Simon gathered up all of the stories from our last 6 years of buying and selling property in Provence and has produced a beautifully written and engaging novel. A Piece of Provence is available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon.......
I opened an eye. “Read this” she said. ‘She’ being my beloved, my partner in French adventures and the mother of the two fur children. Her presence on the other side of the bed wasn’t that surprising. The ‘this’ was a bit more unexpected. She had found and read a short e-book written by an American woman who had searched for, bought and redecorated a small house in the south-west of France.
“You will be amazed by the parallels,” she continued. “Some of what she writes about is just so similar to our experiences.” Dellas was right. It was all there, right down to the difficulty nailing down Maisons du Monde (the homeware and furniture chain) into exactly when they might deign to deliver.
I only managed to get four lines into the prologue before I was forced to comment. Our author described how her long-suffering husband was subject to what she called her ‘visions’. Not the result of hallucinogenic substances but right out of left field ideas that were guaranteed to come as a bit of a surprise to said husband.
“She has ‘visions’ but they seem to be exactly the same as ‘schemes’ to me,” I said. In our house, we have fairly regular declarations of new schemes and sometimes, when they reach a higher level of unlikeliness, even ‘madcap schemes’.
So this is the story of a scheme, a scheme that would see us buy not one but three properties in France in the space of four years and not only keep our relationship intact but really look forward to visiting France each year. It’s a story of the challenges of being international holiday property landlords and the perplexing and problematic things guests get up to. It inevitably touches on the ups and downs of navigating a French administrative system which, at times, can seem frustratingly bogged down in historical bureaucracy. Hopefully it also conveys the joys of ‘our’ town in Provence, the food, the wine, the people and the countryside – all the things we have come to love.
We have certainly met plenty of people who like things to work just like they do at home and who would be ill-suited to embark on a venture such as ours. We, on the other hand, prefer to go out for lunch in Provence.