Free Very Best of The Oldie when you subscribe


Travel: Paradis perdu

Travel | By Roger Lewis | July 2017

Normandy’s wooded valleys and gorgeous hedgerows have been swept away by a tide of industrial agriculture, concrete sheds and huge wind turbines. And there are just too many Brits there, says Roger Lewis

Twenty-five years ago, I was living in France full time. We had a granite farmhouse in Normandy, which we could never afford to restore. We raised the children there. They went to the local school and became fully bilingual. I was fully bilingual myself after a few shots of Calvados in the morning coffee. I wrote my Peter Sellers book, shuffled about in a beret with a baguette under my arm, and put on tons of weight with the long lunches, endless dinners and gallons of cheap wine. This was the prehistoric, pre-computer era. We had no access to British telly or British newspapers. The fax machine had come in – does anyone remember those fading yellow sheets that always jammed? – but Googling hadn’t been invented. The World Wide Web had yet to be dreamed up. Mobile phones were non-existent, as was ‘social media’. No email had been sent...

Buy a digital version of this issue for £2.99 now