Sir Edward Heath's Private Secretary didn't take retirement sitting down ... At age 60 Eugene Barter, along with her sister and brother - in - law, moved to a house in the foothills of the Pyrenees to start an auberge. This is the story of her experiences. Humorous and often self - mocking, always gentle and quirky, Eugene takes us on a journey through the countryside and its people, Catalans and French alike, with a good dose of her German and English guests thrown in. Her love of the region shines from the pages - surely a timeless joy for all ages. RECIPES FROM ROZINANTE: The second half of the book focuses on the recipes with which Eugene used to feed her guests, though still interleaved with her engaging anecdotes. English, Catalan and French recipes, all easy to follow, sit side by side, and there are conversion charts to help step through the metric and imperial standards, and maintain that essential entente cordiale! THE AUTHOR: Born in Penarth, South Wales, Eugene left school at 16 to work as a trainee journalist on two local newspapers, in the days when discrimination against women in the workplace made the job twice the challenge it was for male colleagues. Moving on to an assignment in Holland at a Unesco conference, she stayed on for two years, learning the language and working with companies in Amsterdam struggling to get back on their feet after the horrors of the second World War. Studying with the Open University in her late forties, she became a Tutor/Counsellor after graduating, before moving briefly back into journalism, then working in the House of Commons - eventually becoming Senior Secretary to Sir Edward Heath. In her sixties she took on the running of an auberge in France, and this book, Blackbirds Baked in a Pie, is a lively and affectionate account of her time there. Now 85, Eugene's love affair with France continues undiminished.