I wrote this as a guest post for Tom's blog so posting it here as well seems a bit like cheating, although not really as it's a subject I already had in mind.
I have occasionally been asked why we bother to have a house in rural France. When we’re constantly patching up a crumbling old building, grappling with doing it in a different language and there is no handy B&Q around the corner, I sometimes wonder why myself. Especially this year when we have had to jump through so many hoops to get here. I was pondering this very thing on the way to the supermarket in Descartes the other day.
From our house in France the nearest supermarket is eleven km away. It usually takes twenty minutes to get there, very rarely more, and if we encounter more than six other vehicles going either way the road seems unusually busy. At this time of year the run takes us along smooth and winding roads flanked by fields of endless sunflowers and the grass verges are pristine. We hardly ever see any litter, potholes are scarce and the only likely hold up is getting stuck behind the occasional combine harvester. Or sometimes having to wait for a little family of deer or wild boar to cross the road. We have on a couple of occasions had to stop to shoo a few sheep or a donkey back into their field.
Mind you, we have to get there well before 12.30 when they close for two hours for lunch – this is in France, after all!