A regional renaming in south-east France has put the Catalan nose out of joint. But you can’t keep a Catalan down for long, they’ll probably turn the event into a party. We live close to the Spanish border in an area sometimes known as Catalonia, which straddles both sides of the border. There are around 450,000 French Catalans, largely based around the city of Perpignan which was a strong fortress in medieval times. The Catalans are a proud people, with their own language; a rough mix of French and Spanish.
The Languedoc Roussillon lies down in the true South of France, sharing many geographical aspects with its more expensive sister region, Provence. It is mainly a wine growing area – actually the largest in the world – but has so much else to offer: hundreds of kilometres of sandy beaches, historical Cathar monuments, hiking trails, rivers, mountains, skiing, proximity to Spain. Living here, one of the first things that expats are struck by is the wonderful golden light of the sun. They say there are 320 days of sunshine here; although it is a seasonal climate and can get quite cold in t