I know, I know, 15 months between entries isn't the idea. I have an excuse. Around the time I started this project I also really began to seriously attend to another idea that I had been kicking around for a few months.
Do you remember the world in 2007? George W was President, Tony Blair was still Prime Minister and your house was still worth real money. Everyone we knew in the UK seemed to have either just bought a house in France, a flat in Spain or a barn in Tuscany. We joined thousands, millions of people who browsed estate agent sites looking for that perfect foreign dream. We started giving serious thought to picking out a place to retire to. And in fact in 2008 we took our vacation in Malta and Italy and viewed some properties.
In the course of all of this I realized that although there is a ton of information out there, most of it is either in another language or is directed at tourists. It is incredibly easy to use tripadvisor.com to get the skinny on hotels, restaurants, museum opening hours and so on. But what about English-speaking doctors, school standards, planning laws?
And so the thought was planted to build a website to cater to the needs of anyone from the UK or the US who is thinking about buying a second or retirement home overseas or contemplating a relocation while still working.
Well the world we live in today is very different economically, politically and in every other way from teh world of 2007, but www.placescompared.com is approaching launch. It has been an incredibly busy 15 months and the next 15 look to be just as busy. I've neglected the garden, the cat and the blog. I'll try to do better - at least with the cat and the blog (the garden may be beyond redemption).
But the experience has at least persuaded me to focus this blog a bit more, so I plan to write about the expatriate life, its challenges and rewards and a bit about the trials and tribulations of building a web site when you have very, very limited computing skills.