Before Gascony we lived in rural Suffolk, both have gentle rolling hills, but the real difference here is the slower pace of life and the sense of community one feels in the towns and villages.
My wife and I were both teachers in England and we had a second home in France, so when I retired at the age of 55 we decided to move with our four children to Gascony.
It was one of the best decisions we ever made.
How has Gascony changed you?
I don’t think I have changed but I am more relaxed and more able to
enjoy the simple pleasures of life, such as walking the dogs to a bar, sitting outside
with a “noisette” (small coffee with a dash of milk) at 9 o’ clock on a sunny morning.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Bliss?
The team at Bliss is a meeting of minds. Although we are serious professionals we talk,
laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It is the sense of belonging to this small group
which I find most enjoyable
Secret Squirrel tip for a hot place to eat?
There are so many! – but I particularly like the popular town-centre cafés, where you can get a three-course meal and a glass of wine for 14 euros.
One of the most memorable meals ever was in Toulouse, an hour’s drive away, at the Number 5 wine bar, where we had the most extraordinary 19 course evening “taster” menu for 28 euros .
Favourite local dish?
It has got to be duck. At our village fête they serve as much duck as you can eat
and it is always perfectly cooked.
Funniest thing to have happened to you in Gascony?
I stopped at a red temporary traffic light but the French driver behind me
overtook and went straight through it as though it wasn’t there. This is not unusual
Favourite time of year?
Summertime is the most wonderful in Gascony. Sunflowers, ripening wheat
and the delights of chilled, pale rosé .
Summertime! – when the living is easy
Outside of Bliss?
I cut my grass, which is a weekly task in the spring, twice weekly if it has rained!
My lawn is so big I don’t have time for much else these days!
Luckily the BLISS team has just sold our house near Saint Clar, and we will be moving onto to a property with a smaller garden, so I can spend more time on my favourite activity – meeting up with friends for a drink and a meal.