Sometimes I forget about that French adventure I had. It seems so long ago and so far away and then Bam! it comes rocketing back to me, sometimes in very fine form. If you’ve been hanging out here for a while or if you’ve read the goofy book, you’ll know about my fabulous neighbour who made living in rural France quite special, the fantastique Jean-Claude. JC divides his time between being the prince of panache in a small French town and the master of mayhem in Morocco. And, god love him, he carts my doodle collection wherever he goes.

Not long ago, while sipping cocktails in a Moroccan nightclub, he ran into a famous French musician and producer by the name of Patrick Derue. I imagine they chatted about the spectacles Patrick has put on in Vegas and France, everything from a Chinese version of Cirque du Soleil to gospel concerts, and then somehow, this unfolded…


“Patrick, you have to read this book, likely the finest piece of literature ever produced.” “Jean-Claude, how very intriguing. What’s it about?” “Well, I don’t really know, something about her arse, a humiliating debacle at a French pharmacy, cleaning toilets for a living and so on.” “Well now, who could resist that?”


“She’s Canadian, oh she spoke French like a dream, and her writing, well, it’s just so sophisticated. You know, come to think of it, a Canadian woman just won the Nobel Prize for literature, must be her, it’s that good.


“Oh now here’s the best chapter, the one about her neighbour who she first thinks is the local mobster, but he turns out to be a sweet and generous soul who leaves baskets of apples on her doorstep, brings her spices and slippers from Morocco and wine and honey from Corsica.”


What an extraordinary and compelling story Jean-Claude! I see a full on Vegas extravaganza. Think she’d be interested?” “Are you kidding? She’ll do whatever I say. She’s seen my gun collection, plus I’m her agent. For 15% I can get her to dance the Macarena in nothing but a pink tutu while reciting French poetry. Leave it all to me.”

ps I’m off to a friend’s country wedding many airplane hours away. I’m going rogue (sans computer) and I’ll be off the grid for about a week. Until we meet again, seek joy wherever and whenever you can and eat and drink your face off. It’s working pretty well for me.