our relocation life

So What Are You Going To Do?


If I had a euro every time someone asked me that question when we first arrived – well, well, well I’d be a very rich woman. More of that later, but I wanted to kick-start my very first blog post. I’m very excited that 1) I’m writing again and 2) I have frigging wifi.  Now, I have lots to sort out – blog layout, banner, font etc but that will come in good time – I have been itching to write since we arrived in France on May 9th 2017 – nearly 5 months ago. Having been a google blogger in a past life (The 1970s Diet – 1.7million views  – nearly award-winning blogger don’t you know) – I’ve also got to get used to my new platform – wordpress. So much has gone on and I have so much to say.  I can’t wait to get going.

In brief, we packed up our troubles and our old kit bag, smiled, smiled, smiled and left South Croydon on Monday 9th May. I was on a one-way ticket from Newhaven to Dieppe (an achievement in itself as I get sick off the back of a pedalo) with Hubster, Teen, Pre-Teen and a very reluctant (barely turned) 7 year old. So barely, that he had only turned 7 the previous day.  With my arms still aching from about 3 weeks of packing and lugging stuff around, we all set sail from the little toy town ferry port, otherwise known as Newhaven at 10.30pm. Oh did I forget Max? Yes, Max the guinea pig came too. No need for a passport, but at that stage I really couldn’t have cared less if we had been interrogated by customs guinea pig control. I’d googled it – it appeared he didn’t need a passport as he was small and furry.  That was all the info I needed. I was too tired to care and sorry Max but if you had been an issue, I think you may have been set free.


Since arriving, we have stayed in three – yes three rental properties.  A long story but to cut it short – we needed a big enough property to house the entire contents of a 5 bedroom house and our extensive lego collection.

I had chosen a property (with wifi) that did just that – however, we had to be out of there by mid-July move up the road to another property (no wifi) then move back in.  Now, these properties were owned by English aka l’anglais because 1) it was easier to sort out and 2) when you rent an unfurnished property in France, it literally does not come with the kitchen sink. In addition, there is normally a year’s contract etc so this seemed like the perfect solution.

Anyhow, it turns out that this house is actually rather manky and we can’t wait to get out of mankville.  The next cosy cottage is just that – cosy and we meet the most wonderful neighbours (more of which in future blog posts). Good job, as they let us use their wifi, instead of us standing by the stone wall – which we did on many an occasion. Oh, I’ve forgotten to mention that all these properties are in an area with no mobile signal.

Turns out that this property is starting to get a bit cold. That’s what stone farmhouses do – they get cold and get flies – mouche if you please en francais. incidentally one of the very first new French words I learnt.  I digress. The kids are back at school and the nights are drawing in. We. Need. Wifi. Whiffy as it is pronounced in French which makes me internally chuckle but what can you do.

We move again. This time to the friends of our neighbours, who just so happen, to have a better property with wifi and is a darn sight warmer than the last.  All of which I shall post pictures and what not – so yes, here I am sitting in property number 3.

During all this time, the children have started school which they enjoy immensely. Between myself and Mr Normandy, we have begun renovating our house that we purchased in 2004. We have encountered most services – EDF, Enedis, Orange etc not to mention the Fosse Man (oh what a continuing saga), Mairie’s office, Local garage when my car died on me, Doctors for medical certificates, cycling club and nearly completing the full happy families set – A&E.  Last week my daughter was bitten by a dog in the eye. Nothing too serious just another day at the Normandy office. I speak bad French wherever I go and it really does ‘get me by’.

This is Our Normandy Life.



7 thoughts on “So What Are You Going To Do?”

  1. I look forward to more – especially how your pre teen settles! We are looking to move a reluctant 11-12 year old who has just started high school.


    1. Hi Ali, thanks for taking the time to comment. My 11 year old loves the social side of living here – there’s always something going on but can be ‘slap-dash’ when it comes to studying. We are having to pin her down to learn verbs every night and she also has extra 1-1 lessons. She is only just behind the class average by 1 point so I’m very happy with her progress. When we arrived they had 6 weeks in school then nearly 8 weeks off! We did have one lesson a week during the hols but this period now should really help their French no end! Natasha


  2. Hey! Dropping by from Expat Blogs. Great blog you have here, love your honest writing style. I can truly relate to your experiences. Can’t wait to read more of your entries! 😀 Good luck with everything!


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