If you are lodged in a city, town, near a motorway, under flight path and paying a fortune for the privilege. In fear of being accosted by undesirables, and wondering why you have respiration problems. Frustrated at spending a third of your life at work, a third asleep and the final third staring at the car in front in traffic, you might give pause to consider how things are in Normandyshire.
Many British have discovered the secret and are keeping shtum. Lower Manche has rolling hills like Devonshire. No light pollution. The stars look as awesome as a premier league players pay-packet. Traffic like 1950’s Britain and the only crime is what to do with all the apples in the orchard keeping you up all night with a thud so audible in the silence that you think you may have an arhythmic heartbeat. The British, Dutch,Parisians and a schmattering of Germans are here…somewhere. The French are mostly smallholding farmers who will disappear after retirement since there is no money or interest in it for the offspring, the land being consumed by the corporate farms The only other possibility for work after ‘La Crise’ is state work and shopkeeping which is a nervous way to make a living as the shop doors are closing for the last time at the frequency of the Grim Reaper’s scythe on a battle field. The, doctors and insurance companies are in rude health as are the supermarkets although the queues are no more than four deep at peak periods. Holiday homes and retirement nests, usually renovated by the owners, and tourism are the only things that keep the economy going. You can swing a bath towel on the beach without fear of hitting anyone and get to the bar without anyone …er barring your way. If you like golf but miss queueing to tee off you’ll be disappointed. The only thing you need to enjoy the Good Life is some form of income, yet many down size and buy a property without a mortgage and grow vegetables and tomatoes in a green house that actually taste the way God intended them. The swirl and smell of woodsmoke in the clear crisp winters invites you to get a dog as an excuse to exercise in the forests and appreciate that paradise isn’t a place you go to when you die. It’s here in Normandyshire without the flummery.
Still, now that you know the secret please keep it just between the two of us, and we’ll promise not to move to where you are.