Author Topic: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle  (Read 281 times)

Sydneystache

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A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« on: February 27, 2017, 05:40:13 AM »
When I was an impressionable 13 or 14 year old, I devoured this book. I had nothing in common with the author, never been to Provence yet even today this book has remained with me as my ultimate escape book. Was this the book that changed my outlook on life?

Looking back at it now, it resonates with the desire to FIRE and to live a better life. The angst of what to do during retirement was a fear unfounded. Mayle retired at 55 after 2 divorces and with 12 months of living expenses. He wasn't FI, he had a book contract to float him. And indeed this book turbocharged his post-FIRE life and wildly made him richer both materially and spiritually.

Perhaps how/what Mayle made his life in France so successful was his positive attitude and openness to changes and a more chillaxed way of approaching obstacles.

I do wonder how much this book has influenced my life choices and how it continues to - the search for sunlight, the search for community, the search for simplicity.

Stachey

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 03:28:06 PM »
I really love your description of this book Sydneystache!  I liked this book a lot too but didn't realize the backstory (only 12 months of living expenses (!) for example).

A book you might also like is called "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerard Durrell.  It's not Mustachian per se (I think they were rather bad with money) but it is very evocative of a simple life in the wonderful countryside of Corfu.   

Sydneystache

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 03:45:52 PM »
Thanks Stachey - I have been meaning to read the Durrell books. They are such a fascinating family. The Durrell mother was a trailblazer in that regard - can't live in England so just move elsewherre. We saw the TV adaptation of "My Life and other Animals" last year and that was pretty funky. I loved the scene where the Durrells decided to dine in, rather than by, the sea but somehow forgot about the tides. Agree about them being bad with money so were frugal out of necessity.

How many rundown former Corfu palaces are available now for a reno and refit? Or Mayle's provencal mas?

Stachey

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 04:18:50 PM »
Gerard and his family had great senses of humour (and I can't remember if it made it into that movie or not) the part where they named two new puppies that Gerard adopted: Widdle and Puke.
They also were trying to figure what to christen the boat that Gerry's brother had built for him...they decided to call it "Bum Trinket".  I still laugh over that book and I haven't read it in years.

You know I saw a cooking show on tv a few years ago...this British chef travelling around the Mediterranean collecting recipes.  Well he went to Corfu and saw the Durrell's Pink House!!!  It was pretty rundown looking but it was right on the seashore.  Gorgeous looking country.

Sydneystache

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 07:19:56 PM »
Was it Keith Floyd or Rick Stein?

BTW, just came across this on Larry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIOjaroRfEI

He looks so much like Gerard with the facial bone structure.

In 9:00 - "I was given GBP100 advance for a book which would give you 6 months freedom in Corfu, eating well and drinking well."

Hehe - gotta love it: wine, fun and happiness on peasant food!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 07:29:32 PM by Sydneystache »

Stachey

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 09:35:46 PM »
Cheers Sydneystache!!  I didn't know about that program. 

Amazing isn't it...100 pounds would give you six months of the good life on Corfu.  I like how he says "a person doesn't need very much to live" and "frugality is a very important lesson to learn".  Very Mustachian of him.  :)
I haven't read any Lawrence Durrell books.  Have you?  I might have to look for some.

I think it was a Rick Stein program I saw.

Sydneystache

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Re: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 11:04:13 PM »
No haven't read any of Larry's work yet - it is on the to do list! His Alexandria Quartet is supposed to be a classic but my impression he is dark whereas Gerald is in to the lighter side of life. Margo has written a book as well so there's plenty on the Durrell family reading list.