Dear Nouvellettre® Reader…
Some of you have been reading our Nouvellettres® since 1998, long before they were called “Nouvellettres®” and long before newsletters like this were called “blogs.” They started in 1998 as a communiqué for the members of our French-English conversation group, “Parler Parlor.” Parler Parlor doesn’t exist anymore, sadly, after 20 years of service to the Franco-Anglo community. It was how I learned French. But the Nouvellettres® are still going strong…three times a week, at least 50 weeks a year.
Mondays we publish a lifestyle piece, usually a recount of the weekend’s events. Wednesday we publish something more important—a specific message we want to get across. We call these “dedicated letters.” Thursday we publish French Property Insider—a Nouvellettre® devoted specifically to property topics and issues for those who want to move to France or invest in a property here.
When these began, I was one of about only five other bloggers writing about Paris and France. Remember, that word didn’t exist at the time. The Internet was an infant and we were just toddlers. There was so much to say! And the audience was hungry for more. Today there are thousands of bloggers about Paris and France…too many to even begin to count.
Of ours, I’m the only author. There are no guest or ghost writers—I write every single one of them myself and have no editors (that might show, especially to professional writers). I have such a strong need to write and express myself, that I had to create a business to support the habit! So, no matter how many times someone suggests that we could reduce the number of weekly missives, to say once a week instead, emphatically the answer is “NO!”
Very often we are approached by others who would like to contribute to the offerings, but again, I hold tight. This is my personal time with you when I can express my views and insights in my own voice. It is very important to me that these Nouvellettres® not be “about me”—but about how what I experience can benefit you. If you pay close attention, you’ll see that the “I’s” have been removed as much as possible—a way of expressing the same idea without it being my idea, but a way for you to see it through your own eyes.
For example, I could write: “I love a café crème and baguette for breakfast.” Or I could write: “A café crème and baguette for breakfast is a perfect way to start the day.”
Notice the difference? One is about me and the other is about you.
One very popular food and lifestyle blogger who sends out one newsletter on the first of every month, almost begins every single sentence with “I.” It’s the most used word in every piece he writes, surpassing other words that normally are repeated more often, such as “the,” “be,” “to” and “of.” It shows who he really cares about, “n’est-ce pas?”
As part of the goals when writing the Nouvellettres®, a point is made not to express my opinions, but express the facts in a way that encourage you to think for yourself. You don’t need to agree with me, but it’s important to open your mind to all sorts of possibilities. If I state an opinion, then it will be clarified as “in my opinion…” or “from my perspective…” It’s fascinating how often our readers inject their own thoughts into the text, distorting what was actually said. This happens most often when the message hits a political nerve…raw as they can be! If all is written is the name “Donald Trump,” then assumptions are immediately made by those who support him that what has been written is negative, even when it’s only factual. (But, let’s not get into that!)
To clarify what our Nouvellettres® are all about: life in France from the point of view of a long-time American-born resident…namely me. It is not for first-time tourists, but for those who wish to have a deeper understanding of what life in France is like for us expatriates. Clearly, I can’t speak for everyone, so take it for what it is, but as you may have noticed, I am not afraid to “tell it like it is,” whether you like it or not or touch on subjects that might elicit strong reactions.
This past week our list management folks issued an email to clean up the mailing list so that only those of you who really want to read them are getting them. A small portion of the list are still subscribed, but not bothering to open the newsletters. Normally our “open rate” is very high—meaning that a very large percentage of you readers out there actually bother to open them up. Whether you read or not is tough to know, except by the response mail we get…which is substantial.
We see every email or post we get and we take them all to heart. We’d love for you to participate by responding, offering up your own ideas and opinions, from which we learn a lot. And even happier if you pass these on to your friends to subscribe as well.
To subscribe, just click here.
To comment, just click at the bottom of every Nouvellettre® where it says
“Leave Adrian a comment on the blog.”
Or you can always email us at [email protected].
Special note: “Nouvellettres®” is a made-up French word that means “newsletter.” I cannot take credit for this myself; I have author Timothy Jay Smith to thank for it, but I did trademark it for safekeeping.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. As I wrote on Monday, I was interviewed by a journalist for The Local who was asking about the feasibility for retired Americans to move to Paris (or France, for that matter). “We are looking to advise our readers on the steps they should take before making the move,” he wrote in a preliminary email. Sam Bradpiece wasted no time, as the article appeared yesterday: “Top tips for Americans who want to retire to Paris.”
One must be a member of The Local to read the article in its entirety, but the subscription is well worth it for anyone wanting in-depth news and information on life in France, particularly from the expatriate point of view. I highly recommend subscribing to the free to their newsletter and then coughing up a mere €49.99 per year. It is a cornucopia of good information on which all of us expatriates rely.
P.P.S. Next week while I am visiting Los Angeles, I will be taking the week off from writing these Nouvellettres®, but we will reprint some memorable issues—from about the same time two years ago just before Covid-19 became our life. So, your inbox won’t be void of missives from me and the Adrian Leeds Group!