In the beginning...

It’s all Amanda Lamb’s fault.

We had comfortable lives. We drank wine, had parties, went to work, drank more wine, went to other peoples parties. We have 3 cats and more friends than you could shake a stick at (don’t try this; one of my friends thought I was trying to assault him, and – rather more worryingly – our friend Rose thought it was an invitation to take up Morris Dancing)

When not partying with friends, or working, we shared the sofa in our North London home, with our three feline friends, our expanding backsides making increasingly comfortable (and therefore more difficult to escape from) arse-ruts.

We loved watching TV. We particularly loved other people screw up their lives by doing really dumb things. We loved watching all those programmes where other people take stupid risks like buy a house in another country with no survey (who can be that naive?). We loved watching Kirsty and Phil, Sarah Beeny, Kevin McCloud and all the other smug presenters, who like us (the intelligent viewers) knew these hopeless fops were simply not thinking things through.

We loved watching. Not so keen on doing: we’re the Humpbuckles, that’s just who we are. Or so we thought.

Then one evening we watched A Place in the Sun special (top 20 places to buy a holiday home) and we found that you could still buy a place in a little-known part of France called Limousin, that wasn’t over populated by Brits (and therefore still affordable).

And so, without thinking we would actually do anything so stupid as buy a place, we found ourselves sitting on a cheap flight from Stanstead, with a folder full of downloaded details of properties to visit when we landed.

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