Expat Talent - The Art of Moving in France from admin's blog

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We have so many creative and talented individuals here at Expat Dating; authors, painters, sculptors, filmmakers and photographers (apologies if we've left anyone out, and if we have, let us know!) we thought it was about time to showcase some of your exceptional talent.


The very first of our new feature is brought to you by author Angela Baggi - The Art of Moving in France. Angela moved to France in 2005 and documented the ups and downs of buying, renovating and selling multiple properties. It's an incredible and empowering read, not least because Angela was and still is a single woman who, in her own words, had no proficiency in the French language nor experience in real estate or renovations.


Angela hopes her inspiring book will encourage people to be determined, audacious, to follow their dreams and never give up.


Here is an excerpt from the book. Like what you read? The Art of Moving in France is available to own and cherish here.


  In the same street but three houses further along from me lived a wonderful French woman who spoke perfect English and she had an old female Labrador who got on well with Mel so we shared promenades together. Marie-Claire was a teacher; she taught English to French students and French to English students, as well as history, Latin and who knows what else. She was one of the few French people to invite me in her house whenever I wished. In front of her lived Charlotte, another single French woman; she rented the house from Marie-Claire’s daughter who lived in UK. Charlotte also had a dog who luckily got on very well with Mel who, as a true French male subject, loves females but is very parti pris with males; he is small and like Napoleon, wishes to dominate them all, even after his testicles have been removed. Fortunately, the two dogs in my street were females and they both adored him.


   Charlotte was an odd kind of person, according to Marie-Claire she suffered from a neurosis and was an aristocratic eccentric snob, which was an impressive statement coming from Marie-Claire who herself was of noble birth. The French are obsessed with the idea of nobility and equality. It is illogical for a nation that prides itself to be utterly logical. This paradox throws light on the explosiveness of its citizens and perhaps explains the reasons behind some historical events, like the Revolution. It could have something to do with the system of ranks; something everyone in France has - or should have. Nobody is without a statut; a waiter or a plumber have ranks; each profession, even the lowest, is part of a corps de métiers and enjoys certain concessions. Some of those concessions have nowadays been erased because of the economic revolution but as the French are not particularly moved by money or productivity, they still cling on to those few special rights that survive. The idea of personal freedom is ultimately connected to nobility whereas in England and America, for example, people are free if they and their property remain inviolable. (This validates the right to own firearms).


   Charlotte could boldly go out in the mornings in pyjamas and slippers and walk her dog in the village whilst talking to herself because she was aristocratic and could therefore enjoy total personal freedom to do and be as she wished. I liked her, not only because she bought one of my paintings, but because she allowed others to enjoy the same liberty that she herself relished. She was writing a medical book by hand and was resolute in avoiding the use of computers or any technological gadgets because she believed they discharged harmful magnetic waves. So she relied on reference books borrowed from the library and the old encyclopaedias she owned. I told her she could come and do searches on my laptop but she declined the offer with the same fury one rejects an invitation to visit slaughterhouses. Charlotte and Marie-Claire came for tea a few times and complimented me on the way I decorated the house.


      


The exhibition was a success, especially for Isabelle who had a substantial invitation list, less for me who had just arrived but I was perfectly happy about everything and got some publicity too. Eymet in the summer is full of visitors, in particular on Thursdays which is the market day and is full of bright stalls with flowers, hand-made bags and clothes, food and the typical products of the region. English people meet up and then either go to the pub or one of the restaurants. It has been said that expats living in Dordogne are different; they are more snotty and cultured. My experience of them was not sufficiently vast to either confirm or deny this but it is certainly a region that attracts epicureans and in particular lovers of foie gras and other meat specialities as well as good wine. In any case it is a lovely region, albeit a bit damp in the winter. I was amazed at how much meat is produced and sold in Dordogne. Being a sort of vegetarian, it was disturbing to find slaughterhouses on the outskirts of every sizeable village. The meat sellers may not have solely existed for the purpose of feeding the locals but the locals were certainly butchering animals to feed outsiders.The exhibition was a success, especially for Isabelle who had a substantial invitation list, less for me who had just arrived but I was perfectly happy about everything and got some publicity too. Eymet in the summer is full of visitors, in particular on Thursdays which is the market day and is full of bright stalls with flowers, hand-made bags and clothes, food and the typical products of the region. English people meet up and then either go to the pub or one of the restaurants. It has been said that expats living in Dordogne are different; they are more snotty and cultured. My experience of them was not sufficiently vast to either confirm or deny this but it is certainly a region that attracts epicureans and in particular lovers of foie gras and other meat specialities as well as good wine. In any case it is a lovely region, albeit a bit damp in the winter. I was amazed at how much meat is produced and sold in Dordogne. Being a sort of vegetarian, it was disturbing to find slaughterhouses on the outskirts of every sizeable village. The meat sellers may not have solely existed for the purpose of feeding the locals but the locals were certainly butchering animals to feed outsiders.


The Art of Moving in France: A Buying, Renovating and Selling Tour de Force by Angela Baggi, pictured here.


Thank you for sharing your book with us Angela. 


For those who would like to share their talent, vocation and passion, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!


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