I moved to Provence on a whim. In 2006 I sold a castle in Ireland I’d spent 10 years restoring (very large, a Forth Bridge project) and in a fit of exuberance bought a Ferrari. My dream was to build a contemporary house on a hillside overlooking the sea – I wasn’t sure which sea. Solvent for the first time in a decade, my wife and I decided to drive to the South of France.
The little hilltop villages of the Luberon are as enchanting as the legends say and we were bowled over by the antiquity: Roman remains litter the landscape and there is a timelessness, a rootedness to the place. Mankind has lived in these parts for tens of thousands of years and evidence of his work is everywhere, in ancient olive terraces, 2,000 year-old bridges still in daily use, roads which follow trading routes trodden since prehistoric times.
The day after we arrived our friend threw a party and among the guests, inevitably, was an estate agent. I mentioned that I was looking for property and she promptly invited me to look at some. The next day we saw two and I bought the second one. Impulsiveness makes decision-making easy and I haven’t regretted it for an instant.
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