I was coming up to my 50th birthday, coming out the other side of an acrimonious split, selling my family home and trying to find somewhere to live that wasn't an ex local authority flat somewhere rural in the UK within my budget. Life wasn't great in 2015/16.
Then.... my partner and I were given a delivery job by a friend of ours, who had a house in Normandy. His caretaker was an Albanian, who had been to renew his driving licence, only to be told by a smirking French bureaucrat that his original was a fake and that he'd been conned by the Albanian mafia!
So our dear friend set about buying a micro car for his worker, and we were tasked with bringing it to France for him. Cue hilarity as the microcar was wider than the wheel arches, and had to be driven up a ramp and down again, at which point it was discovered that the doors couldn't be opened, so an exit through the back hatch window was required, Our somewhat tubby friend had a tricky few moments!
So off we set, ferry bound for a French adventure, a few days holiday in return for transporting the car. A lovely Maison de ville, but set in the countryside around Vire, was our destination. I'd never been to Normandy before, only ever ventured across the channel on school and college trips to Paris. And this was the view from our window that first morning.
A life-changing moment- We could live here! And so the dream was born. There and then. On our return to the UK I told everyone I was moving to France to live within a year, so I couldn't change my mind, have cold feet, back out. And a year to the day, I was signing the compris for the French farmhouse we now call home.