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Thursday, 18 January 2018
The cost of Living.
In July 2001, a very good friend from my college days, T, quit Dubai, where he'd been designing some of those iconic buildings, and came to live here in France.
Not long after his arrival, he asked me a searching question "How much are your weekly outgoings?".
Well, the answer was very simple. At the time I spent on average €50 per week, which included wine and petrol; but not house taxes, water, or electricity (those were paid by direct debit, and still are). He seemed quite surprised that it was so little.
We ate well, drank well, and travelled about quite a lot. We didn't deprive ourselves of anything, and ate out quite often.
T is sadly no longer living here, but if he asked me that same question again today, the answer would be very different.
I now find myself robbing the ATM machine of €300, at least three times a month.
I use the car as little as possible, only frequent restaurants in the summer, and we eat a lot less expensive meats than we used to. There is no question that since 2001, the cost of living has more than quadrupled.
Of course, in those 16 years there was bound to have been inflation, but it does seem to have been excessively high over the past 5 years or so.
Those Euro notes don't seem to be worth very much these days, and putting €20 into the Compact Royce's petrol tank just about gets me home. I suppose I should be grateful that I still have a few of them left.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!