Musician DAN JONES abandons a stable career in South Wales for family life in a sleepy French village. He battles technophobe fonctionnaires and The Speedo Police, yet shares his love of an environment where Health and Safety regulations support the school tradition of dangling fireworks into naked flames and where children are revered almost as much as red wine and offal. Having inadvertently acquired a petting zoo, he is driven to near-insanity by a goat and a rabbit. Dan exposes the macabre firefighters’ calendar, his village’s animatronic nativity scene and the glorious incompetence of The Hunt. Elderly neighbours teach la Famille Jones the wisdom of lunar gardening and septic tank management and Dan embraces the country practice of non-fatal mushroom gathering (as demonstrated by an eleven-year-old boy). En route, he learns when to kiss friends of all genders without attracting violent reproach, uncovers the hazards of wandering accent syndrome and reveals the folly of pretending to be French at boozy château weddings. Dan experiences the surreal world of European concert life and highlights how flippantly proposing to play at a French funeral can backfire. Extracting Goats… is the insider guide to a successful integration.
This book has a great deal of entertainment value but is let down by poor editing. Much of what has been written could have been condensed, or concatenated or simply structured in a less haphazard way. Additionally, if photos are required (a debatable point), then they should be of a high quality and a size in which the salient features are distinguishable. I would enjoy the book much more if it could be made to be less obviously self-published.
Lovely book about a family successfully integrating into a new community in rural France. I particularly enjoyed the humour and frustrations felt when dealing with the strange bureaucracy and the wonderful friendships and connections made when you choose to "dive" into life.