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Almost French

Category: Biography & Memoirs
ISBN:   9781776190485
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale: October 2020
List price: R240
Format: Paperback
eBook ISBN
9781776190492

Almost French: A Life of Fanfare and Faux Pas


Louis Jansen Vuuren


When the artist Louis Jansen van Vuuren first visited Paris he could never have imagined that he would end up owning a château in rural France. Almost French is the highly entertaining account of his induction over the past 21 years into all things French: snooty waiters, high-brow countesses, numerous faux pas with the French language and of course, several encounters with the infamous French bureaucracy.

Turning the dilapidated château into a boutique hotel with his life partner, Hardy Olivier, required patience and perseverance. Many lessons were learnt the hard way. Four heaters are not enough to heat an entire château and they will blow your power supply.

And practising your French is a must. On a visit to the butcher, Louis asked for “sheep socks” when he was after leg of lamb. Talk about butchering the lamb!

Louis interweaves the stories about his life in France with fascinating snippets of history, culture and tradition. A must for all Francophiles.


 

Louis Jansen van Vuuren is a well-known artist who has held over 50 exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. He was a lecturer at Stellenbosch University and Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town until he moved to France in the late 1990s. Louis and his life partner, Hardy, turned a château in Boussac, France, into a successful boutique hotel where they lived and worked for 21 years. In 2009 he and Hardy co-wrote Festive France / Feestelike Frankryk with Anet Pienaar-Vosloo. He has also contributed short stories to various anthologies and he is the author of Die storie van ’n huis and a volume of poetry, Tempermes.

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