Our French Life, Our School Life

The Angry Elf At The Déchetterie

pumpkins

It’s the school holidays here. One of the big carrots for Master Normandy II to move here was double the half term holidays. Well more or less. This one is two weeks not one, Christmas is more or less the same give or take a few extra days. The February one – yarp that’s two weeks and, oh my days the April one is three weeks and not two! Although they don’t get the week in June off like the UK. Swings and roundabouts but watch out here comes the swing again – a whopping 8 weeks off over summer not 6 weeks. Okay the days are longer but pound for pound, franc for franc, euro for euro this ain’t too shabby. Continue reading “The Angry Elf At The Déchetterie”

Our French Life, our relocation life

How Not To Get Fat In France

almond crossiant

I had you at the title didn’t I? I think this can certainly apply to both men and women and all ages so listen up if you don’t want to be labelled the ‘fat anglais(e)” in the village. Okay so if you are planning a move to France you’ll probably think, like many before you, that the weight if you’re carrying a few extra pounds (who isn’t right?) will just fly off.

You will come to that assumption based on all the ‘running around’ you’ll be doing prior to the move and after. I always find this expression quite farcical it’s normally banded about after you’ve had a baby. People say “the weight will soon fly off what with all that running around after the baby”. Sorry what? Please show me a new mum that ran anywhere after giving birth and specifically after a baby that can’t move for the first 8 months. I digress. Continue reading “How Not To Get Fat In France”

Our French Life, our relocation life

The Wild West Of Normandy

playmobil

Now, I was initially going to write this post about the British ‘ex-pats’ in Normandy and all that goes with that. However, following on from multiple tales of burglaries and the like in this region, I feel this post has a great deal of relevance and is more than just blogging fodder.

Now with all my posts I feel I need to put a disclaimer that this is meant to be a bit light-hearted (albeit true) and it is only my experience. You may have had none of what I am about to mention and great stuff if that’s the case. However, I feel I would be doing others a disservice if I did not mention the unsavoury element of living somewhere new and in particular, here in Normandy. Once again, strap in. Continue reading “The Wild West Of Normandy”

Our French Life, our relocation life

How’s Your French?

one flew over

How’s Your French? The amount of times I was asked that when we first arrived – I cannot begin to tell you! Invariably it was asked by someone who had very little French. Although this information was only volunteered after I had to explain my level of language ability. Like ‘French’ was a person or something, enquiring about its general health and well-being. Now funnily enough, I am of the opinion that if your French is of a poorly nature, is unwell, a bit sick then the same could be said for you as well. Continue reading “How’s Your French?”

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?

rentree

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

don't care

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

france 1

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

Inkedoutdoor swimming brecey_LI
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

bald tyre

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”