HOME AND DRY IN FRANCE is the first of two books following the adventures of George and Donella East as they try to realise their dream of surviving a year living off the land and their wits in 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 - and trying to restore their financial fortunes. As they struggle to adapt to a very different life and culture, the Easts find themselves with an unofficial estate manager as Rene Ribet moves on to their land in his ancient caravan. Rene 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 Nehou, however, Rene Ribet is known as The Fox of Cotentin, notorious for his wily hare-brained schemes. A series of doomed projects ensues including bottling the waters of their polluted stream, crayfish farming and holding metal-detecting we
George East has enjoyed a spectacularly eclectic career path including stints as a pickled-onion manufacturer, gravedigger, radio producer, publican and professional bed tester. George is now dedicated to writing full-time and to devising increasingly elaborate money-making schemes.