France still skiing while rest of Europe shuts

With the traditional end of the French ski season this weekend, agents and buyers should be getting down to the serious business of buying and selling property from Monday. A late flurry of snow last week, plus up to 15cm more snow expected today, will extend the season, however, with French resorts staying open while most of Europe shuts down.

Enjoying and maintaining the outdoor space in your new French home

It’s all good news when it comes to outdoor space in France. Land is cheaper here than in the UK and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on whether to have a flower garden, vegetable plot or simply a terrace or deck. This time of the year sees abundant growth everywhere, particularly in our corner of the Languedoc, where the vines are now becoming bright green and bushy: a wonderful sight!

Work and School Balance

Is work culture about to change in Spain? It certainly seems possible, thanks to a recent landmark decision by a court which permitted an employee to be “late” to work so that he could take his son to school. Could this be the beginnings of a new realistic view of the rights of working people across Spain?

Spain Boosts Airport Security

Acting Minister for State Security has ordered hundreds of plain clothes officers to patrol airports and stations in the wake of the recent attacks in Brussels. The national level of security remains the same. All European countries are reviewing their security in public places, especially at airports and stations and other transport hubs. In the Basque Country and Catalonia the regional police are involved in similar operations while state police are watching perimeters. All over the country, security forces have been instructed to look for anyone acting suspiciously among all passengers, fro

Smoking in Spain declines

With problems in world markets and tougher laws in Spain, a once booming industry says goodbye to its last cigarette production line. Anyone who has seen Bizet’s opera Carmen will remember the wonderful scene where Carmen sings Habanera outside the cigarette factory where she worked in Seville. The date is around 1820 and at the time Spain had numerous factories around the country, producing cigarettes – and these continued to do so until the year 2000 when one of the main producers, Altadis, began closing its factories.

Do the Brits really enjoy their lives in Spain?

A recent survey of Brits living in Spain heralded very interesting results, suggesting that despite the reputation that they rely on speaking English, only eat British food and only socialise with other Brits, most of those who live there enjoy a very British life. The survey asked people to use one word to describe how they felt about living in Spain and the word “happy” was the most used, while “relaxed” and “content” were also popular. When looking further into the lives of the respondents, the survey revealed that over 50% spoke Spanish with the locals and friends, enjoyed Spanish food, ha