Living France - - DÉCOUVREZ -

th­ese and the views of the Mon­tagne Noire from our house, they all un­der­stood why we had cho­sen Tarn and had our house built there. Tarn is def­i­nitely one of the best, rel­a­tively un­known ar­eas of France and much of it is still un­spoilt. We are so glad that, now I am re­tired, we can spend six months of the year there.

But it is also worth men­tion­ing that ev­ery sum­mer there is a huge pro­gramme of free fes­ti­vals all over the area. Our vil­lage is tiny, but the fes­ti­vals go on for three days. There is much carous­ing, ob­vi­ously, which gives us the chance to meet even more of the lovely vil­lagers we live with, but there is also mu­sic from a wide va­ri­ety of bands, danc­ing and boules com­pe­ti­tions. One nearby vil­lage has fab­u­lous jazz nights, while an­other has vet­eran car shows. I ex­pect most ar­eas of France do this – you can get in­for­ma­tion about the fes­ti­vals from the lo­cal syn­di­cat d’ini­tia­tive or the of­fice de tourisme.

Also, it is worth keep­ing an eye on the lo­cal press, es­pe­cially if you are in­ter­ested in a par­tic­u­lar type of en­ter­tain­ment. For in­stance, we went to at least five car shows last sum­mer, and they were all free! So 14 July is not all there is to a sum­mer in France! John Ham­mond Tarn / Dorset

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