THE internet has allowed many people to head to France and still carry on their work with businesses back in the UK.
With a simple email, tax consultants can keep in touch with clients and marketers can brainstorm with their colleagues.
Kevin Raymond is a magazine editor for a variety of motorcycle titles including What Bike? yet he is able to keep on top of articles and deadlines from his home in Normandy.
“It is now much easier for me to work on a 260 page magazine from my home than it was just five years ago,” Kevin said.
“In the past I would have been sat in an office for two months whilst my house was invaded by mice or something.
“Yet today with a high-speed internet connection I only have to be in the office for a couple of days, overseeing the magazine as it is finished off.”
Kevin and his wife bought a run down house ten years ago on the west coast of the Normandy peninsula about an hour south of Cherbourg.
They had never owned a house in the UK but they followed Kevin’s parents who had bought a home in France.
However, in the early years they spent a lot of time travelling backwards and forwards to the house.
“When we bought the place it was in a very bad state with no proper drainage or bathroom, so we had to work on it to get it straight,” said Kevin.
“Fortunately my wife had a home in the UK through her university studies so we were able to do the work and travel between the two.
“But when we were ready to move across we loaded up a van with our things and my wife drove a 2CV van across with the entire contents of our greenhouse in the back.”
And it is the love of all things Citroen that is a great passion in Kevin’s life, as he has owned over a dozen 2CV vans and H-vans.
Now he looks out for examples of these French classics stored away in barns and fields for contacts and friends in the UK.
“I remember seeing H-vans when I was a kid and I used to call them ‘biscuit-barrel’ vans,” Kevin said.
“I’ve always loved the cars and vans so when I ever get the chance to buy one I will chat to people in the UK who are always on the look-out for spares and snap it up.
“Now though I have got a bit of a reputation around the area and the local scrap yard will send people to me to see if I’m interested in buying their car.”
And to give you an idea of Kevin’s current stable, here is his list!
1985 2CV saloon
1981 2CV saloon
1990 2CV saloon
1970 AK350 2CV van currently being restored from a complete wreck.
1975 AK400 2CV van in original Kronenbourg publicity colours (arriving soon).
1963 Massey Ferguson 825 tractor
1974 JCB 2D mkII digger
1991 Mazda MX-5
Three Citroen BXs
The remains of a Citroen Acadiane (like a 2CV van but with the front end of a Dyane).
1974 Citroen H van camper
1972 Citroen H van - For Sale!
1977 Citroen H van - also For Sale
1981 Citroen H van Betaillere (horse box/cow carrier) which is going to be turned into a mobile greenhouse!
1966 VW Beetle