Welcome to Life on La Lune – a Journey Through Life in Southwest France

Welcome to Life on La Lune, my French life blog. “La lune” is French for the moon. This is the name of the lieu-dit (locality) in Southwest France where our 18th-century farmhouse is situated. The name almost certainly has nothing to do with the moon, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. We have lived here since 1997, and I’m a British writer and novelist.

Life on La Lune relates episodes from our French life, snippets about French history, culture and customs, and details of things happening in our area.

I try to tell it as it is and not to romanticise life in France. After so many years, je ne regrette rien, and I love living here, even if aspects of French life are still unfathomable.

I also love hearing about other people’s experiences of France, so do leave a comment underneath a post if you feel moved to do so. I always reply.

Life on La Lune now has a Facebook page. There, you’ll find additional photos, info and snippets about France that don’t fit on the blog. And you can comment on posts there, too, if you’re on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you there.

Sign up to Life on La Lune and receive an update when a new post is published. It’s completely free, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Your email address will never be publicly visible and you’ll never receive any spam from me. C’est promis !

Bonne continuation !


  1. Hi Vanessa, i found your blog while searching google for Cazelles, the hamlet where we grow our grapes. Cazelles is likely to soon be a grand cru, Cazelles Minervois, after 12 years of effort. Did you make it up here when you all stayed in Bize? Funny thing about your post on the subject of Cazelles, here we call them mazets or more often capitelles…I’ve never hear them called Cazelles. But it makes sense, little cases, little casas. See you up on our plateau again sometime! John of Clos du Gravillas (Minervois RDV Sur la Lune!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello John, thanks for your comment. We were last in Bize nearly 30 years ago! We didn’t make it to Cazelles at that time. Where we live now in France (since 1997) is about 250 km away from Bize, so I’m not surprised if there are different names among regions for the stone structures I described. Wishing you all the best with your wine.


      • Indeed, 30 years is a long time. Bize has changed little, except that the river has much less water in it and the pharmacie has moved out of the center! But there’s been big change in the vineyards since we bought our house in 1996. We’ve never been farther in your part of the world than Albi but will finally explore Cahors as our wholesalers in that part of the world are opening a wine bar in the Cahors Halles on April’s Fools Day. Can’t miss that. A bientot, John

        Liked by 1 person

        • A quick search shows that l’Oulibo is still there, but it looks more sophisticated than when we visited. We stayed two years running in a gîte just outside the village. Cahors is a lovely town, well worth spending time in. Saturday is market day, so it will be busy. Enjoy your visit.


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