Hello! Thank you for visiting the Tales from Couty site. This is me with one of our lambs. The mother - Lily - is very sweet but very dim. Whenever she has twin lambs, she immediately forgets about the first one and no amount of encouragement will get her to feed it. So we have to! 

I have been living in south west France since 2007. I moved here with my husband when our eldest daughter was almost two, and the youngest a baby of 3 months. We looked at one ugly house in a very beautiful place - Couty - and decided to buy it. Over the years, the house gradually acquired some charm, and the smallholding came alive as the different animals arrived.

 

Our girls are now entirely bilingual. But in the early days, I looked around for books to help them learn the language. I wanted some fun stories with eye-catching illustrations that introduced useful vocabulary and the context to use it. But I was disappointed by what I found. So one day, as I watched our goat jumping on and off his house, I had an idea to use the animals to write the books myself...

 

Here are a few facts about me: 

 

I work as a freelance translator and teacher, and my professional site is www.sallybird.fr

 

I have a diploma in translation (from French to English) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists in London, a degree from the University of Cambridge and a masters from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, (not so useful, living in rural France).

 

Before moving to France I worked at The National Gallery in London, before moving into the voluntary sector, first at an adoption and fostering agency and then as Director of Beauchamp Lodge Settlement, a charity that launched the UK's first 'Floating Classroom' on London's canals.

 

But a traditional career path wasn't for me. After a few years living in Washington DC while my husband worked at the British Embassy, we moved back to England and then took the plunge to come to France. I am often asked why. In some ways it was on something of a whim, but it also came from a desire for space and time - two things we couldn't have afforded if we had stayed in England.

 

So we arrived without much of a plan, and didn't know how long we would stay. But twelve years on we're still here. We actually left Couty in 2017, after falling in love with a house not very far away: but the animals moved with us, and so the Tales from Couty live on!

 

I originally self-published the books as a set at the end of 2014, but then life and other work projects got in the way of me doing much with them. Wherever they sold, they sold well - and people kept coming back for more - so I've relaunched them in 2019. They are exactly the same, except that this time they are being sold as individual books.

 

In the future I hope to create another series (birthdays, seasons, family... so many possible subjects), as well as something for younger children and for adults. I also hope to find the time (and funds!) to create a schools' programme to accompany the books. Over the years, as I have taught French and English, I have seen what people need to know - and what is missing from so many courses. 

 

Now more than ever, we need our children to fall in love with Europe and its languages, and this is just my small way of trying to encourage it... If you like the books, please find us on social media and share them with your friends!

 

A bientôt!