Updated: Feb 5, 2018
Seven years ago I convinced my husband to move to the south of France for a year. France is the country of our hearts, and we tried to visit it every year, but visiting started to not be enough. It was also during a particularly wet and horrible February in Vancouver, Canada, particularly for someone born in South Africa. Thus it did not take a lot of convincing for Hein to agree and we started planning our escape from corporate drudgery.
We were not completely crazy, so first on our to-do list was trying to negotiated a sabbatical from our left brain jobs so that we could audition for the life of an artist and a writer. I loved to paint, big canvasses with oodles of bright acrylic colours, but the life of a lawyer only allowed for weekend painting. So I was super motivated to make this dream of ours come true.
I franticly started emailing home owners on HomeAway to try and find a house to rent for a year. While a significant number responded, the prices were astronomical, mainly because they could all rent out their properties over the summer months by the week, for the amount that we wanted to pay for a monthly rental. Only one owner actually responded with an offer that we could afford. So, we rented a house called La Farigoulette, just outside Vidauban, a tiny working village in the Var department of Provence. It was a charming house as you can see below.
We knew very little of the area, as Provence for us was mainly the Vaucluse, which Peter Mayle's in his book a "A Year in Provence" so aptly brought to life. Which brings me to his sad passing on the 18th of January 2018. I adored every one of his books and loved his attitude about life. I will miss him and his humorous writing style.
While I can never be as entertaining as Peter Mayle, I hope you will enjoy reading about my artist life in France.