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Green Rosie

New french downsizer

Well here we are - we have finally made our move over to France to start our much greener life. No doubt we will be calling on others over here to help us through all those lovely probelms you get moving to a foreign country where our grasp of the language is rather limited Embarassed . But boy am I enjoying the cheese and wine and am very glad we have finally got orrselves back online - I was getting downsizer withdrawl symptoms
madmonk

Welcome to France , hope you enjoy it as much as we are, where abouts are you?
Green Rosie

In Calvados about 45 mins SW of Caen - where are you?
madmonk

Parnac dept 36 about 70k north of Limoges.
Green Rosie

Oh dear - will have to find my french map - french geography is not my strong point Embarassed
boisdevie1

Bienvenu. J'habite de temps en temps dans le Pas de Calais.
Green Rosie

boisdevie1 wrote:
Bienvenu. J'habite de temps en temps dans le Pas de Calais.


and you speak better french than I do Smile
MarkS

Green Rosie wrote:
In Calvados about 45 mins SW of Caen - where are you?


more specific ? Alencon sort of area ?
Green Rosie

I would guess we are about an hour NW of Alencon. We are just outside the village of Lénault which is between Condé sur Noireau and Aunay sur Odon. Vire is our nearest bigger town. Am I right in thinking you are in Alencon then?
boisdevie1

Green Rosie wrote:
boisdevie1 wrote:
Bienvenu. J'habite de temps en temps dans le Pas de Calais.


and you speak better french than I do Smile


Well after 6 years in France and after 5 years with a French OH I should hope so!
Green Rosie

boisdevie1 wrote:


Well after 6 years in France and after 5 years with a French OH I should hope so!


And I had hoped that after 6 weeks I would be fluent!! Mind you I know quite a few vet terms having had a sick puppy and I am getting very good at sign language and shrugging my shoulders Laughing
boisdevie1

What you need is a French partner. My language skills have improved considerably thanks to Catherine. I can now argue the toss in two languages.

BTW, I do love Calvados. A very popular digestif here.
MarkS

Green Rosie wrote:
I would guess we are about an hour NW of Alencon. We are just outside the village of Lénault which is between Condé sur Noireau and Aunay sur Odon. Vire is our nearest bigger town. Am I right in thinking you are in Alencon then?


No - we're still looking.

I like Vire, and Im sure I know Conde
Blue Sky

Welcome to Downsizing abroad Green Rosie.

Enjoy the forums. Very Happy
Green Rosie

boisdevie1 wrote:
What you need is a French partner. My language skills have improved considerably thanks to Catherine. I can now argue the toss in two languages.



Nice idea but I think my current english OH might object - I am relying on the kids to help me along the way
Vanessa

Welcome to France! Top tips from me for learning the lingo (we've been here just over a year) - have ONLY French TV, and watch it with the subtitles on ... and get out there and just talk to the neighbours, however badly! They'll appreciate you're making the effort, and will comment on how you're improving after a while.

We're in the Correze, about 50k south of Limoges ... so about 140k south of MadMonk Wink
Green Rosie

Thanks for the watching tv with subtitles tip - I will try that once I can wrestle the box back from my rugby mad OH. I have already taken the step of talking to neighbours, mums at the bus stop, market stall owners etc etc. I've also joined the library and have french radio on in the car. To learn words I've taken to doing the crossword in the local paper (assisted by french and english dictionaries, french thesaurus and french verb conjuating book) - that way I get to look up lots of words, their meanings and their synonyms - some weeks I even get about half of them right.
Vanessa

I'm impressed with the crossword bit! Shocked WOW!! Very Happy
NannyP

Embarassed Embarassed Oh blimey, I've been here 15 months and you won't find me being so good with a crossword Rolling Eyes I played online Scrabble (one game) in French the other day....boy it was tough.

Welcome to France....you sound like you're here for good Very Happy
I am in Vienne, about a couple of hours from Vanessa, a little nearer to madmonk and a long way from you. 40 mins South of Poitiers.
Vanessa

I love this "virtual map" that's being "drawn" here. How far we are from each other ... it's cool Wink
Green Rosie

vanessa wrote:
I'm impressed with the crossword bit! Shocked WOW!! Very Happy


Only managed about 20% this week mind you and that took me a couple of hours. I do now know that Réa is some type of animal fodder, avide is greed, ferrure is iron and troc is to swap. Whether I will ever remember these is a different matter - it is not often one gets to say I'm greedy so can I swap this iron for some animal feed!

As for working out where we all live I am off to find a France Map - we have friends in Poitiers but have not visited yet and do not really know where it is.

So what is everyone doing out here? We are going to set up eco-gites - green holiday homes for sustainable holidays - looking forward to learning the french for "is it locally sourced/recycled?, what is it's carbon footprint? and do you do discounts?" Wish us luck..... Very Happy
Anders

We are not even "here" yet, - but we'll move over as soon as we can. At present we just visit our place when we've got time, - cut grass, prune trees, collect firewood, we even got one of the barn roofs fixed last time we were over.
Last summer we managed a little bit of a downsizer meet while we were there, really nice and it cleared out our surplus of schnaps. Maybe we should have another one next year. Also went for a visit to see Zoe, Simon and the sprogs. Nice stay. We kipped in their gite and had great home-made bacon for breakfast.
Next time we'll see if we can locate madmonk.

See ya,

Anders
RoryD

We were in Antibes/Nice last weekend. If we sidestep the irresponsibility of having a 4 day break (flights carbon footprint etc its our first in 4 years because of the kids and we just wanted to have a quick break and sip some nice coffee and talk like adults I thought we were sidestepping this ).....

We loved the climate, the quality of the fresh produce, the patiserrie the butchery, the non boozy but nice culture, watching the rugby in the square, the climate (again) wandering around in shorts & t's in September the familyness. Well just about everything really. We could presumably move to vast chunks of France for less money than it costs us here.

But it is ( I think the family thing that holds us back. How did you get over that and are we wrong to make that so important in our decision making? My Mum and oh's M+D would be heartbroken i think if we moved away. Work i think I could do as I mostly work online at the moment. We have a great circle of close friends here too, a really great support network, and we'd leave that all behind. But can i really do that to my Mum?

So, the question to you French D'sers is how did you get over the family/friends thing?
Anders

The main problem about family last summer was that they all wanted to come and stay! We could have done with a week off, haha.
Vanessa

You get over the family thing when things in your existing life push you hard enough!

My parents are both in their 80s, and although we lived 2 hours away, we visited often to do little jobs for them and cheer them up. My mum is one of my best friends. MOHs mum is widowed, but 10 years younger than my parents; however, MOH is almost as close to his mother as I am to mine.

Then there are our children. Mine are grown up (early 20s), his are younger and live with their mother. My daughter is another of my best friends - and although MOHs kids never lived with us, they stayed most weekends.

So, the wrench was always going to be a biggie!! We planned to move over 10 years after buying the property - but we moved after just 2.

Why?

Because too many things got in the way of life. I was being badly bullied at work, had had loads of time off, and simply couldn't face returning. MOH was fed up with his new job which didn't really turn out how he thought it was going to, and the house we'd planned to buy ... well, basically it would have been a money-pit. One evening, MOH just said "what are we doing? Why don't we just go and live in France?" ... and that was that!

Sure, we miss the family, but we see them from time to time, and ring / chat online all the time. We could be further away in terms of travelling time and still live on mainland UK ...

So there you have it ... from our point of view, anyway. Wink
Green Rosie

RoryD wrote:


But it is ( I think the family thing that holds us back. How did you get over that and are we wrong to make that so important in our decision making? My Mum and oh's M+D would be heartbroken i think if we moved away. Work i think I could do as I mostly work online at the moment. We have a great circle of close friends here too, a really great support network, and we'd leave that all behind. But can i really do that to my Mum?

So, the question to you French D'sers is how did you get over the family/friends thing?


My OH's parents are both dead and mine lived the other side of the country to me and we never saw them that regularly (we are actually closer now we are in France!). Other members of our families were already in far flung parts of the UK and Ireland and most of out contact was by email and SKYPE which just carries on now we are over here. Friends also keep in touch this way and only being in Normandy makes week-end visits very easy for them.

Our children are only 4 and 5 which is the perfect age for learning a new language and making friends (which they are achieving admirably). So with all the positive benefits you mentioned the decision was not a hard one. Go with your gut feeling and remember that the world is now a much smaller place thanks to technology and transport improvments.
ejc-free

Welcome to France, we're in Deux Sevres & have been here since January, I know we're still in the honeymoon phase, but we love it.
RoryD

Green Rosie wrote:
RoryD wrote:


But it is ( I think the family thing that holds us back. How did you get over that and are we wrong to make that so important in our decision making? My Mum and oh's M+D would be heartbroken i think if we moved away. Work i think I could do as I mostly work online at the moment. We have a great circle of close friends here too, a really great support network, and we'd leave that all behind. But can i really do that to my Mum?

So, the question to you French D'sers is how did you get over the family/friends thing?


My OH's parents are both dead and mine lived the other side of the country to me and we never saw them that regularly (we are actually closer now we are in France!). Other members of our families were already in far flung parts of the UK and Ireland and most of out contact was by email and SKYPE which just carries on now we are over here. Friends also keep in touch this way and only being in Normandy makes week-end visits very easy for them.

Our children are only 4 and 5 which is the perfect age for learning a new language and making friends (which they are achieving admirably). So with all the positive benefits you mentioned the decision was not a hard one. Go with your gut feeling and remember that the world is now a much smaller place thanks to technology and transport improvments.


Gut feeling is that its not really fair on other people. Rolling Eyes Thanks anyhow Smile
Merlinn

Welcome to France, we live in 87, Haute Vienne. Ours is a tiny hamlet with 8 residents, one of which is a woman!!

Merlinn
Merlinn

Welcome to France, we live in 87, Haute Vienne. Ours is a tiny hamlet with 8 residents, one of which is a woman!!

Merlinn
Green Rosie

Definately need to invest in a french map Laughing
MarkS

RoryD wrote:

So, the question to you French D'sers is how did you get over the family/friends thing?


Maybe I'm hard hearted, but I think you do things for your children and yourself, not your parents. Giving the children a foot in two cultures in invaluable.
Vanessa

I think friends will show their true colours if you move. The real friends will stay in touch, ring, email, visit ... the others will silently disappear, and I now consider they were simply "friends for a season" rather than "friends for life".

It IS tough leaving family behind though ... but there comes a point when you have to put yourselves first for a change. Family will come to terms with the fact that you've moved house, and most will want to visit. Why do we (and I include myself here) get so hung-up about the location - France isn't that far away, and there are places on the British mainland that are further away in terms of travelling time.
madmonk

Sadly both sets of parents are long gone so not a problem as far as moving abroad, but the difference I have noticed with my kids is that instead of coming round and just sitting there eating and drinking and not saying very much then saying see you later , is that when we see them now they allways seem to have so much to tell us, so it's premium time to us, but thats not to say we don't miss them and as Vanessa says it can take longer to get to places in the uk.
Vanessa

Madmonk, you are so right about it being "real quality time". I miss my daughter so much it hurts, but we certainly make the most of the time we do have together.

Before buying this place, we looked at one in Poolewe in the Scottish highlands. Now THAT was remote! It took more than 12 hours driving to get there ... and even if you flew up, the nearest you could get was Inverness, and it was several hours drive from there! My daughter was very glad we didn't move there Laughing
Green Rosie

MarkS wrote:


Maybe I'm hard hearted, but I think you do things for your children and yourself, not your parents. Giving the children a foot in two cultures in invaluable.


That was one of our main reasons for moving. Also like Vanessa said, true friends will keep in touch, others will fade away - it is just a pity I can't get my parents onto the computer - absoletely NO chance of that Mad
thos

I only see my mother once a year. As she's 89 she can't come to visit us, and it would be too expensive for us all to fly over, so we have to drive, which takes 15 hours.
Green Rosie

Oh Thos - do you how to do the thingy under the c - is it a circumflex - an an english keyboard? Also I can do this accent - é - but not the other one. Please don't say get a french keyboard - my typing is bad enough as it is Embarassed
sean

It's a cedilla. Dunno how you do it though. A circumflex is the little hat over a vowel which used to be followed by an 's'.
Green Rosie

Embarassed
Vanessa

In Word, go to "insert", then "symbol", choose a text font, and a C with a cedilla will appear as an option. You can cut and paste this into other applications.

There ARE keyboard shortcuts for the accents, but I can never remember then as I don't use them enough! Embarassed
thos

Green Rosie wrote:
Oh Thos - do you how to do the thingy under the c - is it a circumflex - an an english keyboard? Also I can do this accent - é - but not the other one. Please don't say get a french keyboard - my typing is bad enough as it is Embarassed

I am afraid it is an AZERTY keyboard.
Northern_Lad

Learn to touch-type and set your system language to Frog. As long as you know where they are then you should be able to get them quite easily.
boisdevie1

Something Vanessa said hits the nail on the head. I'm in Lancaster most of the time. Which takes 6 hours to get to where my daughters live. From France it takes 4.
So why not consider moving to say the Pas de Calais which is 'real France' and only a short shuttle ride to the UK? Best of both worlds?
You don't need to spend 6 hours on the autoroute before you arrive in 'real France'.
Fee

Green Rosie wrote:
Oh Thos - do you how to do the thingy under the c


Come and copy it off Thos' location when you need it Wink
RoryD

france

All good advices. My mum is recently widowed. My OH's parents are moving from Cambs to live in the next town (and their grandchildren- well mostly their grandchildren really). They say they would not mind but it would I'm sure upset them. We're 2 hours from Mum, who is 70ish and I can't ask her to trek 6 hours to see us. Besides, if she came she'd stay for a fortnight which might test my marriage unduly!

It just does not seem fair on them really. Friends we love but could work around but I'd feel just mean really taking our kids away from their GrandP's. Hey ho.

Stuck with this reality, we're thinking of taking a fools compromise in the form of a month camping in somewhere like Brittany instead next August. Needs to be on the coast and have access to Wifi to run the business- any tips gratefully received. Do you get Wifi on campsites?
Andrea

Green Rosie wrote:
I am relying on the kids to help me along the way


Relying on a 7 year old to deal with all your household disasters is just SO mortifying. Take it from one who knows!

So far he hasn't worked out that he could use this skill to his own advantage. Long may that remain the case!
Green Rosie

Mine are only 4 and 5 so have not realised, like yours, the advantage they could have over their parents if our language does not improve soon - hence why I am off to French lessons on Tuesday Confused
yelloh

Bonjour, je suis un nouveau membre du forum de Downsizer!?!

Je suis Britannique mais j'ai une maison en France. Elle est dans la région 22, cotes d'armor et je visite chaque vacances d'école.

Very Happy
Green Rosie

Bonjour - welcome to Downsizer. Tres bon francais!! Enjoy our petit forum - nous sommes tres amicale mais not so good at french. Embarassed
Vanessa

Hi Yelloh and welcome to France!! I'll second the bit about good French ... mine is "passable" spoken, but I lack confidence writing it at the mo.
yelloh

I can speak a bit of french but the only problem is........... I find it difficult to understand spoken french!! Embarassed
Vanessa

Buy a TV in France. Connect it to a standard aerial, and watch French terrestrial TV with the subtitles on. It's amazing how much you pick up that way - AND you learn more new words plus new ways of saying things. It's worked for MOH and me!

Plus, of course, you've got your local regional accent to "tune into" - we're mostly taught a Parisien accent at school. When we first looked to buy down here, we wondered what strange language they were speaking!! We're used to it now, and understand most of what's said - or at least, get the gist. When they go off full-steam amongst themselves though, we still get lost!! Rolling Eyes Laughing
ksia

I second watching French TV. We've still got no UK telly (and don't miss it) and even banned Radio 4 (apart from GQT) from the house for the first 2 years. Listen to France Inter or France Info.
My listening skills are now far superior to my speaking/writing
yelloh

vanessa wrote:
Buy a TV in France. Connect it to a standard aerial, and watch French terrestrial TV with the subtitles on. It's amazing how much you pick up that way - AND you learn more new words plus new ways of saying things. It's worked for MOH and me!

Plus, of course, you've got your local regional accent to "tune into" - we're mostly taught a Parisien accent at school. When we first looked to buy down here, we wondered what strange language they were speaking!! We're used to it now, and understand most of what's said - or at least, get the gist. When they go off full-steam amongst themselves though, we still get lost!! Rolling Eyes Laughing


I have bought a box and dish from 'Leroy Merlin' and now have french TV in the UK! The equipment was only 45 euros (£30) but we can't get subtitles.
Blue Sky

Ah, TV

So that's what I'm lacking. Laughing
pricey

Simon wrote:
Ah, TV

So that's what I'm lacking. Laughing


No Mate your just lacking Laughing Laughing Embarassed Sorry.
Vanessa

Laughing Laughing Now Pricey, BE NICE!! Wink
pricey

vanessa wrote:
Laughing Laughing Now Pricey, BE NICE!! Wink


Laughing Laughing He knows I'm only joking Wink
Blue Sky

I'm not lacking a USB hub and four nissan gloplugs tho' Wink
pricey

Simon wrote:
I'm not lacking a USB hub and four nissan gloplugs tho' Wink


you got them then Laughing Laughing
Blue Sky

pricey wrote:

you got them then Laughing Laughing


Yes. Stop posting stuff. You gonna put Father C. out of a job.

Think of all his poor, hungry reindeers. Crying or Very sad

Blue Sky

Besides, we aren't having THREE Pricey is ace threads in a week.
pricey

Simon wrote:
Besides, we aren't having THREE Pricey is ace threads in a week.


Don't you Dare!!!!
Blue Sky

Turns out Bingo was right all along .....
pricey

Simon wrote:
Turns out Bingo was right all along .....


Confused Sorry missed that one?
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