Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 10 things I love about our life in the Charente

I've just finished reading the Chris Evans book "Memoirs of a fruitcake".  I happen to think that he's a broadcasting genius who pretty much invented the format that all breakfast shows now seem to take.

He starts each chapter with a top 10 listing and it got me to thinking about the aspects of my life here in rural SW France that I most enjoy.  Some of them would be possible in the UK too.....just sadly not if you happen to be commuting up to the West End with the senior partner of a leading property consultancy demanding his pound of flesh each day.

So here goes:

10. The weather.  It's the 2nd sunniest part of France and that little yellow ball in the sky tends to make me happy.

9. The landscape.  What's not to like about rolling hills full to bursting with vines & sunflowers.

8. Reading L'Equipe each morning in my local café...and teasing the owner about the rugby when England win.

7. The schooling.  So far so good - sadly the girls are saddled with my DNA (and subsequent lack of academic ability) but the schooling is excellent and they're thriving.

6. The dinner parties.  Beef from the Limousin, wine from Bordeaux and the company of some of the friendliest people on earth.  It helps that a few of them own their own vineyards!

5. My job.  Driving through the vines and coming across houses that have stood proudly for hundreds of years.  What's not to like?

4. Being able to eat a sandwich outside in my garden that costs a few centimes to make, rather than raiding "pret a manger" and paying fifteen quid to eat lunch while reading two page memos.

3. Cognac town itself.  Blues festival, lunch at Chez Claude, walking along the river, going to the cinema on a rainy Saturday in winter, taking the kids ice's a charming town and I love it more each day I live here.

2. That we eat together "en famille".....every single night of the week.

1. The fact that I know the names of all the children in my youngest daughters class and most of them in my eldest daughters too.  I've even been known to take the odd hooky day to go on day trips out with the school.

Sorry if this comes across as "smug" at's not meant to.  Without the experience & money I gained over those 20 years in London then the move wouldn't have been possible.

I just wanted to share some of the best bits about life out here and say that if you're at all tempted to quit the ratrace and do the same thing then it truly can work.

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