Melanie Jones
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I started blogging when I lived in deepest rural France. My (now ex-) husband worked in the film and television industry. He was often away for long periods leaving me to bring up our two teenage children largely on my own with all the inherent difficulties that can bring, from the practical - I can swing an axe better than many men, to the social - no-one wants the single woman at the dinner table.

Since returning to the UK for the sake of my sanity, to wear fashionable clothes instead of wellies and a housecoat (OK, I never wore a housecoat) and have a social life I have blogged about all aspects of our new life in the West Country, a place I had never even visited before but which I have grown to love. The result is The River Cottage Diaries, not to be confused with the former home of a certain celebrity chef. Our River Cottage is set in the beautiful Wylye Valley in Wiltshire and in any case, I can't cook. My blog is sometimes political, sometimes funny, sometimes passionate but always, I hope, entertaining.

In 2013, my first book, L'Amour Actually, was published, based loosely on my life in France.

Entries by Melanie Jones

Say No to Atrocity Porn

(8) Comments | Posted 25 August 2014 | (20:42)

It has been over a week since James Foley was brutally murdered yet you don't need to go far to find a photo of him, clad in orange, in the last few moments of his life. A full and courageous life that ended in the most horrible way imaginable. His...

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10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know...

(0) Comments | Posted 16 February 2014 | (20:59)

1. You are NOT fat

You are just a shade short of 5'8 and a size 8. That is not fat. Not in my book, not in anyone's book. Our society has become obsessed with body image. I spent my teens thinking I was fat too. When I look at...

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In Praise of 'Old School' Women

(0) Comments | Posted 28 April 2012 | (00:07)

I sit on the committee of the Wylye Women WI Lite (like the traditional Women's Institute but aimed at younger women - think Mojitos and Mamma Mia rather than Jam and Jerusalem) and, more recently, on the committee of our local Rugby Club. The two couldn't be more different. Our...

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We'll Meat Again

(0) Comments | Posted 19 January 2012 | (09:11)

And so it was, a few months ago, that the girl uttered those words that every mother fears, well, every mother as disorganised as me at least. "Mum, I'm becoming a vegetarian."

My first thought wasn't "well I'm proud to have a daughter who knows her own mind and isn't...

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The End of the World is Nigh on Nigh...Again...Apparently

(2) Comments | Posted 17 October 2011 | (21:25)

Google 'when is the world going to end' and you will find many suggestions for the day that will we meet our maker. The most popular is 21st December 2012 which is a bit of a bummer because I won't make my birthday on 29th. Better not ask for any...

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Those Three Little Words I Love to Hate

(2) Comments | Posted 28 September 2011 | (13:43)

No, not those three little words, I mean the rather too oft quoted 'A survey found.....'. These days it seems almost impossible to go a whole day without reading these three little words. Surveys regularly seem to find that I feed my children convenience food (wrong, I cook from scratch...

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My Big Fat Family Holiday... I survived!

(0) Comments | Posted 2 September 2011 | (22:55)

Well, the big fat family holiday is over and we are all back in our respective homes in Kent, Sussex and Wiltshire. This is the first time I've ever holidayed in the UK, not entirely surprising for someone who had visited Australia before she ever went to Scotland. It's the...

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You'll always be my little (A) Star

(3) Comments | Posted 27 August 2011 | (09:38)

Thursday was GCSE results day. By 9am various parts of the media had whipped themselves up into a collective frenzy over the news that grades were higher than ever. They exams were 'worthless', there was 'no point' to them and of course the old favourite 'they were so much harder...

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My Big Fat Family Holiday

(0) Comments | Posted 22 August 2011 | (07:30)

I'm somewhere in Devon, I couldn't tell you where. I'm in a barn (a converted one thank goodness) with 6 adults, 5 teenagers, 3 dogs and lots of laminate flooring. Dogs and laminate flooring do not go together. The constant tapping of claws on floors is driving me slowly mad....

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