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Relaxed in France


A happy place to treasure.....


And I am........oddly, given recent events, which have caused me some emotional distress, more than some actually.


Of course I've rallied. I won't let anyone steal my new found peace here and I don't want or need the drama frankly and that's all I have to say about that for now.

It's sometimes good to get away from what ails one, necessary even, isn't it?


Anyway, back to the issue of finding peace in France.


It's always been environmentally peaceful here and having spent two years plus on and off in the UK recently, it's a nice shock to the system, very welcome indeed. The UK is rush, rush, rush, buy, buy, buy and finding tranquility is quite difficult, unless you want to live in a croft in the middle of nowhere, indeed that was certainly a plan B for us. In France traffic out of the cities is minimal due to the sheer size of the country! My kinda traffic is often a cow or sheep that got loose! Once we herded a very naughty donkey back to it's farm after it ran amuck on the road!


Less is so much more here, generally speaking. I guess that's the shangri la we were looking for.


Just walking the dogs here is easier and often undisturbed. Traffic is gentle and not jaring. There's room to roam. In France. I certainly don't feel I have to 'keep up with the Jones’s ' which is ironic, because I was a Jones. I honestly feel less hassled or hurried and we've certainly managed more rest in under two weeks here than we have in the last two years! Actually I can't believe we've already been here that long already!


Whilst the renovation project hasn't always been a positive journey thus far, being back in France means we can actually make progress happen. Eventually, there will be an end to it all and then we can move on to whatever comes next. From the UK things always seemed too difficult, especially managing the French renovation. It feels good to commit to France fully.


It's also comforting being back in the compound and so easy because we know it well. However, we viewed a temporary rental yesterday, because as I explained, the apartment we are in has been sold. Work begins on it at the end of June and so we need to be ready to rock and roll soon enough.


Also, we had to learn how to live on a busy compound first time around. I do know it doesn’t suit everyone, the hustle and bustle, the comings and goings but one certainly doesnt feel lonely. We are old hats now, take it in our stride and are very much looking forward to building on that in the next place to call home, even if just for a while. Try before you buy is a good thing I think?


The little French rental is cute and will offer a healing space for a while, time to gather our thoughts, plan and find a way through this never ending renovation. We both love it here in Charente and hope to find somewhere to buy here in the near future. The new rental is in the Dordogne, just!


There are some really pretty villages around here and, when the sun shines, it's glorious.


The 'why France' always comes to mind, when writing about our journey here on and off since 2017! It's a great question which makes me stop and think, because France was my husband's thing, initially anyway. There are many reasons 'why' I suppose, it's most defintely NOT a one word answer!


Life in the Charente, the why??


The Charente region in France is known for its picturesque countryside, charming villages, and rich history.


Here are some examples or joyful aspects of life in the Charente:


  • Bucolic landscapes with vineyards and sunflower fields

  • Quaint villages with light stone houses and narrow streets

  • Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and boating along the Charente River

  • Delicious local cuisine including cognac, pineau des Charentes, and fresh seafood

  • Festivals celebrating music, food, and traditions throughout the year


The Charente landscape is characterized by rolling hills, vineyards, sunflower fields, and picturesque villages. The region is dotted with historic chateaux, Romanesque churches, and charming towns along the Charente River. The countryside is known for its peaceful atmosphere, lush greenery, and traditional stone buildings. Overall, the Charente landscape offers a mix of natural beauty and cultural heritage that attracts visitors looking for a serene getaway.


Charente Sunflowers:


Sunflowers grown in the Charente region of France are known for their vibrant yellow petals and impressive height. These sunflowers thrive in the sunny climate and fertile soil of the Charente, producing beautiful blooms that are often used for ornamental purposes as well as for harvesting seeds. The Charente Sunflowers are a symbol of the region's agricultural heritage and natural beauty. I adore them, even the short in stature ones that havent quite found the sun!


Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, where I am for the next few weeks, is a beautiful village located in south western France. It is known for its charming streets, historic buildings, and the impressive underground Monolithic Church. The village offers a peaceful atmosphere and is a popular destination for tourists looking to explore the picturesque French countryside. There's a very arty, multicultural vibe here and the village square is the place to be where the wine and conversation flows a little too easily!


France itself is known for its rich culture, history, and art. It offers a high quality of life with a focus on food, wine, fashion, and architecture. The country has beautiful landscapes, from the Mediterranean coast to the Alps and the charming countryside.


The French economy is known for its diverse sectors, including agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and services. France is one of the largest economies in the world and a member of the European Union (insert cough here). The country has a highly skilled workforce and is a leader in industries such as luxury goods, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals. France also has a strong focus on research and development, innovation, and sustainable practices in various sectors.


The French property market is known for its diversity and appeal to both domestic and international buyers.


Here are some key points about the French property market: -


**Popular Regions**: Regions like Provence, the French Riviera, Paris, and the French Alps are popular among property buyers for their natural beauty, culture, and lifestyle. -


**Property Types**: In France, you can find a variety of properties, including apartments in bustling cities, charming village houses, grand chateaux, and picturesque countryside estates.


**Regulations**: Foreign buyers may encounter certain regulations when purchasing property in France, such as restrictions on buying historic properties or agricultural land.


**Price Range**: Property prices in France vary greatly depending on the location, size, and type of property. Urban areas and popular tourist regions tend to have higher prices compared to rural areas. French property still offers more for less even in this complicated economic climate.


**Buying Process**: The process of buying property in France typically involves signing a preliminary sales agreement, conducting property surveys, and finalizing the sale through a notary. Overall, the French property market offers a wide range of options for buyers looking for a permanent residence, a holiday home, or an investment property.


The French Lifestyle


The French lifestyle is known for its sophistication, elegance, and appreciation for the finer things in life. Here are some key aspects of the French lifestyle:


1. **Cuisine**: French cuisine is world-renowned for its exquisite flavors and culinary techniques. Meals are often enjoyed slowly, with an emphasis on quality ingredients and presentation.


2. **Fashion**: France is a global fashion hub, with Paris being considered the fashion capital of the world. French style is often characterized by its timeless elegance and attention to detail.


3. **Art and Culture**: France has a rich cultural heritage, with a strong emphasis on art, literature, music, and cinema. The French take pride in their cultural contributions to the world.


4. **Wine and Champagne**: France is famous for its wine regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. Wine is an integral part of French culture and is enjoyed regularly with meals.


5. **Work-Life Balance**: The French value their leisure time and prioritize work-life balance. They often take long lunch breaks to enjoy a meal with friends or family and have a generous amount of vacation time.


6. **Outdoor Cafés**: Sidewalk cafés are a common sight in France, where people gather to enjoy a coffee, a glass of wine, or a meal while watching the world go by.


7. **Attention to Beauty**: French people often pay attention to their appearance and take pride in looking polished and put-together. Beauty and skincare are important aspects of the French lifestyle.


8. **Slow Living**: The French appreciate the art of slowing down and savoring life's simple pleasures. They take the time to enjoy good food, good company, and beautiful surroundings.


Of course I like many of you love a Chateau or a Manor or three, the romance of it all, yes please!


Brocante style


Let me rummage in a dusty Brocante, truffling for teasures, any day of the week, shopping for something to re love!



I do think up cycling is more acceptable here and no one expects a room full of new furniture do they?




Then there's the food!


At a French market, you can find:


  • Fresh produce

  • Cheese and dairy products

  • Bread and pastries

  • Meats and charcuterie

  • Seafood

  • Local wines

  • Artisanal goods and crafts


What's not to love?

D x





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