Some years later, Roger surprised everyone by selling up, ceasing to perform and simply spending time travelling, including a trip to Moscow.  He had a long stay in Egypt, where his singing voice was influenced by the North African open-throated singing tradition.

Then he moved to France. He loved France and the French language - and the painting he found there.



A postcard from Paris


Roger settled on a plot of land he purchased in the forest in Provence, leading a simple life. There he reflected, drew, painted, wrote songs and took pleasure in playing host.



Roger at ease, barbecuing; his sister-in-law, Vicky and nephew, Ben on holiday on Roger's land


He was angry about some aspects of local life.  He nailed two controversial boards to a tree at the entrance to his plot of land. One bore the name of the domain, EL KADI: it refers to a Sharia judge. The other stated, NE CHASSEZ PAS, 'Do not hunt'. French friends corrected him: the notice should read DEFENSE DE CHASSER, 'Hunting forbidden'. "No," Roger responded. "I mean 'Do not hunt'." He was concerned for the wild boar.

When he needed cash for essentials, he busked on the streets of Saint Tropez and Sainte-Maxime. He played an orgue de barbarie, which he had commissioned from a Swiss craftsman and which he decorated with pastoral scenes depicting playing children in each of the seasons.





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