Turn Mill, Turn

The Story of an Anglo’s Attempt to Restore a Mill in Southwestern France

by Alan J. Yates



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 3/10/2011

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 152
ISBN : 9781426959042

About the Book

Turn, Mill, Turn recounts the cautionary tale of author Alan J. Yates’s bid to restore a mill in southwestern France. We all have our dreams—our castles in the sky. Some of them have been harbored for a long time in the deepest recesses of the soul. Most of these dreams may never be fulfilled. During the long, cold Canadian winters, Yates dreamed of resting his weary bones in a sleepy little village in southwestern France. He longed to spend his retirement writing in a restored water mill, inspired by Schubert Lieder and romantic literature. Fluent in French after living for two decades in Quebec, Yates set out to realize his dream. He expected to blend seamlessly into French rural culture. But things don’t always go as planned, and his long-pursued dream turned into a nightmare of bureaucracy, escalating costs, outrageous local characters, gossip-mongering, and outright bigotry. What should have had all the makings of an enchanting Year in Provence turned into a bitter, yet hilarious introduction to French rural life closer to a contemporary but outsider’s version of Chevalier’s classic satire on French village life, Clochemerle-les-Bains.

About the Author

Alan J. Yates was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland but moved to Canada in his late teens to embark on a career in journalism and broadcasting that would span more than three decades, most of it in news and documentary programming with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.He also pursued an academic career in parallel, with two graduate degrees from McGill University in Montreal and taught Communications at the University of Ottawa.His doctoral dissertation was on the radio plays of the late Canadian author, W.O. Mitchell and was released in a published version by Trafford. His first novel, set in Scotland, "Figs of the Imagination," was also published by Trafford. After his retirement, he moved temporarily to Southwestern France, where he attempted to restore an old mill as a retirement home and B & B. The challenges he faced while both working on the mill and trying to integrate into French rural life and society are chronicled in "Turn Mill, Turn. Yates currently lives and continues to write for pleasure, in Ottawa, Canada, with his wife, Carla Curran.