by Clare Jones


This morning all the inhabitants of Oundle, my new place of residence, woke up wondering if they had a problem with une chaudière en panne –‘a broken-down boiler’ but no, we were soon to discover by knocking on neighbours’ doors that the whole town is without gas. Somewhere underground there must be a problem with la canalisation de gaz – ‘the gas main’. There are two nice things about this event: one is that strangers are talking to each other in the shops and in the street as everyone tries to work out what is going on; the other is that I can wrap myself up in blankets on the settee with a book in my hand without feeling guilty. I love the French word s’emmitoufler – ‘to wrap up warmly’. Je me suis emmitouflée dans une couverture polaire – ‘I wrapped myself up warmly in a fleecy blanket’. We are not expecting our gas to be restored very soon, so I hope Oundle’s residents are all finding a way to keep warm.

A bientôt!


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About the author

Clare Jones was born in the North of England in 1960. She fell in love with the French language at the age of 11 and went on to study it to degree level at Leicester University, where she also became a qualified teacher. In 2011 Clare collaborated with Tamsin Edwards to produce an iPhone application, “Figure out French, Rouler un patin: to give a French kiss and other French expressions for leisure and health”. Though she now lives in England, Clare always has her nose in a French book and she surrounds herself by all things French. She is currently very busy teaching French as a private tutor and when she has the time, she writes a blog on the subject of the French language (click on the blog tab to read it). Clare enjoys tai-chi, swimming, and cycling in the local country park. She is also an enthusiastic member of her local community choir.

About the illustrator

Tamsin Edwards studied art at both Nene Art College, Northampton, and Derby School of Art during the early 1980s. Though well known for her atmospheric watercolour landscapes, Tamsin also creates quirky pen & wash illustrations, often portraying comic images of people and places. Tamsin has already collaborated with Clare Jones to produce an iPhone application. Past commissioned projects also include the children’s storybook ‘Tales of Two Shires’ and a book of poetic verses. As well as regularly exhibiting work and selling to clients around the world, Tamsin has also had several paintings published in an international magazine. To view further examples of her work or to buy original artwork from this book, please visit Tamsin can be contacted at

Author Photo

Illustrator Tamsin Edwards (left) and author Clare Jones (right)

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