Bon Courage!

This March 24th at 7pm the Greenwich Arts Council will host an Evening Book Talk with the Authors of “Bon Courage” Ken McAdams and his wife Marian Bingham. The book tells the true and amusing story of a newly married couple, the authors, who go to France for a belated honeymoon. In true Hollywood style they fall in love with a beautiful old home in need of restoration. The book goes on to tell the trials and tribulations of fitting in to tightly knit French village life with humor, wit and sarcasm. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale, with all of the proceeds benefitting the Greenwich Arts Council. Admission to both the exhibition and talk are free and no advance reservations are required. For more information call 203.862.6750 or log on to

The French enjoy the best quality of life in Europe, according to the survey of ten leading European nations, which bases its verdict on France being top for longevity, early retirement, health spending and near the top in other important categories too. No wonder the main reasons people give for moving to France are: the countryside, the way of life, the comparative lack of delinquency, the weather…and the price of property. Over the past ten years there has been a surge of interest in renovating historical French properties, there are so many of them available. Of course dreamers imagine themselves living in an idyllic French little village fit for a movie set…the reality can be somewhat different. Often the village is far away from amenities and the townspeople have trouble adjusting to newcomers, but the dream lives on…

The trend for buying a dilapidated French home for renovation, whether a barn, villa, townhouse, cottage or chateau is still going strong. And for many retirees who are themselves professional tradesmen or very experienced and knowledgeable handymen, the lure is great. A great number of the older stone houses on the market are in need of work to put them in good order having either been left empty for years or just generally neglected. Many people who contemplate buying a property in France have already considered undertaking a restoration or renovation project to some degree. There is obviously a danger in buying property in a run-down condition but there are also great rewards!

For those of you interested in France, property renovation, learning about different cultures then the evening book talk on March 24th at the Greenwich Arts Council might be just the event for you…and as title of the book to be discussed indicates, renovating a historic property in France requires a lot of courage so, Bon Courage!

Victoria Baker of Greenwich is an opera singer. A winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists across the world (notably at Lincoln Center). She teaches piano & voice privately in Greenwich. For questions that deserve answers, and may be in print, please call (203) 531-7499 or send email to [email protected]


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