Sud de France – Oui ou Non?
So, changing the subject completely, as I am wont to do… The pros and cons of living abroad. I’m presently sitting on a sunlounger on the rooftop terrace of the little holiday apartment we’re renting in the south of France. I often talk about moving down here, but now I am here, what are my reasons for wanting to do so?
The most obvious reason is the climate, isn’t it? We’ve had a lousy summer at home so far (preceded by a fairly rubbish spring), whereas down here, it’s blue skies and sun for 90-odd% of the time. Okay, maybe the summer temperatures are a little too much for the average Englishman, but it’s bearable at the mo (early thirties). One can always wear a hat, or stay indoors.
What else? The food used to be a factor, but now we can easily get most of this mediterranean stuff at home. We can’t quite do the bread – there’s something about their baguettes – but the cheeses and meats are all readily available. Wine and beer always seems to taste better in their country of origin, and of course the wine is a hell of a lot cheaper than at home.
What else? Well, they have a lot more space here don’t they? The country is twice the size of the UK, and the population half as much – and most of them live in Paris. So the countryside is pretty, and pretty unspoilt.
So what would I miss about the UK? I used to say the pub culture, but alas, that seems to be dying, at least where we come from. There are lots of small, continental style bars at home now, and pubs are now the reserve (once again) of old blokes talking too loudly, farting uninhibitedly, and drinking pints of real ale. I used to think I’d miss real ale, and I still enjoy a proper pint, but I guess I’m just as happy now (almost) with a nice cold pint of Kronenbourg.
Proper English curry (!) I would miss, if it weren’t for the fact that I can make a pretty authentic one myself. Smoked bacon and proper English sausages I definitely would miss. Cheddar cheese.
Anything else? Hmmm… Nothing springs readily to mind.
So, when you add it all up, it’s warm weather, baguettes and a feeling of space versus Cumberland sausages and Cheddar cheese. The jury is out on this one.
So, Mr Simmons, pros and cons of emigrating to British Columbia?