I know I do go on about where I live, but I think with good cause.
I came to live here partly because of Philip Oyler's delightful 1950 book 'The Generous Earth'. His description of the way of life, and the general environment, was enough to make me pack my bags and take advantage of what sounded to me like heaven on earth.
His title couldn't have been more apt, and it's at this time of year that it really becomes so poignant.
I arrived in 1972; 22 years after Oyler wrote his book, but nothing much had changed. However in the past 43 years life has dramatically improved for most of the locals. They all now have inside loos, running hot and cold water, and far more efficient farm machinery. People were still ploughing with oxen back in '72; now all that has gone.
The lovely architecture is still here; many of the neglected gems having been sympathetically restored by either English or Dutch ex-pats. On the down side, few farms now have a house Pig, nor do they have farmyards full of Ducks or Geese, and the hectare or so of vines that accompanied most farms have now mostly gone too.
These days farmers concentrate on making life as uncomplicated as possible. Few milk cows, tobacco farming has gone, and new crops such as sunflowers have taken over. Philip Oyler would notice quite some change.
But somehow the place still seems the same. Our friends and neighbours are still charming and generous, the landscape continues to enthral me, and the food is still excellent. I can't see any reason to leave.