In this issue of The Lady : Dear Readers, Sometimes it’s the strangest things that bring us together. Yes, coffee mornings and pub visits, church services and bridge clubs all help to establish a strong sense of community, but occasionallyit takes something surprising truly to break the ice. That’s certainly what Jo-Anne Gibbs discovered when she and her husband moved from Britain to a remote community in France. As you can read in her humorously heart-warming account on page 20, she really got to know her new neighbours when her pet donkey, Bella, took a tumble into the swimming pool – and the whole town came to help.
We also have a deeply moving interview with art critic, dog lover – and now children’s author – Brian Sewell, who is facing his own final chapter; Ernest Hemingway biographer Sir Christopher Ondaatje on the swashbuckling femme fatale the turbulent author could never tame, and Vera star Brenda Blethyn on becoming a no-nonsense detective and fi nding new love. Quite an issue, then – just don’t forget to tell the neighbours. Until next time, Matt Warren, Editor
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