Time to cel­e­brate

With our 300th is­sue un­der our belts, we take a trip down mem­ory lane to where it all be­gan in 1989, and share some spe­cial mes­sages from those who’ve made the jour­ney with us

Living France - - Découvrez -

“It’s for you!” With those three words my wife handed me the phone and my life and ca­reer were set to change for ever. Back in 1989, la famille Yorke – my wife and I, our four sons, two cats and a dog – had moved to Dor­dogne, and it was a former UK neigh­bour of ours on the phone. He and a French friend had de­cided to launch a mag­a­zine about France in the wake of the huge suc­cess of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence and he asked me if I would write a cou­ple of ar­ti­cles. Could I write a piece about our ex­pe­ri­ences of mov­ing to France and, know­ing that I was a pho­tog­ra­pher, could I take a few pho­tos of Dor­dogne as well?

My first con­tri­bu­tions ap­peared in is­sue two. The pay wasn’t great – I was re­warded with a half-page ad­vert for the gîte busi­ness we’d just started – but it was the be­gin­ning of a new life trav­el­ling around a coun­try I’d fallen in love with. Tough eh?

As time went on, I be­came more and more in­volved with the pro­duc­tion side, but in those early days none of us had any pub­lish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the mag­a­zine was put to­gether very much by the seat of our pants. How­ever, we were all do­ing some­thing we loved and had enor­mous fun! Later, in 1996, I had an­other piv­otal phone call, which lead to me buy­ing the mag­a­zine and thereby be­com­ing the Pub­lish­ing Edi­tor – my dream job!

Dur­ing the 14 years I spent with Liv­ing France mag­a­zine as a free­lancer and a pub­lisher, I have cal­cu­lated that I drove nearly a mil­lion kilo­me­tres vis­it­ing ev­ery depart­ment in l’Hexagone, writ­ing about and pho­tograph­ing all the places that I thought would in­ter­est our read­ers, and in the process I in­ter­viewed a host of fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple. There have been so many won­der­ful mo­ments.

Pho­tograph­ing the River Char­ente on a mag­i­cal sum­mer’s evening; in­ter­view­ing the lady in Cannes who had spent the war dodg­ing the Nazis and be­came a mis­tress of Pi­casso. Trav­el­ling to l’Île d’Oues­sant, 25km off the Bre­ton At­lantic coast, ex­plor­ing the Cor­si­can hin­ter­land, vis­its to the stun­ning cathe­drals of Albi, Reims, Amiens, Auch, I could go on, and on…

Lit­tle did we think in those early days that ‘our lit­tle mag­a­zine’ would grow and still be so avidly read and en­joyed 28 years later! That gives me more plea­sure than any­thing. Con­grat­u­la­tions Liv­ing France on reach­ing your 300th is­sue!

Is­sue 74, Fe­bru­ary 1998

Brenda Cook, reader We have been read­ers for years – the last five as res­i­dents of France – and very much en­joy read­ing how other expats are mak­ing it work. The in­for­ma­tion is in­valu­able to us and some of the ar­ti­cles just make us laugh. Keep up the good work.

Shel­ley Hunter via Face­book I love ev­ery­thing about the mag­a­zine – all the in­ter­est­ing ar­ti­cles, use­ful hints and tips about liv­ing there. It helps keep my dream alive un­til I am able to make a per­ma­nent move!

Emma Row­ley via Face­book The in­spi­ra­tional and in­ter­est­ing ar­ti­cles al­ways in­crease my de­sire to move there!

Is­sue 1, De­cem­ber 1989

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