About me

Graham Welch, A year in Perigord 1

My name is Graham Welch and I am a Francophile. This blog is a celebration of my life in France. 

When I started it in 2014, I planned to move to south-west France, but life has a habit of throwing a spanner in the works. Such was 2016’s Brexit vote.

My hopes were thrown into question – until my partner found a job in France. It isn’t quite where we’d imagined we would be, though. Instead, it is in Lille.

We both love this northern city anyway, so we were happy to make the move. I commute back to London for work a couple of days a week.

I’m now in my 7th year of this blog and update it each week. So far, I have never felt I’d run out of things to say – a fact that surprises none of my friends or colleagues.

I write and edit as part of what I do for a living. Over the years, my work has been published by a number of national, local and trade newspapers and magazines, but this is different.

I picked up a couple of awards in 2014 for this blog, which was particularly satisfying. It suggests people enjoy what I write.

For a couple of years, I also worked with a French music journalist on a book about 1960s icon Françoise Hardy, which has now been published. (You can find it on Amazon, and elsewhere.) I have gained qualifications in French wine too, so there is plenty to cover in my posts.

I hope you stick with me as I make progress with my new life in Lille.

72 thoughts on “About me

  1. What a great project Graham! Thank you for following my blog and I look forward to reading about your endeavors.


  2. Wishes that 2014 is everything you hope it will be
    We are working on it!
    Bonne chance

    G & T

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on starting your blog and thank you for following elizabethsvines.


  4. Lovely blog…looks like we have similar stories. I am also an editor and more dryly, a technical writer. This challenge of writing daily has been more difficult than I thought —as you’ll notice, I’ve missed a few days, but trying to give myself a break and double up a few days when I need to. I look forward to following your year. Best, Nancy


  5. Sounds like a fun challenge. Bon courage!


  6. Jane Patterson on said:

    How wonderful, Graham! I shall look forward to my daily dose of all things French. Good luck with it all. Much love, Jane x


  7. A post a day is a tough challenge – one I certainly wouldn’t be able to sustain. Good luck with it!


  8. I’d love to spend a year in Perigord. Last year for a significant birthday my nearest and dearest banded together to buy me a truffle tree in a truffiere at Le Gers. The grand plan is to embark on Le Grand Tour and visit it one day. Meanwhile I’ll live vicariously through your wonderful posts..


  9. I’d much rather spend a year in Périgord than a year in Provence. I look forward to following along.


  10. Good Luck with your year’s blogging, Graham. I bet you carry on after the year is up! And thanks for reading Bristol Wine Blog – at least some of my blogs will be about French wine.


  11. Graham, great bloc (http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002225.html) you certainly have a skill in expressing yourself and looking at the world from a cultural point, sounds like you need to work for a French Company like Veolia 🙂 keep up the great read!


  12. Bonjour Monsieur! Thanks for visiting and following mon petit blog “a to z” and for leading me here to yours. I know I’m going to love reading about all your French experience 🙂


  13. Dr Sze Wey Lee on said:

    Hi Graham – Thanks for liking my post. Its a great encouragement for a new blogger like me.


  14. Ah, I do understand the passion for this Country, these people and so very much more. What would have broken my heart would have been to leave. It is nearly seven years since I arrived and I’ve been blogging about it for two and a half. As always, the more I experience here, the more I want to experience. Bon courage et bonne chance!

    Thank you for choosing to follow one of my blogs. I hope you continue to enjoy the posts.


  15. Bonne fête nationale!


  16. Bonjout Grahame,
    We are now following your blog and thank you for following ours. We hope that you come to love the region that you are living in as much as we adore our life here in the Loire Valley.


  17. Bendilyn Bach on said:

    Bonjour Graham, Thanks for your follow. J’apprecie. Your mention of Poitou-Charentes inspires me to point you to a post about special moments we spent there: http://lovingafrenchman.wordpress.com/2014/07/page/7/ Profitez-en! Bon courage et bonne continuation.


  18. Lucky man to be spending a year in the Perigord. Thanks for stopping by A Writer of History.


  19. fabdo on said:

    Hi Graham, Like you we would like to spend at least part of the year in France in the future and we started building our dream. We bought a 200 year old house in the SW of France and we renovate it slowly. It takes time, money and a lot of patience, especially since we do not live there yet. Our dream, however, is becoming true.


  20. Hey! I love your blog! I’ve just nominated you for a Liebster Award — you can find out what it means and what the rules are here: http://themindfulexpat.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/the-mindful-expat-has-been-nominated-for-a-liebster-award/. (And I just realized that you seem to have more followers than WordPress had made it seem — the Liebster is supposed to be for blogs with fewer than 200 — but oh well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Graham. Thanks for following Now This Is What I Would Call Music. Enjoy the music! Steve…


  22. Lovely to find your blog (via Blog-sur-Aude). Another expat following the French lifestyle (and thoroughly enjoying it) here. I shall look forward to your future blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Graham, thanks for following my writing during the year and for your comments and likes which have been much appreciated. All the best for your writing projects in 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Graham, nice blog! I’ve just subscribed. I thought you might enjoy the upcoming book my wife and I have written, called BEGINNING FRENCH, by les Américains (our nom de plume). It’s a memoir set in the Dordogne around Issigeac. We’d be happy to let you share any part of it with your readers. You can get a sneak peek at beginningfrench.com. Merci et bon courage!


  25. Bonjour, Thanks for taking an interest … I hope you will continue to read along after you find out that my musings wander about outside l’Hexagon quite a bit!


  26. I am very interested in your blog, will continue to follow you!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thanks for coming by again. Much appreciated!!


  28. Congratulations on the well deserved blog awards Graham and it’s great that you found me, because I have now found you and can follow your adventures. It is so heart warming to see a fellow explorer following his passions as you are doing….may you have many more adventures and joyful moments along the way. I look forward to reading about them. x

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Hi Graham, many thanks for the follow on my mushroom blog! 🙂


  30. Thanks for commenting on one of my posts and bringing me to your French-filled blog! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed browsing your articles (and reliving a few memories along the way) and look forward to reading more 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I’m late, I’m late for a very important date … story of my life, I’m afraid and probably part of the reason that I find French life so sympatico for me. Anyway, the thing I’m late to is your parade and more specifically to follow your parade which I have been intending to do for moons and moons. Today is a total eclipse in some places so maybe that is the magic push I needed. But whatever the reason, I’m glad I finally remembered to press follow and I look forward to reading much along the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hello Graham
    Your blog is so well done. I thank you for all the work you do. The site the saisons you talk about at this address: https://anewlifeinlille.com/2016/07/23/take-five-foodie-breaks-in-france/ undergoes some minor modifications. Indeed it has gone from the http version to https. Could you do the necessary to modify the current link http://www.lessaisonsdecambremer.fr/en in https://lessaisonsdecambremer.fr/


  33. De Coninck Sveb on said:

    Hello Graham, nice to know that once a Brit lives in Lille instead of Périgord,Monaco,or Jouent Lapin. I hope that the North of France pleases you well !

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Welcome to Lille, we go there often family nearby maybe early next year again. Well a lot closer to England for sure….Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hi Graham.. Very interesting blog you have. We have been traveling around France with the idea of a move there – problem is we like everywhere we see. Oh well, such problems. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Ada Terrebonne Churchwell on said:

    Hi Graham. When you speak of visitors, are these your personal friends or are do you have a B&B? I’m headed to Lille as my daughter will be teaching English as a second language in Roubaix and we’d like the experience of staying with hosts to learn about the area. You definitely sound like you’d offer a great perspective with a significant dose of joie de vivre. If that is the case, I’d love if you’d pass on your info. We’d definitely see if our dates would work. Thank you. All the best.


    • Hello and thank for your message. We’re not really in a position to take paying guests here in Lille. We’re planning a move to the south west of France, when that will certainly be part of what we do. I’m sure you will enjoy Roubaix. People here are very friendly and you’ll soon settle in. Wishing you lots of luck, Graham


  37. Ada Terrebonne Churchwell on said:

    Sounds like y’all are ready for warmer climates. We stayed in Cagne-sur-Mer years ago and that was incredible. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hi Graham,
    I enjoyed reading your post about yé-yé music. If you’re ever in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Rue ‘66: https://www.rue-66.com. They’re great performers! Congratulations on your new book! Best wishes for the new year!


    Liked by 1 person

  39. I remember Françoise Hardy, Johnny Halliday and many more.

    Have a good day!

    P.S. Why You are not writing Your posts in French also?

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hi Graham, Just to let you know that I am giving your blog a little shout-out on my Life on La Lune blog. I’m not expecting you to do anything in return, or list your own favourite blogs, since I know this can be tiresome, but this is just so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Not yet posted – will do so in a few minutes.


  41. Moy Lewis-Logie on said:

    Please sign me up for your blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Moy. There’s a box on the right-hand side of this page where you can input your email and you’ll receive an update each time I post. It’s all run by WordPress so I don’t have access to your details. Alternatively, if you have a WordPress account you can just click the Follow button. Glad you like the blog enough to want to follow me.


  42. Hi Graham, just read your article in Living France. Loved it. I would like to make my home in Lille too. So will be following your blog. I visited the first time to see my boyfriend last year and absolutely loved it. He’s in Lomme. Hope to meet you and your partner one day. All the best Catherine


    • Hi Catherine,
      Forgive my slow reply – I’ve only just received notification that you’d left a comment.
      Lille’s great! We’ve really enjoyed living here. Give me a shout if you need any more advice!
      All the very best, Graham


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