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The Philosopher's stones

Will and Lady Di were probably the most flexible clients I’ve ever worked with, so thrilled they were at the perspective of philosophical asylum in France. In order to make their retirement income stretch farther, and to make better use of their fluency in German, we determined Strasbourg would be a better choice than Paris. They planned a quick trip to make sure of that, and fell in love with each other all over again, just as they did with Strasbourg for the first time. My mission was to find a two-bedroom apartment in that capital town, one oozing with old-world charm, and within a 20 min walk to the tallest-in-the-world cathedral.

An initial survey of the market revealed few more than three options, each oozing with attributes I would not qualify as old-world charm. Matters were complicated by having to explain to future landlords and agents that my client had just retired, spoke no French, and had no local French income or guarantor. The only thing my client really had going for him, as a reputed professor, was the philosophical/political asylum story. That usually hits a soft spot with the French.


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