The brilliantly entertaining true story of how one couple set out with a dream of moving to France - and got far more than they ever bargained for.
HOME & DRY IN NORMANDY is the first of two books following the adventures of George and Donella East as they try to realise their dream of living the good life in rural France. After months of property-hunting, the couple arrive at The Mill of the Flea, a dilapidated and long-abandoned eighteenth-century water mill set in ten acres of fields, woods, streams and mud in the heart of the magical Cotentin peninsula of Normandy. There, the Easts set about renovating the farmhouse and tiny mill cottage on a shoestring budget.
As they struggle to adapt to a very different life and culture, the Easts find themselves with an unofficial estate manager as Ren Ribet moves on to their land in his ancient caravan. Ren will, he says, help them learn the ways of the countryside while returning the mill to its former glory. To the innocents abroad he appears a godsend. To the locals in the nearby village of N hou, however, Ren Ribet is known as The Fox of Cotentin, notorious for his wily money-making schemes. Financial success eludes the couple but they gradually find their place amongst the characterful locals and develop an unlikely and enduring friendship with Ren . As the seasons pass, the couple finally realise that the real treasure has been around them all the time...
George East has enjoyed a spectacularly eclectic career path including stints as a pickled onion manufacturer, gravedigger, radio producer, publican and professional bed tester. Now dedicated to writing and to devising increasingly elaborate money-making schemes, George has settled in the Cotentin region of Normandy where he lives very happily with long-suffering wife Donella.