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!
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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”

Our Renovation Life

The Full-Time Building Works Commence

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So, we had left the house for another two years prior to moving out full-time.  If you’ve missed the previous renovating stories you can read them herehere and here.

Mr Normandy had a deadline. To make the house water tight within 2 months so that we could move all our worldly possessions, from our damp rental accommodation, into our home. This was a tall order.  We knew we had to be out of the rental property (which was big enough to store all our contents etc) by mid July. We needed to ferry all our stuff over in stages to avoid paying storage costs. We’d already saved money by moving all our goods ourselves from the UK. We had made sure we’d rented somewhere where we could combine rental and storage together. Continue reading “The Full-Time Building Works Commence”

Our French Life

Ou Est La Gare?

I wrote this on my now old blog The 1970s Diet. So, I haven’t recently had a contact lens removed from my eye after it being in there for 3 weeks. I do, however, like this post as it reminds me of why I used to love coming to France on holiday. Is it different now I live here? I suppose I don’t notice the painted water towers as much but I most certainly can appreciate a good roundabout when I see one. I haven’t, as yet, come across the nasty stuff I was talking about in the woods – maybe it’s a southern thang! I still appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and I hope I never take that for granted.

Continue reading “Ou Est La Gare?”

Our French Life, our relocation life

Top 5 Tips For Renting In France

Try before you buy they always say don’t they? And prior to moving to France, I would have said nah just pick a region, google it and job done. You don’t really need to live somewhere for 6 months/one year to know a place – everything can be found on the internet. Oh, what an amateur. Yes, you can find out loads from the comfort of your own living room, prior to moving (well just about anywhere in the world) but you don’t really know a place until you’ve actually lived there. Continue reading “Top 5 Tips For Renting In France”