It's true. I don't really like it here. Besides the fact that living in a three-bedroom house with a garden and pool means living beyond my means and that makes me constantly stressed, I also don't like the area. I don't like it for several reasons, one of them being that I don't find it beautiful. Beauty is something you can't really argue. Either something strikes you as beautiful or it doesn't. Just like either you like liver or you don't. Or smelly cheese.
Not finding the area beautiful doesn't mean I never find beauty here. The sea doesn't move me, but when the skies were swarming with starlings a few years ago, I was moved to my core with the magnificence of the spectacle. Spring also brings with it the more subtle spectable of the almond trees in bloom. Their color is pale and the flowers are delicately small, but in this rather colorless landscape where their arboreal companions are olives and pines that make no overt change during the course of the year, the almonds are a potent sign of the approach of spring.
Above is my photo taken near where I live, and below is a painting of the same subject by Vincent van Gogh painted in Arles. There is no comparison between my very average photo and the genius of Vincent's painting. I post them both because it pleases me that Vincent enjoyed some of the same things that I do. If you have any interest in van Gogh, take a look at the new biography written by Pulitzer Prize winners Steven Naifehand Gregory White Smith. Van Gogh: The Life is a wonderfully detailed biography and it convinced me that it wasn't a suicide.