Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by Cerise

  1. Thanks very much everyone.  Have passed on to would be buyers and await reply.  Will get CT done if they are willing to pay - otherwise garage can have it.
  2. I am buying another car and wish to get rid of my existing elderly car.  The garage have offered me something for the car, but now I have someone else who wishes to buy it.  Somewhere in back of my mind I feel that if I sell car it has to have a CT of less than 6 months.  As car is only worth a few hundred euros I don't wish to splash out on it, it will probably pass as it did last year but neverthe less ... - is it a legal requirement for it to have the CT or can a person 'buy as seen'? Sorry if this has been covered before.
  3. ErnieY - I only meant it for those who work, if they actually need their income to live on.  If they only run one house they may be better off in actual terms, but not everybody has an income outside their salary. I don't think we are much worse off in life style but we have very little actual MONEY.  In UK we didn't borrow much, but always knew we could as we had a good regular income.  Here we have a regular income, enough to keep the wolf from the door, but nothing really to save or to enable us to borrow etc.  It is a strange feeling, if you earn quite a lot of money even if you owe a lot of money you feel you have room to manoeuvre.  Here the majority of wages are so low that a reduced lifestyle is inevitable.  Unless someone is very, very lucky they are going to be on the SMIC or slightly above if they are able to find a job with a company where they want to live.  Take home pay will be in the region of £1000 per month before tax.  Most people from the UK aged more than 18 are used to considerably better salaries than that.  Certainly anyone who is able currently to afford a second home will be.  It is a real shock how low salaries are in rural France.  Our French friends who are mostly same ages/occupations as Uk friends are mostly a great deal poorer materially  and any problem - such as the car going wrong, needing a new washing machine etc - is a much bigger issue .  UK mates say they are poor but in next breath talk about their new car/foreign holiday/designer clothes.  We simply can no longer even consider most of those things.  Doesn't matter much most of the time but I do get a pang when my old pals come over and we go to the shops they gaily say look at that, only 75€ I'll buy it and I know that I simply can't consider buying a luxury that costs 75€ on a whim. This is not a hard luck story.  We have a pretty nice life, but I'm very realistic.  If you are not of retirement age and are working here you aren't going to have much extra money to save for the future - if you have good savings/pension that may not matter, all depends on age, but I got the impression the original poster was not that old.  Better they know the financial realities of working here if they really want to go for it.
  4. If you really want to do it then you can.  BUT and it is a big but, you have to decide to be a lot worse off financially, unless you wait until you are retired.  We came getting on for 7 years ago now.  My husband didn't speak French, but he now does and has had a CDI for the last 4 years.  We are not starving to death but we are certainly no where near as well off as if we had stayed in UK.  You have 2 houses, so if you only had one you wouldn't need so much money to keep it going.  Have you any ideas about jobs you could do if you were here, I can't tell you if it is worth it.  Interestingly my OH - who had no French on arrival - is happier than me, but he has a job.  I too work - run our B & B - but that was never my dream.  I do it because it is something I can do to earn my living given that no-one French wants to give me a job.  I do it well, because I'm like that, but quite honestly I'd much prefer to go out to work for normal and less exhausting 35 hours a week. However, we have made a life here.  Nowhere is perfect.  I'd like to move on and try something else.  The bureaucracy is not so bad if you are not the kind of person to question it!  I do find it drives me crazy because it is so illogical and 'because I say so'. Do you love France because it is different from your everyday life?  If it was your everyday life warts and all would you stil like it?  Personally I think those with a foot in both camps have the best of both worlds.  Nobody can have everything so you have to decide if you and any significant others wish to move here enough to take a lot of risks. Good luck anyway.  
  5. As almost everywhere around us has 'promotions' of  'moins 40%' etc etc I don't know who they think they are kidding when they think they are regulating the sales!
  6. But chemists are also very knowledgeable and helpful in the UK.  Their qualifications and helpfulness have nothing to do with the restrictive practice of making it an expensive requirement to buy even a simple paracetemol at the expensive local chemists.  Not everyone has the possibility of chosing to import from the UK. Most of those who have low incomes here are stuck with the expensive system whether they agree with it or not. Back tot he original posting, I've never thought food was particularly cheap here.  As we are not great drinkers the wine part of our bill is minimal and the rest has always seemed as expensive or more so than UK.  As we are on French wages the real cost in terms of percentage income is MUCH higher - and sadly the French wages have not increased anywhere near in line with the price of food.
  7. Gifi or Foire Fouille or similar - where they keep ironing things pegs etc normally or with the plastic storage boxes.
  8. No RH - there's lots of us feel the same!  But I know my place, I'll get back to me pie 'n chips[:)]
  9. Yes in Thailand - a cousin teaches there and her pupils address her as Miss Melanie (and do likewise for other teachers).  It sounds nice. I changed my first name by deed poll in UK - actually I only did the deed poll when I moved to France, it is easy to change name in UK - and it has caused many a sad fonctionnaire to almost have a 'crise'.  They don't like it, can't get it and are sure I should have the Queen's permission to do it.  Makes fonctionnaire baiting an even better sport
  10. On average it takes me 40 minutes to changeover one B & B room (hoover and dust, clean bathroom, change linen and replace crockery/soap/toilet rolls etc) so add on the remaining rooms and you have an idea of time.  Allow for the fact oven etc may need cleaning.  Standard of cleaning probably needs to be higher than in your own house - after all whose own house is spotless all the time, but gite renters expect it to look as though no one has been there last week!.  I don't always bother to move all the furniture in my own bedroom when I change the bed but have to go under/behind everything for B & B. If there is a nearby laundry it make work out cheaper to take bedlinen there as ironing is time consuming.  As Maricopa says do not underestimate time.  Having been asked to do gite changeovers in the past (I don't!!) I find that many owners are surprised at the cost and really want something cheap.  Don't forget to add in your cotisations, insurance etc when calculating your hourly rate.
  11. Alma - I'm sorry you are having so many problems but there are things in your posts that puzzle me.  In the original post you say that your OH is staying in England to give you the "good" life here and then in last post you say I have to fight my employers for my rights to proper holidays, pay that has been deducted from my salary by mistake (so called error) and I am fighting all the time not to take my frustration out on my kids when I do spend time with them. Well, that doesn't sound very "good" to me.  Is the real problem that you are simply not happy here (but it is hard to say that when you have fixed in your head that you 'ought' to be having a good life), or that you resent him for not having the problems you have here.  A life where you are resentful and miserable is not "good" however much money you may have.  If he moved to be with you could you work less and make decisions together?  If you said 'this is not working, can we try being together, in either country?' would that help? I do sympathise, if you want to live and work in France you generally have to put up with less money.  We've certainly been to the point where we thought we'd be better off if one of us was working elsewhere, but I personally want to BE WITH the person I am with.  I don't want to be alone making the decisions in any country.  If I am going to be on my own, then I want to be on my own, free to make all the calls and chose another person if they come along.  Half and and half wouldn't suit me.  I know many people keep together relationships where one partner is away a lot of the time - good for them, but we are not all like that.  You may feel that you have all the disadvantages of a relationship and not too many of the advantages hence the feeling that you could find someone else.  Very sad, but - to me anyway - perfectly understandable. I think you are  very brave to use this forum as a sounding board.  I wish you luck in whatever you decide and hope you can find a decision which leaves you happier.  
  12. If somebody can see him and bring him a bit of the way I'll bring him part of the way.  Could collect him from Limoges and you could meet me at Montauban or some other convenient stop. Let me know.
  13. Easy then, although I chose to live here as an adult, if I had children I wouldn't even contemplate it.  I am not at all impressed with the French education system and although I know the English one is far from perfect I'd prefer it any day.  So if I had children to consider I think I'd head for a part of the UK I liked.
  14. Often I think they are bluffing.  I've stopped filling in calendars as it is too time consuming, but on checking out websites still seem to remain near the top even though I don't do the updating.  It is also (outside July and August' quite rare that we are full.  May only have one room left or a couple of rooms for one or two days, but B & B is not like gites with tidy Saturday to Saturday bookings.  Most of the calendars make no allowance for that.  Even when I've marked calendars as 'full' I still find people from that particular website contact me 'just in case you have a space' so pretty much feel it is waste of time.  There are so many websites out there all desperate for our advertising so don't feel they can dictate too much.
  15. I don't think we will move back to the UK.  Where is 'back' anyway - the place we lived was somewhere we had to be for our jobs so we certainly wouldn't go there, and rural Cornwall - where I wouldn't mind being - is probably no more  helpful for employment etc than here.  That said I might well move to another part of France, less rural and more lively.  I've almost never been to London in my life so not really able to compare that to rural France - many posters act as though London was the UK and all that happens there the only way of life in UK. The rat race, as someone pointed out, continues in French.  Very few of those who post happily on these forums are totally reliant on working here for their income.   Often when I read some deliriously happy post I realise that the poster either a.  is a second home owner, b. has a pension (or other revenue)  from another country perhaps plus an income here or c. actually still works in the UK.  The French are every bit as stressed, worried about money/politics/drugs/crime etc as the English.  Of course, many English people say they are not - but that based on the fact that they themselves often don't speak enough French to watch the TV, read the papers or have a meaningful conversation about anything except the weather or the rugby.  The French, on the whole, are outwardly more formal and less 'heart on sleeve' than the English so unless you know someone well it may not be evident at first glance that all is not well in their world. If you really want to move here because you want to move to France as opposed to any other place, not because you want to get away from the UK and if you are committed to learning French and are prepared to put up with the bureaucracy and the very low wages and high cotisations then you may be happier here.  Think long and hard though before you uproot your family, give up your jobs and lose your support network of family and friends.  Jobs are very hard to come by here - even if you are a fluent French speaker - and running your own business is stressful and expensive.  If you are only moving to France because you want out of your current life - and in fact you picked France just because it is close by - then maybe you would be better off downsizing and looking for alternative employment in the UK. Whatever you decide I wish you luck as making a major life change is never easy - but it can  be exciting!
  16. So glad you are back amongst us.  [:D]
  17. Local Taxes (Foncière and Habitation) vary greatly from commune to commune.  Ours are 1400€ a year, our water/heating/electric a great deal more than 100€ a month (we have a B & B but I guess that is like having a family of 7[:)]).  We have lived here for 6 years and I reckon we average about 1500€ a month (without any bug expeses like holidays).  There are only 2 of us.  On average I think the cost of living here is about the same as in the UK.
  18. So, that's me with nothing decent to wear at Xmas again[:'(]
  19. Gifi, La Foire Fouille or any of the other 'junk you didn't know you needed' shops.  They hang out near the ironing boards and pegs and other things for rangements.
  20. Pierre - you are not the only one - the dreaded Marie (the cleaning woman not the Town Hall[:)]) had a screeching fit one day because Madame (me) had folded a sheet inside out.   Shall I tell you the worse?  Not only did I not know but I didn't care either.  The secret is to have all white stuff that looks the same anyway up, then like me you can carry on in blissful ignorance.
  21. jon - I too have had 'the real thing', and trust me OH's family are equally disappointed with many of the Indian (most of which are actually Pakistani not Indian) restaurants in UK.  Of course there will be some French folk who enjoy such food, and if the chef is for your own premises it could be great.  However, I thought you were looking for restaurant.  So if you have better luck than me in finding a decent one do let me know.
  22. I think it is great idea (though I hate the folded towels!) and as I've got both double and kingsized beds I'm going to put the king sized bed linen in square pillowccases and the double in rectangular ones.  Should save a bit of cursing and swearing when bed making as I always manage to drag the wrong sized linen to the top floor.
  23. Sorry jon - but really good Indian restaurant and France cannot normally be seen in the same sentence.[:D]  Spicy food is not normally to French tastes and without exception the Indian restaurants we have tried in France have been disappointing.  My husband is Indian and so loves a nice curry but we have to make it at home.  You can get most if not all of the ingredients now (found a really good Indian shop the last time I went to Bordeaux) but I think there would not be enough demand for a real Indian restaurant.  We went to one in Toulouse and chatted to the chef (who was Indian).  He acknowledged he had changed the food for French palates, and told us that when he had started up his food was much more authentic and he had far less custom.  Having 'Frenchified' it business was booming, but we found it a bit bland.
  24. Dear Pads When the calendars start rolling in I will send you a couple.
  • Create New...