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”
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”
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”
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”
Having done a two week stint in 2014, Mr Normandy headed back out in 2015 to crack on with the works. This time to take off the roof. Initially we had plans for dorma windows but subsquently decided against it due to time constraints and various problems with rentals etc. By the way, the plaques on the building were made by Mr Normandy – we had a whole range of them which we used to sell and some pet RIP headstones. Another blog post for another time!
This time the weather wasn’t so kind and whilst he is an astonishingly fast worker, even he ran out of time. He had to leave the roof and cover it with tarpaulin. This wasn’t ideal at all and, after a fierce storm, we received an email from our neighbour to say this was hanging off together with the baton in April 2015. Continue reading “The Roof Comes Off”
Okay, so let’s be clear, I am no where near being fluent on the French front. In fact, even when you ask people how long did it take you to become fluent – you won’t get an answer. Why? Because you never really are. It’s never-ending. A bit like ancestry of which I am a bit of an ancestry nerd – we can talk another time and I can bore you then. There is no real beginning and no real end. You see, I will know what someone means when they say, for instance, Mrs Slocombes’ pussy or “I’m free” or “Betty” or if someone was to say “it was so farcical I could hear the Benny Hill theme tune being played in the background.” Continue reading “Top Ten Tips To Learn French”
Now, at some stage in your new life in France you will need to pay the doctors a visit. Unless, of course, you’re a bloke as they tend to only visit when they’re actually dying or have been dragged there. The rest of us tend to go willingly and with kids in tow. Continue reading “Carry On Doctor”
Okay, so judging from my recent poll it seems you would like to hear more about renovation woos or maybe whoops? Could it be that Orange are up there on the bureaucracy-o-meter and ranked number 1? One being the easiest company to deal with in France? Could it be that they have got this internet, telephone and wifi thing sussed? Well I’m about to tell you, so grab yourself a cuppa, as I don’t know how long this could take. Continue reading “Where Are Orange On The Bureaucracy-O-Meter?”
So, it’s my son’s 14th birthday today! His first birthday living in a different country. Who would have thought? I remember saying to him in Year 2, walking to school, one day we might live in France. In fact, I remember saying it to his teachers (who were glazing over no doubt) and still being there in Y5 and then Y6 in primary. Then onto secondary Y7, Y8… Continue reading “What If?”
That would be getting yourself some electricity here in France. Now, our house did not have any water, electric, mains drainage or a telephone line. Am I selling you the dream yet? We don’t live off the beaten track or a few roads off the main track. We live on the track. We are the last house in a village of over 500 residents and it’s on a main D road. Positively urban in Normandy terms. Continue reading “The Magic Roundabout”