For those of you that are my die hard Normandy Lifers you may recall a few posts whereby I have told to never assume anything. Or assume the total opposite to what you knew in your previous life. Living here can sometimes make you feel you are in a real life pantomime or in some sick game show called “Total Opposites” only there is no prize. Nope. Just costly mistakes as no one tapped you on the shoulder when you got off the boat and said “oh by the way, everything you have come to think of as normal and logical eg car breakdown, insurance, tyre tracking and anything else related to living and breathing is defunct”. “Now on your way and enjoy!”. To read more about this warped game I find myself occasionally in and yes, I did say occasionally, as folks I got wise. I’ve graduated to a bit part role in the France Panto that is my life or as I like to call it affectionately (?!) “France. The lost years” you can read about it here. Continue reading “A French v An English Car Salesperson”
The simple answer to this is yes. The more pressing question you should ask yourself is should you? I am writing this with 7 days to go before the UK exits the club of the European Union. After 40 odd years of membership and desperate to get into the club we have told them to do one. I am not a remoaner. I was a remainer. I am over it. I do not care anymore. If you are not at this stage yet, in particular if you live in France already, your aim is indifference! Continue reading “Can You Move To France Before Brexit?”
Okay as we’ve established I am not fluent in French. I’m getting there. I try really hard. Like really hard. Everyday. This photo clip from Modern Family really sums it up when Gloria screams at Jay how it feels “to have people laugh in my face because I’m struggling to find the words.” Here it’s a more screwed up face and a physical recoiling of the body simultaneously. Oh gawd. That face. The French face of “I haven’t a fucking clue what you are saying to me and in no way am I going to disguise my facial features to this fact.”
Asides from your mental sanity? A Lot! I jest of course, I jest. Everything is awesome. She says rocking from side to side gazing at the ‘wonderful view’. And isn’t that just it. You cannot live off a view. You cannot live off the land and you cannot live off a dilapidated barn that you are freezing your tits off come summer and winter. Continue reading “What Is The Cost Of Living In France?”
And not just the ones you left behind but the new ones you will invariably encounter in your new life (not in the sun – I live in Normandy) here in France.
By the way, you decided to move to another country not your friends or family. They were probably perfectly happy with the status quo and perhaps bear this in mind when the dynamics of your friendships change. One of my favourite quotes is “the only thing that is certain in life is change”. This is very true but it also rings true that most do not like change one bit. Nope. Not at all. Continue reading “What Happens To Friendships When You Move To France?”
From fashion to food, the French always seem to do it right, and with a little bit more class. There’s a certain effortless elegance when it comes to the things they create, which is also quite evident in their countryside gardens. And if you’d like to try your hand at creating one in your own home, here are some delightful design ideas to expand your garden the French way: Continue reading “Garden Expansion Ideas for the French Countryside”
Firstly you’re welcome! When I first arrived on Normandy soil I found that some English speakers could be a little, how shall we say, secretive about various aspects of living in France. I suppose people would think that if they had to experience hardship, then others should suffer the same fate. We never expected anyone to do anything for us and we did work out stuff for ourselves. My French is okay – this is because I was launched into phoning various organisations rather than ask someone else to do it. Clearly if it was very technical or out of my depth I would pay someone. You always need to weigh up time, effort and money. I also had friends who helped me out in some sticky situations. Continue reading “How To Avail Of Intensive French Lessons”
So Master Normandy has started his Lycée journey. Ekk! The rentrée is well and truly underway. We are now into our 4th week (yes really!) of the kids being back at school. It was all change in the family dynamics front as Master Normandy had graduated to Lycée.
For those that don’t know how the school system works here in France – I wrote this blog post a while back. In a nutshell, our adolescents or (ados) as the French say move up to lycée at age 15 (or 17 if you have redoubled twice like Master Normandy’s friend!) for three years.
Guess what? Did you know that France is the only country in the world where you can retire at the ripe old age of mid forties? And if you’re a bit unfortunate it’s late fifties?! I’m just kidding with you. Of course France isn’t the only country in the world where you can retire to at this age! What were/are are you even thinking about?! Have you actually lost your mind?! Continue reading “How To Get A Job In Normandy, France”
In keeping with my What’s The Deal With Lycee and using 1980s American Teen speak, I thought this might be a handy heads up (stop with the 80s Teen talk!) for any of those trying to make sense of the French schooling system. Continue reading “What’s The Deal With The Brevet?”