Lovers of France and all things French, welcome !
Pascal and Isabella Inard are French Australians who love Australia, their adoptive country, and still love France more than ever. They invite you through their blog, books and crafts to enjoy the beauty and charm of France.
- Discover the book "Dear France, Sweet country of my childhood"
- Discover the novel "Web of Destinies", its food, its music" and its places
Amoureux de la France et de tout ce qui est Français, bienvenue !
Pascal et Isabelle Inard sont des Franco-Australiens qui aiment l'Australie, leur pays adoptif, et aiment toujours la France plus que jamais. Ils vous invitent à travers leur blog, livres et artisanat à savourer la beauté et le charme de la France.
- Découvrez le livre "Chère France, Doux pays de mon enfance"
- Découvrez le roman "Un dernier roman pour la route"

Read Pascal Inard's full bibliography here with list of all published and forthcoming work.

About “Dear France sweet country of my childhood”

“Dear France sweet country of my childhood” was written, designed and illustrated by Pascal and Isabella Inard.

They were both born in Grenoble, capital of the French Alps. Pascal and his family came to Australia in 1972; at the age of 25, Pascal went back to France to live in his birth town, where he met Isabella. They married the next year, had three children and then had to move to Lorraine, in the north east of France for professional reasons. Poor living conditions there made them decide to go to Australia where Pascal’s parents, sister and aunt were still living.

They now live in Cheltenham, a suburb in the south-east of Melbourne,  with their three children Amélie (22), Anaïs (19) and Matthew (13) and two dogs Bella (three year old Westie) and Ollie (one year old Papillon). They love both their country of birth and their adoptive country and they are fluent in the two languages. They continue to live the French way through books, cooking and films, and they find that by enjoying the quality of life and the friendliness of Australians, they get the both of both worlds.

Pascal and Isabella have loved creative pursuits since their childhood : Isabella draws, paints, sews, beads and loves to find new ways of expressing her talents; she has always made gifts for friends and family herself since her childhood. Pascal loves writing and photography, which he finds time for when he is not in his office in the city working as a project manager at nab; he finds the daily commute by train particularly conducive to writing.

“Dear France sweet country of my childhood” is their second book : in 2010, they published “Paw Steps to Happiness”, starring Bella and Ollie and many of the friends they made through the blog of the same name. They wrote it to share the happiness their dogs bring them, and gave a number of books to charities such as the Starlight foundation to bring some joy and happiness to their community. Isabella has always loved caring for others, she was a nurse in France and she finds that another way she can bring comfort and love is through her creativity.

After their first book, they were looking for an idea for another book. Pascal had a stock of photos of France and last year started selling a few prints of his photos on-line and in local markets. He also had his grandmother Marguerite’s collection of vintage post cards dating from la belle époque (early 20th Century). So when Isabella suggested putting them together, the idea of a book on vintage France was born.
Pascal did some research and started putting together photos and postcards, grouped by a number of themes. When they looked at the first two chapters together, Isabella thought it lacked something vital to capture the hearts of readers, something more personal and lively. So they started adding anecdotes, stories and memories from their childhood and their grandparents’ childhood, but kept the ideas of the themes “Living in the Alps”, “Bon appétit”, “Joie de vivre in Provence”, “Celebrations” and “Discovering Paris”. They found it easier and more natural to write about their country of birth in French, so they translated into English afterwards.

Isabelle found some artwork from her youth and made some new ones especially for the book, including the pastoral scene on the front cover; she also designed the layout, including the margins. Pascal’s parents, Jeannine and Michel, provided postcards and many objects that Pascal photographed for the book. The story of the 14th of July was written by Jeannine’s father and the recipes are all family favourites that Pascal and Isabella love to make regularly or for special occasions. Vintage posters were found in the internet, a local vintage poster gallery “Gallerie Montmartre” supplied pictures of a few of them. Pascal is also grateful for the photographers who put their photos on Wikimedia Commons under a free documentation licence and for Yannick Varnier, a French photographer who gave authorisation to include his photo of Pétanque players in Saint Tropez. Current events also influenced the book when Cadel Evans won the time trial in Grenoble and then became the first Australian to win the Tour de France. 

The title was inspired by Charles Trenet’s song “Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance” (Sweet France, dear country of my childhood). By switching the words dear and sweet, it turned the book into a letter addressed to their country of birth, far away in distance, but close and dear to their hearts.

This book gave Pascal and Isabella a fantastic opportunity to combine their creative talents, and their next project is to rewrite “Paw Steps to Happiness” as a bilingual book for children that they can bring to schools that teach French.

If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy our book, it contains many other articles, photos and stories on life in France.
Si vous avez aimé cet article, vous aimerez notre livre, il contient de nombreux autres articles, photos et histoires sur la vie en France.