her permanently around a year ago. I'm still very much alive and kicking though, and of course bothering you with my special brand of drama and food!
Oh, and I'm nearly at the end of celebrating my 50th year on this amazing planet! Half way there and all that!
It goes like this:
In the Spring of 2017 I founded A Very UnFrench Wife once, I knew for certain France would feature heavily in my life, like it or not. In other words, my chap decided we must absolutely buy a pile of bricks and woodworm in France and it would happen immediately!
Why the Un in UnFrench..........well! I was a Brit in France. I wanted it to be about not being French and discovering France as an alien!
My Other Half, never stays in one place long and so, I'm always on the move, living out of boxes but FRANCE is now considered home, at least it will be one day!
Our French Wreck had been signed for in June 2017, but I was by then living alone most of the time, in a very pretty outside, horrid inside, cold rural French farmhouse rental. The house seriously lacked any TLC and the boiler was an oil guzzling nightmare!
That garden though.......! Completely the best part and I still miss it when I think back now.
Our plans didn't quite go to plan. These things rarely do, eh!
My OH (Other Half) was in Saudi Arabia working to earn a crust, the kids were all in the UK. I ended up having a very serious operation in Paris and my recovery was....... tough, long and lonely and I needed a community to help, so just as I had built a community around food, I built A Very UnFrench Wife, which as it happens turned out to be a lot of folks cuppa tea!
Seems I wasn't the only one needing a friend, eh!
Lots of medical drama followed, and eventually in early 2018 I left France. The reason I left was fairly straightforward really. The one year lease on the country house had run out, plus the owner wanted the house back but we hadn't begun the renovation of our place because of my poor health! Oops! Then I found it next to impossible to find a decent short term rental. I ended up staying a few more months in a really rubbish gite, but eventually decided to return to the UK for a while, to take stock and regroup my family.
At the time I really felt leaving France was forever......! There's a saying somewhere that says 'you can't hope to recover in the place you got sick!' I totally agree!
Back at A Very UnFrench Wife HQ, Clare had joined me in the Summer of 2017 and was happily blogging away. I realised, she could most definitely be a good replacement for me! The rest, as they say, is history. Clare ran the show for a year before realising there was still something missing?
...and so The Very UnFrench Wives are born anew, leaving room for a little upgrade, reinvention and a bit of future proofing!
Clare, is 46 and the other half of The Very UnFrench Wives. She is an avid gardener, wife to Martin, step mother to Joe, Jamie and Tom, step grandma to 3 boys, a doggy rescuer, Qi Gong instructor, nature lover, energy healer, Reiki teacher and France Lifestyle blogger! She lives in Vienne, France, having moved in 2017 from Leicestershire.
I know right! There is never a dull moment at chez Hill that's for sure!
She's an all round smart, clever, lovely lady!
I am a published food writer, lifestyle blogger, budding novelist, avid traveller, fiction writer, lover of nature, dog and human mamma, entertainer, gluten free home cook, beautician and builder of online communities. Blah, blah, blah...... Our French Wreck lives, a currently, lonely, empty, mouldy life in Mayenne, France, poor thing!
I am currently living in Toronto, trying to make my way back home. I won't lie, it's taken me two years to think of France as home....!
Clare and her retired lawyer, husband and French teacher, Martin, (sometimes referred to as Mr Quite French) have already embarked on their long term French renovation. They are a few years ahead of us but we do aim to catch up!
The Hill's purchased their French home in 2007, after spending the best part of 6 years exploring France and trying different regions on for size! In 2010 they added some much needed extra land to their French Dream, doubling the size of the plot, and Clare's future workload in the garden!
Whilst on the other hand, we, him and I we, have just received our architects plans and await planning permission for the big rebuild! Of course we also need to rob several banks for the renovation finance?
It's all exciting stuff, right?
We are both chateaux, history, art, music, crafting lovers, wine drinkers and very good friends and that helps us with all this, immensely. We aren't afraid of long hours, hard work and with the help of some lovely admin and bloggers, we are happily making friends far and wide across the globe.
One thing we don't/won't do is dress it up, gloss over the tough bits, or hide our real selves from you our lovely, loyal fans. We will however, dress up, pop on heels and lippy, grab a glass of fizz and join you at your favourite bar, beside you and your pool and or attend the opening of an envelope! Even if only in online spirit!
We've got your back!
Yes! We will be your biggest supporters during your French adventure, even if it's just a little twinkle in your eye right now! We get you!
So with our delightful combination of Yorkshire and Leicestershire charm and chat, we are together:
'The Very UnFrench Wives'
Along the way we'd like to introduce you to other peoples French stories and I will be throwing in some recipes to help you entertain those guests!
We will have a members chat area, a french living forum, so you can easily access help or just chat about your interests with like minded folks! There will be a guest blog area. Many new categories such as home and gardens, interiors, health and beauty to name a few. Room for many an expert, professional guests to blog about what they know best.
We will be building on our 25,000 strong online community, hopefully showing you the best of what the Expats living in France have to offer.
Yes, this is our French Adventure and we hope you'll join us in the search for La Vie Lente.....The Slow Life?
Bonne chance everyone!
Donna & Clare
'Adventure to where you truly belong'