In 2008 we moved to France, choosing Burgundy as our region. We were, and still are, attracted by the beautiful countryside and the clean air. We have made many friends. We have found three problems, however.
First, it is almost impossible to walk through a village without being barked at by dogs. I cannot even sit in my garden without the neighbours’ dogs barking. Often the dogs are left alone for several hours during the day, and sometimes at night. It is a sad commentary on human nature that people are prepared to sacrifice their relations with their neighbours just for the sake of having a dog.
Second, we feel abandoned by the central government. To recover its prosperity, the region desperately needs investment. There is much poverty and isolation here, and people who want to move away to find work often find they cannot sell their houses. Public transport is almost non-existent. We are far from a TGV, the trains from Avallon to Paris are very infrequent, and buses over short distances almost non-existent.
Thirdly, driving manners are appalling. The roads being fairly empty, people do not pay attention. They speed through our village and do not keep to the right on bends. A particular menace are the small electric vehicles that require no licence.
James Chater, Domecy-sur-Cure