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Having spent many a family vacation trudging the damp footpaths of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, John Cross decided in 1989 to buy a holiday home in the Languedoc, near Béziers. For the next ten years he spent much of his money renovating houses in the area and much of his spare time exploring the Languedoc hills and mountains on foot and by bike. Finally, in 1999, he and his wife, Sarah, gave up their jobs as headteachers to live in the Languedoc full time. John is now working as a freelance translator.