Living France - - LIFESTYLE -

there’s no short­age of grass and we make our own hay so they are ac­tu­ally very cheap to run, and use­ful in that they do graze and keep the grass down,” she says.

But what Mel and Liz want to share with their guests most of all is the Parc Na­tional du Mer­can­tour it­self. Cre­ated in 1979 and still one of the least-known na­tional parks in France, it is a tran­quil Alpine oa­sis.

“It’s un­spoilt; it’s easy to get to; it’s unique,” says Liz. “You’ve got Provence to the west, Italy to the east, the Alps to the north, and the Mediter­ranean to the south, but there is a re­mote­ness here and you can go out for a whole day and see no­body.”

In to­day’s busy world, it’s safe to say that there are few things as pre­cious as this cher­ished chance of soli­tude, and the good news is that Liz and Mel will be wait­ing with a warm wel­come to their se­cret cor­ner of France for many years to come. space-be­

Buy­ing a house – al­though hav­ing a sur­vey is much less com­mon in France, it is worth spend­ing an hour of your time with the plan­ners in the town hall to check there are no re­stric­tions to your house plans, or build­ing projects.

“It’s un­spoilt and it’s easy to get to; but there is a re­mote­ness here; you can go out for a whole day and see no­body”

Plan­ning to re­tire – check out the best op­tions for your re­tire­ment pot, pos­si­ble tax im­pli­ca­tions for hav­ing a sec­ond home in France, then do learn French and get to know your neigh­bours.

Work­ing in France – life is rel­a­tively easy if you are em­ployed but if you do de­cide to risk the joys of self-em­ploy­ment, take ad­vice from some­one who has lived in France and knows the ropes; make sure that you are meet­ing all the le­gal re­quire­ments and are com­plet­ing all the rel­e­vant pa­per­work; be en­tirely re­al­is­tic with a mod­est busi­ness plan; and have suf­fi­cient funds to cover at least five years of liv­ing with­out any rev­enue. This will help relieve any un­due stress.

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