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Living France - - Contents -

Your views of life in France

Alit­tle over a year ago I first vis­ited the place I now call home; Mon­ti­rat in Tarn. It was the bleak mid-win­ter yet I fell in love with our lit­tle cor­ner of France. As the grass started to grow, the leaves be­gan to blan­ket the trees, plants I hadn’t yet seen shot up from the ground and the sun rose higher in the sky. Spring sprung loudly. We be­gan to live out­side more and more, en­joy­ing our sur­round­ings and the milder weather, and get­ting stuck into new pro­jects.

My handy hus­band built a raised sun deck to make the most of the sun­sets and we planted a lit­tle potager filled with veg­eta­bles and herbs to sup­ple­ment the won­der­ful pro­duce from our lo­cal mar­ket. With our adopted cat from the SPA set­tling in nicely, we de­cided to grow our brood and went in search of chick­ens so we could en­joy fresh eggs daily.

Luck­ily for me, earn­ing a liv­ing also slot­ted in nicely as I am able to work from home. My work days in Eng­land were punc­tu­ated by classes at the gym and run­ning er­rands, whereas here in France, I en­joy eat­ing a proper meal and go­ing for a walk or a run. I re­ally started to feel the ben­e­fits of a more re­laxed and health­ier life­style.

We rent our house in the sum­mer, mov­ing into a smaller cot­tage on-site (the one with the fab­u­lous sun­set deck). We quickly set­tled into the rhythm of hec­tic Satur­days do­ing changeovers, say­ing farewell to de­part­ing guests and warmly wel­com­ing new ar­rivals. Some of my favourite times were spent on our deck, sit­ting out late into the evening, watch­ing me­teor show­ers and the mas­sive storms around us.

The hot days of sum­mer were re­placed by the bright, crisp and sunny days of au­tumn. I love au­tumn in France; kick­ing through freshly fallen crispy leaves, col­lect­ing chest­nuts to roast on the fire and dig­ging out my cosy knitwear.

With the de­liv­ery of our wood for win­ter, the full cir­cle of sea­sons was nearly com­plete. We en­joyed a Christ­mas filled with vis­it­ing fam­ily and newly em­braced French tra­di­tions. Now, as I think about my first year here, I feel very grounded and con­nected to the world around me, in a way that was miss­ing when I lived in Eng­land.

The sim­plic­ity of life and the dis­tinct sea­sons here pro­vide a great back­drop to let you live your life a lit­tle slower and ap­pre­ci­ate your sur­round­ings. It’s a healthy and friendly place to live life to the full and that’s my only wish for the year ahead – to con­tinue to live life to the full. Fay Younger Mon­ti­rat, Tarn

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