People move to France for all sorts of reasons, a new job, retirement, a change of life.
Richard Woollam was a stressed out telecommunications executive who lived with his wife and three children on the Isle of Wight, UK. He had a fulfilling and rewarding career in the cable and telecommunications industry but he wasn’t happy. Richard says one day, he and his wife sat in the garden with a bottle of wine and thought how much they’d like to chuck it all in and move to France… and so they did.
Richard describes himself as a ”stable, level-headed, sober (most of the time)” and tell us how his “well-balanced British family and their deranged dog, a loony Labrador”, moved, “lock stock and two smoking baguettes, to live, work and grow young in a beautiful region of French France”…
Take one tired, brow beaten world-weary business executive with a beautiful wife and three gorgeous kids (more of them later). Pick the whole lot up from a remote desolate island somewhere in the wild waters of the English Channel…well the Isle of Wight actually…. and deposit them in a small town in south west France.
The tired brow beaten bloke was me (Ex Director General of Cable TV and MD of Isle of Wight Cable & Telephone Company) and my long suffering wife Elaine.
With our brood of three wonderful kids Sebastian, Alexandra and Libby (AKA BamBam, nine years of breaking things) we sat down around the almost real gas fire in our house just outside Cowes and had a family pow-wow. We also very generously included Henry our mad black Labrador puppy in the get together, he didn’t add much to the debate but did manage to eat one of the cushions.
For years, Elaine and I had talked about moving to France when we had made our millions, somewhere like the Cote D’Azur or Pete Mayle’s Provence, and so, that wind swept evening, we discussed the issue at hand. And no we had not made millions…
The discussion was about our standard of life, not politics or the state of the nation but us; our life, our existence, their schools, their friends and… well us.
It was a very selfish discussion, we all admit that, but after years of practically single parenting with me working all the hours under the sun, Elaine wanted to meet the chap she had married over fourteen years ago for more than ten minutes. The kids wanted different things too, more freedom for a start… Me, well I just wanted a different life… no more bankers, no more bored…sorry board meetings, no more indigestion and five o’clock in the morning alarm calls… not much to ask, was it?
What emerged from this little gathering other than another destroyed cushion was the unanimous decision that we would be moving to France with family, the entire operation would uproot and go…
Nowhere particularly particular or specifically specific, just France.
Next the family have to decide where they want to live in France and they start their search in… London!
Richard Woollam lives and works in France, he is a holiday rental and property management specialist in the Tarn et Garonne region , SW France: www.saintantoninnobleval.com