A couple escaped the rat race by swapping their three-bedroom semi for an entire French town.
Liz and David Murphy sold their home for £400,000 and used the money to buy the historic rural hamlet of Lac De Maison in Poitou-Charentes, southwest France.
The hamlet includes six 400-year-old houses, two barns, three acres of land, and two 10m x 15m swimming pools.
The couple, who both worked in radio, spent £300,000 transforming the ruined buildings and pools to create homes for their family and a potentially thriving holiday let business.
The family say they now live “like millionaires” following their move from Manchester and have no plans to return to the UK despite not speaking French.
The Murphys moved into the main house in their hamlet with their two children Tom, 12, and Charlotte, eight, late last year after buying it in January 2021.
From a Semi Home to a French Village
In the house opposite lives Liz’s mum Helen Diaper, 73, and stepdad, Terry, 72.
The remaining four houses and two barns in the hamlet have been turned into holiday homes which they plan to rent out for hundreds of pounds a week.
Liz, 45, said: “We were both working 9-5 jobs in England, with busy lives, and the kids were in after-school clubs, and it was like we were on an endless treadmill.
“It wasn’t until Covid came and we were on this leave, and we realised we were in a rat race and life was passing us by.
“We realised we hadn’t spent much time with the kids, and we decided to do something to change all our lives.
“We had talked about moving to France for years. We had this sudden feeling to do it, and we suddenly did it.”
Sheffield United pulled off the major shock of the FA Cup third-round weekend when the third-tier English side triumphed 3-0 at Premier League Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
A Couple’s Bold Move to a French Village
Rangers, struggling near the foot of the Premier League table, had more misery heaped on them at their Loftus Road home, with a second-half double from winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce sealing the emphatic victory for League One’s sixth-placed team.
Arsenal began their Cup defence with a relatively serene 2-0 win, reprising their 2014 final victory over Hull City. Still, it was a Sunday for the minnows of England’s lower leagues to hunt for Premier League Goliaths with particular relish.
Amid several frights for the bigger clubs, non-league Wrexham was 10 minutes away from winning at Stoke City before late goals from Marko Arnautovic and a couple from Stephen Ireland spared the Premier League side’s blushes with a 3-1 win over the Conference side.
Premier League champions Manchester City had to come from behind with two James Milner goals to celebrate his 29th birthday and seal a 2-1 win over Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in injury time.
One of the Cup’s most famed giant killers, Yeovil Town, gave Manchester United a couple of severe scares in the first hour before a stunning strike on the turn from Ander Herrera and a superb breakaway goal from Angel Di Maria sealed a professional 2-0 win at the Huish Park home of the League One struggler.
Southampton, fourth in the Premier League, had to fight back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Championship team Ipswich Town. At the same time, only an 88th-minute Christian Benteke goal enabled Aston Villa to beat the Championship stragglers Blackpool.
Couple’s Adventure from Manchester to a French Village
Chelsea, the Premier League leaders, rested some big names but shook off the hangover of their defeat at Tottenham Hotspur by overpowering Watford 3-0 with second-half goals from Willian, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma.
However, the shock of the day was perpetrated by Sheffield United, who had already despatched Premier League teams Southampton and West Ham en route to the Capital One (League) Cup semi-finals.
They struck through their top scorer Marc McNulty, 36 minutes before Campbell-Ryce twice cashed in on poor Rangers’ defending to mock the 34-place gap between the two sides.
Wrexham, 97 places below Stoke, went ahead from Mark Carrington’s 73rd-minute header, offering 5,000 travelling Welsh fans the brief daydream of repeating their celebrated 1992 giant slaying of the then-champions Arsenal.
Stoke’s late fightback amply demonstrated the superior fitness levels of the big teams, something Manchester United also showed in wearing down Yeovil.
The home side, whose entire weekly wage budget of 37,500 pounds ($57,476) is about the same as Radamel Falcao’s daily earnings, competed stoutly for an hour and even had the chance to take the lead before Kieffer Moore fluffed his lines in front of David de Gea’s goal.
Then class prevailed, with Herrera’s swivel and shot on the bounce from about 25 metres out a pretty stellar finish.
Arsenal, welcoming back a sprightly-looking Theo Walcott a year since his last start before his serious knee injury, were always in control after Per Mertesacker’s first-half header.
Alexis Sanchez capped another outstanding performance with his 16th goal of the season in the 82nd minute.
Manchester City left it late to come good, Milner, in a particular role, scoring twice in the last 25 minutes after City had shown a distinct lack of invention in trying to respond to Atdhe Nuhiu’s 14th-minute goal.
Alan Pardew, an FA Cup hero in his day at Crystal Palace, took over the reins at his old club with a double from defender Scott Dann setting Palace on their way to a 4-0 stroll at Conference side Dover Athletic.