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  • My house in France is on the route of two long distance walks. These walks are arranged in a way which means you don't need to do the whole thing in one go, you can do short circular sections.

    Every day in the summer, it seems, I see a few people with sticks and backpacks trekking past. They look at my house and the others in the hamlet. Every time this happens, I think how lucky I am to live here. For them, it's a refreshing glimpse of rural France. For me, it's my actual everyday life.

    Then there are the cyclists, who love our quiet roads.

    Occasionally the visitors stop for a chat. At these times I feel a little fraudulent. Ideally, I should be the original Helene - a lovely old lady sitting knitting outside her house, when not popping up to her garden to slaughter a rabbit for dinner.

    Instead I have BBC radio 4 playing on the internet radio and an un-French smell of curry drifting through the doorway...
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