About the Haddock.

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My name is Helen Aurelius-Haddock and I have lived in the Poitou Charentes region of France since 2004.

I started this blog in 2008, and in this time I have written and published pieces (see below) and have actively contributed to a number of French lifestyle blogs and websites.

When we left our old home in Wales, I took my treasured old school desk that stood in the corner of our kitchen, where it had served us well for many family meals.

Here in France, it also sits in my kitchen, but it has a laptop on it, and this is where I write.
My kitchen has always been the centre of my home, so it seems logical for me to base my writing experiences there too.

In April 2013, I was welcomed as a full member of The Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

I am currently writing my first novel, which is a novel based on life in rural France.
Should it ever be published , I am confident none of my friends and family will ever speak to me again.

PUBLICATIONS (Examples)

Daily Telegraph. Living In France: Make Your Love Affair With The Country Last.

French Property News. Seasonal Shutdown

French Property News. How Not To Buy A House In France.

Green Living. The Circle Of Misse

Flavour Magazine. Riverford Farm.
Flavour Magazine. Interview with Clarissa Dickson – Wright.

Flavour Magazine. Interview with Matt Follas, Masterchef winner.

Flavour Magazine. Hugh Fearnley Whittinstall

ONLINE PIECES

This French Life – Domaine de la Gachere

This French Life. Preserving The Bounty From Your French Vegetable Garden.

Complete France

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26 thoughts on “About the Haddock.

  1. I am thrilled to be on your blog roll and also to be connected via your daughter, Holly,who did a stint at the Soil Association before she went to Flavour. Genius, eh?!

  2. Hi Helen,
    We have a maison secondaire on the border of 87,86,16 my husband Derek is from Abertillery so I was delighted to see you have family there. We love our little corner of France and hope to spend more time there when we eventually retire we also love food and cooking so am looking forward to trying out some of your recipes. I am reading this at half past midnight as I cannot sleep, so will catch up with the rest of your blog tomorrow.
    Best Wishes
    Gail

    • Small world – I am also from Abertillery – my Dad’s family all come from there – Wayne is the family name – quite a big clan of us
      I visit my aunt there once or twice a year, and my old family home in Cwmfelinfach.
      They say the world gets smaller as you get loder……..how true!
      I am getting motivated once again to write in my blog, as my daughter has asked me to write for a food magazine called flavour (LINK ON THE BLOG).
      Nice to hear from you

  3. I came across your blog and thought your bloggers might be interested to know that Hambleden Herbs are having a special 50% off sale of all their products in the Antony Worrall Thompson range ( http://www.hambledenherbs.com/awt/). What’s more if you put the code Blogger05 in the promotional code, they’ll take another 10% off. There are some lovely mixed herb grinders in the sale, vanilla and chocolate sugar, and lots more, not to mention some delicious recipes care of Paul Clerehugh of the famous Crooked Billet gastropub.

    Hambleden are a small, organic herb and tea company based in Wiltshire. They started as a family business about 25 years ago and many of their herbs come from exactly the same producers as when they first began.

    In particular, the Russian Tmin is really good and my kids seem to love it on just about everything – from crispy potato skins to chicken and even steak.

    Anyway, as a blogger myself (albeit of a very different kind), I know that you must get loads of emails so I’ll leave this one with you.

    Good luck with the blogging.

    Kind regards
    Suzanne

  4. Hi Helen!

    I help run the restaurant search site Urbanspoon and we’ve recently started covering London. I wanted to introduce you to the site.

    We pull together restaurant reviews from the newspaper critics (Evening Standard, Independent etc) as well as reviews from food bloggers. For example, here’s our page on Barrafina:

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/52/560905/restaurant/London/Barrafina-Soho

    One of the main things we’re trying to do is to help people find out what bloggers have to say about restaurants. I was wondering if you would be interested in showing your restaurant reviews on Urbanspoon when France is added or perhaps from when you return to the UK and visit any? Users will see a teaser of your review on our site, and we show a link to click through to your blog and read the full review.

    For instance, if you wanted to add a post on a meal at Tamarind, London, here’s a page that explains how it works:

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/e/restaurant_link/570649

    Thousands of new people will see your blog posts every month. Check out our blog leader-board for more details:

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/blogs/52/London.html

    In any case, I like your blog and I wanted to say hello! We’re just getting started in London — any feedback you have is much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Nehal
    http://www.urbanspoon.com

  5. We also have a maison secondaire in the 85 region (Vendee) and agree 100% with what is said. You speak to so many people who have burn their bridges in the UK and then wish they hadn’t done so. We downsized to a small property in the UK and had a bungalow built in the Vendee which means we can spend 6 months in either place. It is a wonderful life and have no regrets. Sorry but my family are from Chirk in North Wales!!

    • I am from South Wales………small world! I didn’t mention that on my “about” page of my blog – perhaps I should add it on?

  6. Hi
    I came across your blog via the Telegraph article. I live in Charente Maritime and agree with what you say about doing research before seeing an enormous ruin and falling in love with it… just look again in the middle of winter. Luckily for me I am realistic enough to have bought a modest place.
    I have been here 2 years (2 years in Carcassonne before that) and run a small veg box scheme… mainly because I grow far too much for my own needs. I don’t make a great deal of money doing it, but I love it so it makes it worthwhile. I give my customers recipes with the veg box some of my own and some from a site called ‘www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk’ – worth a look.
    As for my French it improves every day, and the more it improves the more I feel at home.
    I enjoyed reading your blog, and may pop in from time to time… good luck with life in France.
    Sarah

  7. Hi Helen

    Nice to come across you site.

    Having now lived in the P.-O. permanently for well over 5 years (after 16 years of 2nd home ownership) , I must say you are absolutely right. The first priority of anyone planning to live here is to master the basics of French. Without reasonable fluency you are sunk – though I would add that the French will bend over backwards to help you if they can see you are making an effort with their language.

    I write my own blogs in a series called Lives and Livelihoods in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Your readers can find them here:

    http://www.expatica.com/fr/common/search.html?phrase=Basil+Howitt

    Cheers
    Basil

  8. I visited your blog and I was wondering if I can recommend it. Although ours is not a humor website, we can all use a good laugh in this world where there are a lot of things not to laugh about. I am sure my visitors would appreciate websites like yours. Let me know if this is ok. Thanks for your time and take care.

  9. I’d like to personally invite you to join the CookEatShare Author network. On November 28th, 2009, I began indexing your posts and enabling CookEatShare.com visitors to find them. CookEatShare has had over 2.5 million unique visitors in 2009, and I think they will be interested in your content. Users are being guided to your actual blog, so this is a free way to increase page views and visitors to your site.

    Please contact me at mary@cookeatshare.com to get unique link to claim and customize your profile or request one at http://cookeatshare.com/featured-author.

  10. HiI came across your blog via the Telegraph article. I live in Charente Maritime and agree with what you say about doing research before seeing an enormous ruin and falling in love with it… just look again in the middle of winter. Luckily for me I am realistic enough to have bought a modest place.I have been here 2 years (2 years in Carcassonne before that) and run a small veg box scheme… mainly because I grow far too much for my own needs. I don’t make a great deal of money doing it, but I love it so it makes it worthwhile. I give my customers recipes with the veg box some of my own and some from a site called ‘www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk’ – worth a look.As for my French it improves every day, and the more it improves the more I feel at home.I enjoyed reading your blog, and may pop in from time to time… good luck with life in France.Sarah
    +1

  11. Hi Helen,

    Lovely blog! I am inquiring if you would be interested in exchanging links. My website is http://www.vansgifts.com and we’ve been in the Gift Basket business for 26 years. Our customers would appreciate a great French food blog to follow such as yours. We currently have a page rank of 4 on Google. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in.

    You can also check us out on Facebook and Twitter:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vans-Gifts/200468877941

    http://twitter.com/VansGifts

    I also went ahead and send you a friend request on Facebook.

    Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing from you soon!

    Victor Daguno
    Van’s Gifts
    vdaguno@vansgifts.com
    1.800-822.7538

  12. Hi Helen,

    I wanted to get in touch regarding a campaign we’re working on around Expats and was wondering if we could get in touch.

    I can’t find your email address or a contact form, could you drop me an email here if you’re interested please?

    hugo@thingswithwings.co.uk

    Kind regards,

  13. Dear Helen,

    I really enjoyed reading your fantastic blog and was wondering if you consider placing my link to your website.

    In case you are not already part of InterNations you are of course invited to join our network of selected members. If you are interested just let me know and I will send you a personal invitation link.

    I am looking forward to your response and would be happy to welcome you to our global expat community.

    Sincerely,

    Philipp von Plato

  14. Hi Helen

    Somewhere in a recent post you mentioned the wonderful Claudia Roden – a recipe from Arabesque for a tomato coulis or preserve (I presume) that you bottled and used in sauces and dips. I have a dog eared copy of Mediterranean Foods that I got as a bright young thing and years later, still use as a source of inspiration.

    I am in deepest darkest Charente and whilst I would kill to nip out to Waterstones in the Kings Road for a copy (via Peter Jones and The Gap bargain rail), sadly the only shops here are Super U and Gamme Vert….

    Could you very kindly send me the recipe or post it up on either SFN or your blog?

    Many thanks in culinary anticipation

    Nola

  15. Dear Helen,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in France, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

  16. Dear Helen,

    I contact you regarding my email below for an interview for ExpatFinder.com.
    I would like to know if you could complete the attached questionnaire. Like I told you previously, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website and this interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

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