I can’t imagine that we will have our name in lights anytime soon, but this week we experienced something pretty special – well special enough until we have our name in lights. We had an article we wrote published in French Property News magazine and it felt great!
It felt great for two reasons – firstly there is something very satisfying about reading something you have experienced and then written about, printed in a magazine and secondly, but probably just as important, is that what you have written reminds you of everything you have previously experienced.
French Property News is a great magazine, as it brilliantly combines serious subjects such as tax advice, changes in legislation and the health system with information about the many varied and beautiful regions of this wonderful country, punctuated with inspirational real life stories from ordinary people who have chosen to make the move to France.
For us, it has been an incredible year – finding and buying a house in France, sourcing a French car, finding a yacht, setting up a holiday rental business, starting life in a new country and finally the last part of the to do list, sailing the yacht a thousand miles from Northumberland to the south west coast of France just north of Bordeaux.
When I think back, it feels like a dream – hard to believe that we have done so much in a year and harder still trying to decide how we top what we have done – how can we possibly make next year better and more exciting than this year? The answer is we don’t know – but rest assured, we will give it our best shot.
Hope you like it!
Normally when I have experienced Autumn in the UK, the colours are stunning but usually viewed through, fog and rain whilst enrobed in serious winter wear to combat the cold and damp. Imagine my surprise when I learn that this time of year in France offers a completely different experience.
I can’t believe it is the 6 November and it is so warm! It is an absolute joy to watch the beauty of Autumn in temperatures more associated with a hot UK Summer. We are not only enjoying the trees but also the vines as they turn from green to red, orange and yellow – their vibrancy emphasised by the sunlight and warmth.
It seems almost bizarre that we are still eating beautiful salads at lunchtime sitting alfresco and dressed in shorts and t shirts. Normally I would be enjoying winter vegetables such as pumpkin in a hearty soup but here, I find myself lightly roasting them with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper then serving them on a selection of lettuce drizzled with rosemary and garlic infused olive oil. It really feels very Mediterranean here which is lovely.
I know the weather will change but for the moment I am happy to enjoy this wonderful climate and the enjoyment it brings.
As the summer is replaced with Autumn, some might think that the plethora of things to do would be reduced……how wrong they would be. It’s as if this tremendous area of France not only delivers on activities in the summer, but it also keeps some of its special events for later in the year. One such weekend is the Montgolfier Festival, at Rocamadour, at the end of September. Montgolfier is such a lovely word which so aptly describes the magical sight of over thirty hot air balloons taking to the skies in a very picturesque valley, beside one of the most beautiful villages in France.
We arrived in the afternoon of the second day of this two day festival, to watch all the balloons and their baskets arrive on trailers and begin to get set up on the valley floor. I am no expert but the conditions looked perfect – little wind, great visibility and a lovely sunny day. We found a good place to stand looking down into the valley as the balloons were beginning to be inflated and were nestled closely together as they waited for the off. The brightly coloured balloons swayed gently contrasting with the dark green and brown of the trees, then the silence was broken as the roar of the burner could be heard and the first balloon began its accent followed swiftly by the rest.
It was an incredible sight as the festival was in full swing and the many balloons floated like coloured bubbles against the cloudless azure blue sky. The balloonists were a joy to watch as they skilfully and effortlessly manoeuvred these very large craft around the valley as the sun began to set over the majestic village of Rocamadour.
It truly was a most memorable and entertaining day – can’t wait for next year’s event (24 and 25 September 2016).