Sunday, 30 August 2009


I often muse about what I would do if I won the lottery and I would guess that for most people, this is their favourite pipe dream. But which is the second favourite?

As a true Brit, I moan a lot about the weather. Every day, up and down the country, people are saying 'I'm sick of this climate. I wish I lived in Spain / The Bahamas / Australia etc. I have often thought that if I did live in a different country, I would choose the Netherlands. This is based on thoroughly enjoyable holidays spent there which of course, is a very bad way to make this choice. You need to check many different aspects of a country before you decide which is your dream lifetime destination.

So I searched for the facts and found 'The 2009 Quality of life index'. This provided me with every detail I needed. Heading the list is France with the Netherlands in joint 11th and poor old U.K. in joint 20th. Well pardonnez mois but our old enemy France is not where I wish to live. Among other things, La Grève makes the place a total flop as a country to live in as far as I am concerned. La Grève is their frequent habit of going on strike and blocking roads with lorries or harbours with boats until the issue is resolved. So I needed to examine the data from my personal point of view.

Firstly, call me a wimp but my dream country needs to score full marks for 'Risk & Safety'. This reduced the list to 55. Then I love my freedom so full marks are required here too. Down to 35 nations now. Aren't you glad that I am an anorak so you don't need to be one?

Next item in order of importance for me is health for which I required a score of at least 70% and this reduced the field to 23 countries. A notable casualty here was the United States! Infrastructure is important because I like my creature comforts so a modest 65% here took the list down to 15. Now I looked at Leisure & Culture and applied a filter of 70% which left me with my top 10 of which 9 were European. Here is the list in alphabetical order:

United Kingdom

Much as I love nice weather but not wishing to be shot on a sunny beach, you will understand why only now did I look at climate. I wanted 80% or above and was surprised that the U.K. was still in the remaining 6 at this stage. Now I considered Environment and looked for a minimum 70% score which left the top 3 which were France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

The final parameters were Cost of living and Economy. Since these are closely related, I tackled this by taking the two scores for each nation and adding them together. My home nation suffered badly here scoring only 39.5% and finishing 3rd. Next with 59.5% came France (phew!) but with 61.5%, Luxembourg came through to win.

So whilst I am content to live in the third best country in terms of my preferences, Luxembourg is at the very least, a future holiday destination!


  1. Saw that you were leaving messages on my blog. I was on twitter at the time. Saw your tweet about your new post So here I am. Isn't technology wonderful. Most important: you may not want to eat mushrooms in Luxembourg.
    Great posts

  2. I've lived in hot clims - Spain and Cuba - and that's great. For a while.
    But I do so love this country - our people, our humour, our food (yes) and especially the weather - we never know what could happen next. Yesterday I went out with waterproofs, woolies, sun-cream -glasses, -hats. And my shoulders are stronger for it :-)