Hilarity in my handbag

Patricia Feinberg Stoner is presenting an extract of her award winning book. ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ is the funniest book I have read this year: I am still recounting her anecdotes at dinner parties. Forget ‘Victoria’, someone should serialise this book for the Sunday night audience – we all need a laugh!

It is an honour to hand over to, the wordsmith, Patricia Feinberg Stoner. 

 

Dear readers,

I’m so pleased to be able to share At Home In the Pays d’Oc with you.  In this extract I’ve chosen the moment when, after a long search, my husband and I first set eyes on what was to become our home in the Languedoc.  It’s my abiding memory, even after 30 years, and I still feel the lift of excitement I felt that day.  I was sure then, and I am sure now, that when I first walked into the dusty, red-flagged kitchen, the house opened one eye and said ‘Well, you took your time getting here.’

Why read At Home in the Pays d’Oc?  Look at the state of the world!  If we are all going to hell in a handbag, then wouldn’t it be nice to have something light-hearted to offset the doom and gloom?   I hope this book will encourage everyone to follow their dream and see where it takes them.

I hope you enjoy this tale of our adventures, and that the book brings you something of the sunshine and fun and laughter that our sojourn in the Languedoc brought to us.

With all good wishes

Patricia Feinberg Stoner.

Extract:

Jean-Jacques, the estate agent, turned right, drove up a narrow street between ancient houses, turned the corner and stopped. We got out of the car. On the corner of the church square and a road so narrow you could have spanned it with outstretched arms, stood the ugliest house I had ever seen.

It was clearly old, very old. It was clearly cobbled together out of what had been two houses. It rose slab-fronted from the street, acres of decaying, yellowish crépis (plaster) bisected by sundry phone and electricity cables. A ridiculous stone staircase flanked by a stunted tree rose ungracefully to a pocket-handkerchief front terrace littered with debris and encrusted with cat droppings.

I stopped dead in my tracks. ‘Ohmigawd’ thought Himself to himself (as he told me later), ‘we’ve just bought a house.’

Why?  There were prettier houses. There were certainly prettier villages – Morbignan in those days was, to put it politely, a little run-down. What made me fall so immediately, so irrevocably in love with this house in this village?

Did I see possibilities in the tree?  In years to come it would grow so high that it could be seen on Google Earth.

Was I enchanted by the steps, crumbling and lichen-dappled though they were? Did I foresee their future when, cleaned and decorated with pots of scarlet geraniums, they would prompt visitors to exclaim ‘What a lovely house!’?

Who can tell?  All I can say is, the heart wants what the heart wants.

More about this ‘tale of accidental expatriates’…

This is the story of how a small brown and white spaniel turned the lives of two English holidaymakers upside down.

Patricia and her husband Patrick are spending the summer in their holiday home in the Languedoc village of Morbignan la Crèbe. One hot Friday afternoon Patrick walks in with the little dog, thinking she is a stray. They have no intention of keeping her.

‘Just for tonight,’ says Patrick. ‘We will take her to the animal shelter tomorrow.’ It never happens. They spend the weekend getting to know and love the little creature, who looks at them appealingly with big brown eyes, and wags her absurd stump of a tail every time they speak to her.

On the Monday her owner turns up, alerted by the Mairie. They could have handed her over. Instead Patricia finds herself saying: ‘We like your dog, Monsieur. May we keep her?’

It is the start of what will be four years as Morbignanglais, as they settle into life as permanent residents of the village. “At Home in the Pays d’Oc” is about their lives in Morbignan, the neighbours who soon become friends, the parties and the vendanges and the battles with French bureaucracy.

It is the story of some of their bizarre and sometimes hilarious encounters:  the Velcro bird, the builder in carpet slippers, the neighbour who cuts the phone wires, the clock that clacks, the elusive carpenter who really did have to go to a funeral.

At Home in the Pays d’Oc‘ has won a Five Star Book Award from One Stop Fiction.  Here is a flavour of the other reviews:

Part memoir, part travel book, wittily written and engaging, At Home in the Pays d’Oc is so much more than ‘how to live in a foreign country’.  Despite being penned anecdotally, it flows with the rhythm of a good novel. Ingenue Magazine

The author, Patricia, in this captivating book, takes the reader on a voyage of discovery, a celebration of the years she and her husband spent enjoying their French home.  Susan Keefe, Living in France

What I most admire about the couple’s story is their attitude to life in another country. (While Many expats are the “Little Englanders,” the Stoners make a real attempt to integrate into the social system of their adopted village.  Kathleen Lance, One Stop Fiction

Patricia is passionate about humour, food and writing; she loves all dogs and some people.  She has written: ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter: A Clowder of Comical Cats’ and ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’. Her writing is witty, entertaining and a joy to read.

Patricia is releasing her ‘Little Book of Rude Limericks’, on 15th November.

Read my review of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ or visit Patricia in my Chat Room.

Join Patricia’s blog for her latest news and mewsings.

paw-prints-in-the-butter.com

 

Please see all my  Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahahlin.com.

 

Peeking Inside the Book Blogger’s Bag

Dr Carol Cooper has interviewed me about blogging and writing. it was fun to be answering someone else’s questions for once. Read it here at:

Peeking Inside the Book Blogger’s Bag

 

 

I have sent this out again as the ‘re-blogging’ function didn’t work properly.

 

Wishing you lots of laughter

The Little Book of Rude Limericks

Patricia Feinberg Stoner

 

Patricia Feinberg Stoner wrote the funniest book that I have read this year, and now she has written The Little Book of Rude Limericks.  I can’t wait to read more from this author with a keen sense of the ridiculous.

Patricia Feinberg Stoner has been writing limericks since she was ten and she has now compiled The Little Book of Rude Limericks.  I am incredibly privileged to present an exclusive extract from The Little Book of Rude Limericks, prior to the publication on 15th November.  I insisted that the brilliant comedy genius, Patricia Feinberg Stoner, introduce her limericks to the readers.

Dear Readers,

I just love limericks!  There’s hardly an occasion that can’t be turned to humour with one of these ridiculous five-line verses.  I’ve been writing them ever since I discovered the wonderful complete Limerick Book edited by Langford Reed.  The result is ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’.  Most of them are naughty rather than really rude but – beware! – there are exceptions…

What I love about this verse form is that you can shoe-horn in the most outrageous and far-fetched rhymes (for example, elsewhere in the book I’ve rhymed Norwich with porridge and storage).  As the limericks in the book are set on both sides of the channel, I thought that Paris versus Paree would be a perfect example.

I hope you’ll find room for this little book in your handbag.  As Oscar Wilde nearly said, you should always have something amusing to read on the train.  And if you should feel tempted to try your hand at the limerick, do please share your verse with me on Facebook (Paw Prints in the Butter).

Wishing you laughter,

Patricia Feinberg Stoner

 

A giggle of limericks extract especially for Books in my Handbag

It’s all in the pronunciation!

Two young fellows who went on a spree

In the town that the French call Paree,

Have come home with a germ

That makes them both squirm

And burns quite a lot when they pee.

Or alternatively…

You may try, but you’ll never embarrass

An insouciant native of Paris.

If caught in flagrante

They smile and say: ‘Santé!

Quite impossible, really to harass

From the north of England…

A greedy young fellow from York

Was exceptionally fond of roast pork.

When he saw the dish come

He’d cry ‘Yummy, yum-yum!’

And excitedly flourish his fork.

to the south of France…

A cheerful young fellow named Trev

Went off for a romp in Lodève.

But he soon lost his smile

When he caught something vile

In a house of delight called Mon Rêve.

 

 

this little book of limericks – mostly naughty rather than downright rude (but there are exceptions!) – ranges far and wide.  Open it and learn how a knight-errant with a lisp can still command respect; how ladies on the autoroute don’t give their favours away for free, and how tajine is really only a posh word for stew.

Forget Christmas crackers and the tired jokes!  I suggest that you buy your guests a copy of The Rude Book of Limericks and enjoy a laughter battle as you search for the best limerick.  I have pre-ordered a copy of this book and will race to review this as quickly as I can.

Read my interview with Patricia to find out more about this wordsmith.

Read my review of At Home in Pays the d’Oc.

 

Patricia has also written a book of entertaining poetry about cats – Paw Prints in Butter.  An extract from this is coming soon.

Contacts for Patricia Feinberg Stoner
http://paw-prints-in-the-butter.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Paw-Prints-in-the-Butter-719210834795177/
Twitter:  @Perdisma 
All the cartoons in this post are by Bob Bond.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.