I recently spent a few days on the Riviera. What a surprise it was to ﬁnd so many people speaking English (and native speakers), even among the wait staff! In my short stay, I met one waitress from Ireland and another from Marlow in Berkshire. It was like being back in the UK for a while... Here in Nîmes, it’s still quite rare to hear people speaking English – and I love it when it happens! I always start a conversation, and it’s a special event for me. On the Riviera, it’s an everyday experience...
I was also surprised by the housing market – house prices are in a different league, and it really does seem that money attracts money... Yet our region is just as beautiful! I think our region has done magniﬁcently – we’ve retained a level of authenticity here that seems to have been lost a little in the Riviera. What makes us rich is much more than simply a bank balance...
We can meet up with other expats if we wish to, but what I have noticed is that most of us make it a great point of honour to integrate with the locals. We want to discover our region, value its traditions and often we add our talents to it.
In this edition, Holly will help us if we get Lost in Languedoc (p20). Libby, Margrit, Annette and Frances share their artistic talents. Kathleen and Anne-Sophie make their point about life in France and in the US (p10). We keep up-to-date with our local associations and English-speaking groups. In addition, fantastic news about the British Screen Festival with Ken Loach coming to Nîmes (p19). Victoria gives us some tips to learn French (p16). Our French contributors share their very different experiences; Leila who gave birth in New Zealand (p10) while Elodie enjoys the art of medieval cooking (p22). Enjoy your reading and have a great Winter.
Laurence Boxall, Publisher
CONTENT6 Angela Saunders - Libby Page
8 Margrit Olsen - Photographer in St Ambroix
10 Leïla BENALI - Giving birth in New Zealand
12 Andrea Ratuski - Trufﬂe in Provence
14 The history of FOAL
16 Victoria Orange-Sibra - Parlez-vous français ?
15 How to transfer your UK pension in France
18 Frances Macve - Frances' scarves
19 Annette Morris - Sketching in Languedoc
19 Patrick Hurley - Ken Loach in Nîmes
20 Holly Howard - Lost in Languedoc
21 Kathleen & Anne-Sophie - France vs USA
22 Elodie - Medieval cooking in the Cévennes
26 Sun Pages
28 Chris Stow - Red hat ladies in Nîmes