At home in the Pays d'Oc by Patricia Feinberg Stoner

At home in the Pays d OcPatricia and her husband Patrick became accidental expatriates on Friday 18th July 2003.

 

It was just another hot, sleepy day in the Languedoc village of Morbignan-la-Crèbe. Then a small brown and white Brittany spaniel walked into their holiday home, and turned their lives upside down forever.

They never meant to keep the dog. "Just for tonight," said Patrick. "We will take her to the animal shelter tomorrow." It never happened. They spent the weekend getting to know and love the little creature, who looked at them so appealingly with big brown eyes, and wagged her absurd stump of a tail every time they spoke to her.

On the Monday her owner turned up, alerted by the Mairie. They could have handed her over. Instead Patricia found herself saying: "We like your dog, Monsieur. May we keep her?"

It was the start of what would be four years as Morbignanglais, as they settled into life as permanent residents of the village. At Home in the Pays d’Oc is about their lives in Morbignan, the neighbours who soon became friends, the parties and the vendanges and the battles with French bureaucracy.

It is the story of some of their bizarre and sometimes hilarious encounters: the Velcro bird, the builder in carpet slippers, the neighbour who cut the phone wires, the clock that clacked, the elusive carpenter who really did have to go to a funeral.

 

 

Patricia Feinberg StonerPatricia Feinberg Stoner is a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist. For four years she and her husband lived in a small village in the Languedoc, fictionalised in this book as Morbignan la Crèbe.

She spends much of her time writing short stories and comic verses, and is a member of the Arun Scribes creative writing group. Her first book, Paw Prints in the Butter, is a collection of humorous poems about cats, and is sold in aid of a local animal charity.

Patricia welcomes visitors to her Facebook page (Paw Prints in the Butter) and to her blog: www.paw-prints-in-the-butter.com