When Online Dating meets La Vie en Rose

Written by on February 12, 2016 in Blog

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True life story from local friend Miles Barrington

8 years ago I was managing a sports shop in Bristol. Life was busy and stressful, and I was very much living the city life. Then, one Sunday in the winter of 2009, everything came to a head.

I’d been stood-up by a blind date during the week, so I was in a fairly foul mood, and the shop had a power cut. I had too many staff in so I decided I was going to go home, send some emails to girls on the internet dating site I was a member of, and then watch a war movie for the afternoon with a beer or two.

That’s exactly what I did that afternoon, except I never got to the war movie. One of the girls replied very quickly and we got into a conversation. After half an hour, we started a phone conversation on Skype and we spent seven hours talking on that Sunday afternoon.

In the course of that conversation (I had a glass of wine or two) I had somehow booked a plane ticket, and the following morning I flew down to Beziers to meet her. I stayed five days, during which the conversation barely stopped. Five months later, I had redecorated and rented out my house, then I quit my job at the ski shop and moved out to France.

That was July 2009 and I’m still here, with the girl who changed my life – Annette. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t have a job, but together we make it work.

I decided to set-up Languedoc Property Service – having studied engineering at Uni, I can offer homeowners help with all sorts of maintenance and DIY. The work can be anything from popping in on a regular basis to check for burst pipes, or more extensive repairs, renovations, pool installations or landscaping.

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My business has grown through word of mouth – but also thanks to Annette. (My pile of keys now weighs over 2 kilos!) Annette develops websites and promotes businesses on the owner’s behalf. Her speciality is raising people’s profile online – and within six months things had already taken off for me.

After renting various properties over several years, we decided to buy our own – and in late 2012 fell for a 200 year old maison de vigneron. It’s a striking property with some lovely features and a lot of potential – it also requires a lot of work, not to mention money!

One of the things we both have in common is a love for the Languedoc countryside. It’s very wild, very natural; one of the most untouched areas of France. I love the scenery, the lifestyle, the food. When I came over I was almost vegetarian and I’m now a huge fan of steak tartare. How things change!

One of my other passions is cycling, and the riding here is really fabulous. I try and get out twice a week, and with the landscape and the heat, it’s stunning. Cresting a hill after a long climb and seeing the Mediterranean laid out before you is pretty special.

When I met Annette she had a Weimaraner, Nibs, and although I’d never had a dog before I was quickly converted to dog ownership. When Nibs died Annette was devastated, but we now have another Weimaraner, plus a rescue dog from the Carcassonne SPA. They are tremendous fun, and keep us out and about enjoying local walks, and of course, lunches!

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I’ve always enjoyed a lot of variety and I’ve certainly got that here.

My life is now a far cry from the one I had 8 years ago but in a strange way it seems that all paths were leading to where I am now.

Annette and I said all along that we were destined to meet at some point. 10 years earlier would have been even better but I’m still here with my lovely girl, thoroughly enjoying life in the real south of France.

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