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  1. Janb

    Senior Collie

    I am wanting to spend between three to four months in France next winter but have a twelve year old border colliewho's never been anywhere except on the moors of Derbyshire. One Vet 'has reservations' about any dog going through the process; another says that 'Sassy' is relatively fit and 'should' be OK.   Any thoughts?


  2. The UK court has just awarded me a jointly held French property in which my ex-husband has been given 56 days to transfer the property to my name. I have all the legal documents but neither my solicitor nor I know what the next step is.


  3. One of the Sunday papers here in the UK had a big article about

    vineyards in the Bordeaux region 'going under'; the article also

    referred to the south of France and the anger of some vineyard owners,

    i.e. the declining wine market in France and globally due to 'new

    world' varieties. Some, apparently, were selling up as the promised

    subsidies were not forthcoming.

    The long-term prognosis given climate change also as a factor seems

    dire. If this is the case, what do you think will happen to property


    Cheers !


  4. I still think there may be one, possibly two, in Cotignac, the Var. One

    is a very small lovely restaurant overlooking the river that's been on

    and off the market for two years. The other is a very popular bar right

    in the centre of the village.

    I don't know how you find out the details though - sorry.


  5. I did a search for 'grey water' and nothing came up. Surely this has been discussed on this site?

    Given that today is 'world water day' and that the projections for the

    southeast of England are dire, with similiar projections for parts of

    France, has anyone installed this kind of system - i.e. using re-cycled




  6. I have found a 12th century property in a hameau the Var which is a

    'co-propriete'. Does anyone have any experience of buying a property

    that is part of this legal structure?


  7. Hello ChipshopCharlie,

    I bought a 12th century ruin that was not 'listed/historic monument' at

    the time. It has taken almost three years to get the various

    permissions to restore this property. However, the adjacent barn -

    which is 'only' 3-400 years old is not listed and the Mairie is only

    too happy for me to 'have a go'. Having said that, I think it very much

    depends on where you live - you must check with the Mairie and a local



  8. Obviously you know that you've got a market but when you refer to the legalities I think you need to decide if this is going to be a little DIY publication within the community - as a service? - or a full-blown income-generating proposition. If the latter, you will need to get advice from your notaire.

    I'm a publisher and it's pretty straight-foward these days as far as the technical aspects are concerned. In the Var, there's a little publication which now has a pretty big circulation, The Var Village Voice - see their web site for prices and further info re listings etc. Not knowing exactly what you want to do makes it difficult to give specific advice. I don't publish this but I find it useful! [I'm more into books etc.]


  9. **Does anyone share my view that it is ironic that this drama is being played out in a culture where, so often, life is held to be cheap? Gun culture - typically 30,000 deaths a year, capital punishment - in Florida, where the condemned are so often poor, black and intellectually challenged.**

    In a word - NO! It is obvious that you know very little about our culture.


    From Jan: Ray in incorrect. That message does sum it up. In a country where 47 million americans can't afford health insurance, where the prison population has the highest incareration rate globally and where the privatisation of social services like health care, education and prisons - all depend on who controls the enormous profits: in other words, this is why prisoners are serving longer and longer sentences and, most are poor, black and intellectually challenged! Also, the continual erosion of civil liberties and the rule of law is shocking - and they're not finished yet; watch what the US military is up to.

  10. Both le monde diplomatique (Paris) and the Guardian (UK) have been running very useful, accessible critiques. However, if you are a serious scholar then perhaps you should work through the various social science research institutes, gender equality units. Also, given what's happening in the Netherlands, the Dutch are also giving serious space to research along these lines. Superficial questions to a group of ex-pats, most of whom are probably in UK, are not terribly useful I would think.
  11. Are second homes a selfish luxury or a harmless retreat?

    from the Green Guide

    More than a million Britons now own a second home. Many argue that these out-of-towners bring economic benefits to rural communities. Equally, though, second homes can price local people, including key workers, out of the housing market.

    And the second-home phenomenon is spreading its wings. British buyers now snap up thousands of foreign homes every year. Their dream of a place in the sun is increasingly realised by the expanding reach of low-cost airlines. By 2012, it is estimated that second homers will take 12 million flights a year to visit their properties, exacerbating the environmental impact of air travel.

    In 2003, 40% of all property sold in Spain went to non-nationals, while young Spaniards, unable to get on the property ladder, remain living with their parents in unprecedented numbers. By 2003, homes in the French region of Languedoc Roussillon cost 28% more than the year before, largely due to demand for second homes.

    The danger is that by living between two communities, second-homers contribute fully to neither and can actually adversely affect the local community where the second home is located. Renting a locally owned property, or staying at a locally owned hotel, would be a better option.

  12. My barn is 12th century and was declared 'a site of historic interest'. I could have gotten a grant towards the restoration but it was so time-consuming and bureaucratic I decided I didn't want to bother.

    Also, the plans had to go through several stages of approval and each time it was a hassle. I actually agree with the perserving of old historic buildings but in my case, I just wanted to get in done. The bureaucracy would have added at least a year onto the projet.



  13. It's Jan again!

    You're right about women having nuturing networks but being a woman in a rural French community is very difficult. You all know that village life is very orchestrated, gossipy and finely-tuned to nuances. In France it is also very patriarchal so the women friends I do have are great during the day but coupledom does take over in the evening.

    However, having said that, and reminded by Margaret's reply below, when I had a rather large dinner party, I invited people I thought would enjoy each other's company - whether they were married or not. What I  hadn't reckoned on was a major predator in disguise! My cute seemingly adoringly happily married neighbour, on her own as her husband was away, making a beeline for my 'friend' [who happened to be very, very cute and very, very gay!]. What a hilarious evening that turned out to be.

    So perhaps it is a good idea for LF to set up another forum. What fun!

  14. This looks like a 'boys only' discussion! I'm really quite surprised, I just assumed it would be less problematic for you.

    I bought a house in the Var, just outside a wine-growing village. It's rural yet within 5 minutes drive or a 40 minute walk along the back roads to the village. What I hadn't anticipated was that not long after I arrived, the women wanted to know where my husband was. Well, said I: 'he's gone'. I didn't want to go into the gory details just then but what I hadn't reckoned on was the determination to get me fixed up ... it was hilarious when I finally figured out what was going on. I seemed to be a 'projet'.

    I made assumptions: during the day it's fine to sit in a cafe, but in the evening, in a rural community, women dining alone just isn't done. Everyone has been lovely and I think they've all been very kind in wanting to see me 'settled'. Joining things - like rambling, cycling, tennis clubs, etc probably is a good thing to do. Like anywhere, it all depends on how interested you are in the community and how much you want to be involved. It takes time.

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