Saturday, February 14, 2009

Here in Provence

With the economic crisis set to str-etch out for years (some politicians and economists say ten or FIFTEEN) more people than ever in cold northern countries are wondering: Is it really worth putting up with grey skies, cold winds, endless rain and long-long-faces when there's not even any of the frickin' compensation there used to be in the way of secure jobs, decent incomes or sound investments? If you only have one life to live - and, pace Buddhists, that's probably true - do you really want to live it literally under a cloud? Aren't there places on this earth where the sun shines, the air is warm and life is a bit all-round-more-comfortable?
Well yes. There are.
If you've been swithering about going south or staying put, now could be the right time to make the break. Assuming you've got a basic income that's portable (we'll come back to that) you don't have to stick around in the frozen norh just because you happen to have lived there for a long time already or even because you have friends and family there. There are beautiful countries and beautiful regions where life centres on culture, local society and the countryside, where the built environment is stunning, society is designed for people rather than to maintain officious systems or bossy regulations and where you can live outside most of the year. Imagine that - not just holidaying outside once or twice a year - living outside. (With a house or a flat, obviously, that you can go into when you want to.) (We'll come back to that too.)
And with low-cost airlines winging around the place you're always in easy reach of the people you love but can't bring with you. In fact, once they've spent the third week of their summer holiday in your house you may be glad they spend most of the year elsewhere. ('nother thing to come back to.)
This site gives you a good close look at one of those regions - one of the most sensual: Provence.
Here you'll find masses of information about the south of France and answers to some of the questions you have about moving. Is it possible? (yes), is it easy? (maybe), is it as good as I think it'll be? (wait and see.)

Over the next few weeks, February-March 2009, the site will give you an idea of what it's like to live here and answer many of your questions about life in Provence.
This isn't a site about buying property or dealing with tax or shifting bunches of cash from some-place-to-some-other-place at the best exchange rate. There are loads of sites about all the boring stuff. This is about the beauty of Provence. The reasons for living here. The towns and villages, vineyards and markets, the coast and the countryside. You'll read about the rhythm of daily life and the pleasure of each season. And you can contact me any time with questions or comments. Just email me at

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