George East has his website hidden at the cunningly named… George East in France – subtle but, to the point!
I almost wasn’t going to add this site.
This is because I don’t actually believe that George East exists.
I think that one day an eager publisher’s clerk suggested a series of books about life in France because some other publisher had had some success with A Year in Provence and thus, the idea of George East was born.
My theory is that once a year, some poor work experience student is locked in a cupboard with 5 kilos of Camembert, 20 Gallons of wine and told to stay there until they have written the next George East book.
And I firmly believe that every time they need a photo taken (or a book signing), they just haul out some chubby chap with a beard (and there are enough of those in Brittany), and pay him a few shillings (or a bottle of Ricard – most chubby chaps with beards in Brittany would prefer the latter, if the truth be told) to be photographed with a chicken or a goat.
According to his site…
“George and Donella are now living half-way up what passes as a mountain in the Finistere department of Brittany. Along with four chickens, two goats, Lupin the werecat and Milly the collie-cross, the couple are embedded in a hamlet with a population of just 11, which nestles at the bottom of a track leading up to hundreds of acres of moorland and granite crags.”
Somewhere on the site, George has a list of top ten tips for buying a property in France (all of which are, interestingly enough, recorded as Tip No 1!) These tips all make excellent sense, even if (or especially because), George seems to have broken each and every one of them himself!
And perhaps that’s the beauty of this site. Whether you believe that George East exists or not, his writings encourage you to think that there is a right way of doing things in France whereas, at the same time, we are totally sure that he, like most of us, knows that the only right thing to do is have a glass of Pastis when it has all gone horribly wrong!
And finally, the real reason that I don’t believe he exists…… is that vest!
Now, when did you last see an author (or anyone outside a mental institution), wearing the sort of vest that you couldn’t give away to Oxfam?
I’m sure that nice Mr. Mayle (he of Year in Provence fame – a real author, you see), doesn’t wear a vest like that (at least, not in public!)
All the best