Our French Life

Master Normandy Gives Up The Velo Club

 

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No. God No! Actually it’s okay. I think I’m more sad about it than he is.  Prior to writing this blog post I was about to write about his velo club. About how joining a club as soon as you arrive, be it for yourself or your children, is a great idea. It throws you into a normal French life, normal routine and catapults you into speaking, listening and understanding the language. Don’t wait until your French has improved – it’s always improving, it’s a lifelong project. Do it the moment you arrive. I’m so glad we did. What if I’d waited for a year until I decided to enrol him into this club? We would have missed the boat and he would never have experienced all the wonderful aspects of being part of a team. I’d also say children change massively – the difference in 15 months from the 13 year old that arrived to this 14 year old is huge. Continue reading “Master Normandy Gives Up The Velo Club”

Our French Life, Our School Life

What Is The Rentrée?

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You might ask? It can’t escape your notice when you move to France and it’s not just the literal translation or the meaning of the word. What is it really all about?

If you were to google this it will tell you “the start of the school year” or some translations have it down as “see you in September”. I always took it to be “the return”. Dah dah dah… I’ve never said that out loud and with good reason.  I can actually see my French teacher with a painful smile, saying “But that would be the verb ‘revenir’ Natasha” desperately trying to contain a face similar to that of Jack Nicholson in the film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest”. With or without fist in mouth whilst simultaneously screaming “How do you not know this?!” Continue reading “What Is The Rentrée?”

Our French Life

Why I Won’t Be Getting A Carte De Séjour

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Nope. You’re not going to make me. Surely this is the sensible option I hear you say? Surely you’d be mad not to, you know, just in case you need one post Brexit?

Nope. I didn’t get the memo on the sensible thing. Clearly I am not that way inclined. As the sensible thing would have been to hang fire on selling the family home in South London, hang fire on that moving the kids to a country where they couldn’t speak the language (or at best had the illusion of speaking it!), waited until the pound recovered from falling off a cliff edge and waited to see what would happen post Brexit. But where would the fun in that be?! Continue reading “Why I Won’t Be Getting A Carte De Séjour”

Our French Life

5 Things That May Surprise You About France

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So you may think you know all there is to know about France.  You’ve been on holiday numerous times, you’ve been reading all the various forums or you may even live in France. Hopefully if you are the latter you will be nodding in agreement, if not, strap in and enjoy the surprises!
Continue reading “5 Things That May Surprise You About France”

Our French Life

School’s Out For Summer

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Outdoor Swimming Pool at Brecey – 3 pools in total

A whole 8 weeks of summer holidays. Some dread it. Some love it. I’m probably somewhere in between.  I love not having to be anywhere in particular. I love the freedom of it. The promise of relaxed holidays where we’re all lazing about, peppered with the odd major day out. Invariably, it never quite ends up like that but one can dream. Continue reading “School’s Out For Summer”

Our French Life

An Amateur In France

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Although I’ve been living here for just over a year now there are some days, or more recently a few weeks, that I feel like a complete amateur in France – and this generally costs me money.

So where to begin? Okay, so last September whilst we were busy sorting out our house, Mr Normandy noticed that the back two tyres of my car, were completely bald. Little did I realise that this was the beginning of my car troubles. In fact, if I have any sound advice to give you upon moving to France, I’d say treat yourself to a new car! It will be cheaper as second-hand cars, with double the mileage, cost a small fortune. This is even allowing for the fees you will pay for your Carte Grise, Certificate of Conformity etc.  I’d also check to see if there’s a main dealer near where you going to be living. But yes treat yourself and hopefully you won’t spend the best part of a year, in a garage, learning new French words for all manner of car parts. Continue reading “An Amateur In France”

Our French Life, Our School Life

College Life In France

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Okay so in the UK it goes like this with regard to schooling:-

Pre-school, Primary, Secondary, ‘A’ Level (which is more than likely at the same secondary school or a college) and then University or College (that specialises in some vocational training). So for us Brits, and I appreciate that some of my readers are not British, college to us is further education. It comes after your child has completed their main secondary educational exams – the G.C.S.E’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education). The students complete an exam in each subject – so you will have a G.C.S.E in Maths, English and so on. Continue reading “College Life In France”

Our French Life

How To Register Your Vehicle In France

It appears that most people tend to dread or worry about this process. I’m not sure why, as out of all of them, it’s low down on the brain drain pecking order. Less thought goes into this than, say, setting up a Micro Entrepreneur business (check), much less than if you start thinking about inheritance, dividing up assets and all that other fun adult stuff. And far less than filling out your first tax return form – check (with a “that will do if its wrong am sure they’ll tell me” type of approach). Actually make that forms – there’s a main one and lots of different ones to add a sense of danger and excitement to the occasion. Or you could employ an accountant but where’s the fun in that?!  Continue reading “How To Register Your Vehicle In France”

Our French Life, Our Review Life

Review Of Papillons De Nuit Music Festival

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Okay so this is one French word ‘papillon’ that I cannot for the life of me prononce properly (and it’s not even that hard!) not without being stripped of all my dignity and self-respect. What French word does that to you? Mr Normandy always corrects me on the pronunciation “you mean…” cue saying it properly. Whatever. Anyhow, it means butterfly – a word I can pronounce so this literally means butterflies of the night although google translate has it down as a moth. Continue reading “Review Of Papillons De Nuit Music Festival”

Our French Life

A Year in Normandy

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Blimey that could be a best seller couldn’t it? Oh wait, it’s already been done with a Year in Provence or something like that. God darn it!

So, I’ve been a bit busy of late working on some wonderful Normandy businesses’ social media accounts. However, sometimes that means my own writing and social media takes a back seat. Just over a week ago marked our one year anniversary in France. It has gone quick and at the same time feels like we’ve been here forever. Does that make sense? I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to reflect on our catapultization. This is a newly made up word derived from ‘catapult’ and bunging ‘ization’ on the end, to conjure up the image of being launched, into French life. You’re welcome.  Continue reading “A Year in Normandy”