Retired Englishman living the good life shooting, fishing and enjoying the good cuisine and wine of France


(Michael Paul Herring) #1

Ok so here is a bit about my life.

I lived most of my life in the flat lands around Cambridge a wonderful town but not my favourite type of terrain having always preferred wooded hilly terrain being wonderful for shooting, so hence the Dordogne was the obvious choice.

My first taste of France and the Dordogne was camping when the children were young over 30 years ago. (Can’t believe they are that old)

I bought my first house in Valojoulx in 2000 an old Moulin; it hadn’t been lived in for 5 years and needed complete renovation. In 2002 my life changed radically, due to environmental costs and the general decline in manufacturing I closed my business, sad after 27 years of trading but that’s not the end! Yet another blow I became divorced at the same time. Best forget 2002

So what shall I do?

Answer start a new life in 2003 so I packed up and moved to France!!

Being on my own I couldn’t have chosen a better place to live, Valojoulx being a small hamlet with under 200 inhabitants, by offering my help at various events at the Sale de fete I soon got to know the locals who on learning I was a shooting and fishing man soon accepted me into their lives and families.

2008 was not a good year I went to hospital for a check up and returned some 6 weeks later after a major operation, on hearing I was to remain in hospital my amis collected my dogs, empted the fridge looking after the house by cutting the grass, watering the plants and liaising with my children including collecting them from the airport providing accommodation and transport wherever necessary. Disappointingly I feel that after living in the same village in UK for 25 years where everyone kept themselves to themselves I would never have received anywhere near that amount of help I received here in France.

Moving to France was the best decision of my life! So one happy Man


(Catharine Higginson) #2

Sorry to hear that you have you have been through some hard times but it sounds like you have found a great place to live and its heartwarming to hear how your neighbours responded. But equally, it sounds as though by offering to help at the village events, you helped yourself become integrated and of course, why wouldn’t they help someone who is so clearly a part of the community. Sorry that might sound a bit patronising - not meant to at all, but I’ve been working since 6am and ‘networking’ in between! Just delighted to hear from someone who is so happy now! C x