A tiny hamlet in the rural wine country of Burgundy seems an unlikely place for an international salon. Nevertheless, that’s what we have at Château de Balleure.
Take this week, for example. There is an artist visiting from Australia, Nelly Crawford. That’s her work you see in the photo above. Isn’t it lovely? (click here to see more of her paintings). Then there is an American named Iz who read about the château in this blog, and turned up for a couple of weeks of language immersion with Nicole and Pierre. Iz started learning French just a few years ago, on a lark, and now she’s a serious student (and she speaks very well, by the way. That's Iz on the right, with Nicole and me).
Since Nicole and Pierre started renting out guest rooms in the château a few years ago, there always seems to be someone fascinating around. They come for language classes, or to use it for a home base for travel, or sometimes they come just for the soothing balm of life in the French countryside. But even prior to taking visitors, there was always someone interesting about. Before retiring, Nicole worked with a language exchange program with students in Australia, the US, the UK, and Malta, so their friends hail from all over.
And then there is "Ecole Nicole"! Every week all the local expats gather. I counted seven nationalities at this week’s French conversation group. The global discussions are never dull, and hopefully, we learn a little French along the way! (At left, Nicole leads the conversation group in the salon at the château.)
So maybe there's a bit of irony in my writing a book on language learning, since my French is far from perfect. But write it I did with help from friends and readers, inspired by my own language journey, and now I'm releasing it in PAPERBACK.
Many thanks to all of my friends and readers who supported the eBook, How to Learn a New Language with a Used Brain. And to those who asked for a print copy, it's here! You can purchase either the ebook or the paperback at Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.uk, or any of the other Amazon sites. Pick one up for yourself, and don't forget your friends who are language students too. The eBook is $2.99, the paperback is $7.99 (6.25€ at Amazon.fr or £5.20 pounds at Amazon.co.uk).
And now I have a question for you, my dear readers and fellow Francophiles: Time for me to start the next book---any ideas for me? What sort of book would YOU be interested in?
OUR READER'S BLOGS: Our new friends Tracy and Ron, who found us by way of the blog and visited the château, have a great blog about their new life in Basel, Switzerland called Suddenly Swiss. Tracy wrote a post about their visit here, called "In Love with La Bourgogne", with some great photos, don't miss it!
PS MERCI for all the kind comments about my grandkids, and Kelly's book.