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Dormouse

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  1. Thank you for your help Emma, I'll PM you if we go that route... I've just had two bombshells in one go, one being my possible business partner has decided that this isn't really what she wanted to do. Fairy nuff, no probs but a bit of a surprise. And the other being that my husband who was lucratively earning in the UK has handed in his notice. I knew he was thinking of it, but apparentkly things got so sh*t that he did it. So I may be back in the UK working now!! And he might be opening the shop. And mobile food vans - anyone done those? Burger/pizza etc?
  2. It isn't a huge tourist town - but the area is fantastic for wealking & cycling. The local Syndicate d'Initiative is fairly small and grim and (we discovered) not very helpful. We wondered about offering guided cycle tours  as well(and possibly bike hire, although that's only a thought) The cyber café was a thought because there's not much for the young people to do. A prof at the local Collége thought it might be good for the ados, but who knows...   ETA But thanks for your thoughts. More welcome!
  3. An English friend & I are considering opening a shop in our small town in Loire (42). At the moment the thoughts are going in the way of a three way split between English imports (baked beans, biscuits etc), a "Tourist shop" (maps, decent post cards, offering guided bike rides/walks etc) and a Cyber café. I know this sounds like a melange of different stuff, but the premises we're thinking about would lend itself to three different focuses (focii?). I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who had experience of any of these ventures, including what sold well, what didn't sell and so forth. And generally any thoughts - of course, I'd love positive happy-happy comments, but in reality, the truth might be better! I don't think we would be in competition with anyone else on these boards - we seem to be well away from the nearest place doing anything like this. There isn't a huge English contingent where we are, so this needs to be carefully thought through - our French friends have been "converted" to some English products so we'd like to be able to supply those. We appreciate that we couldn't survive on just the English stuff alone & so need other focii (focuses?!). We were wary of looking as though we were trying to anglicize the town, but on consideration, feel that we are known as part of the community here for it not to seem like a take over bid. One question in particular that someone who already has opened a shop like this might be able to help with ius: would we have to pay some sort of import duty on stuff being brought into France from England? Where would we find out about such details? The local Site de Proximité will be able to help with general questions about setting up a business, but that question seems a too bit specialised for them to know the answer. Does anyone know the answer - or where we could find it out? Thank you for any assistance!  
  4. A good friend of mine has a son who is an architect. He lives in Nimes, but travels (I'm not too sure how far Narbonne is from Nimes, but he has worked in Paris, & I guess it's not quite so far!) I have no idea what he is like, but Daniele, my friend, is lovely! The name is Luc Perret. I'll PM you with his phone number rather than broadcast it to all and sundry on the internet. I hope that's OK.
  5. I'm trying to guage whether people would (theoretically) be interested if such a programme was offered in their area: I am a qualified teacher (18 years experience in primary sector) as well as a qualified TEFL teacher. It was suggested that English families, whose children go to French schools & learn to read & write French, might be interested in having a "Saturday school" (or After School class) to help keep up their English literacy skills. This being from children just begining French school to children of about 10. If this was offered in your region, would you be interested? Do you think it's a viable idea? Thanks for your help!
  6. I use something called "Dash" which comes in tablet form - this is because I have sensitive skin, rather than for fosse septique reasons. I think it's non-bio; whatever it is, it suits my itchy skin. In the UK I used Fairy non-bio - this seems to be similar. I buy it in the hypermarket & in our local Shopi.
  7. Coming to a small town in the Loire, we have found people to be friendly but reserved, on the whole. We are lucky in that the (English) Estate Agent and his (French) wife were our friends before we moved out, & through them we have met their friends. I also made friends through finding a very welcoming church. But I would agree with the "learn French, and speak it " advice given. I could get by and am gradually improving, with help from my French friends. We use the local shops as much as possible too - yes, slightly more expensive than the big hypermarkets, but it gets your face noticed. Also, advice of use the local artisans has been good - of course get quotations, but if at all possible supporting the locals means you are appreciated. I also went to the local College repas-dansant (yes, it was with my friends) and joined in the dancing & eating with gusto. It was apparently noticed and appreciated by the College staff (we live next door, but do not have children) I like to think I'm fitting in...But of course, I may be VERY much mistaken!!!
  8. Thanks for your reply Rob. The advice I got at the Site de Proximité implied that these Cheques d'Emploi were dead common, & that folk only needed to go to the bank to get a special cheque book, which wouldn't put them off at all. I wasn't aware that the person paid my social charges - perhaps my 15 euros an hour is a bit steep if that's the case. I certainly haven't had anyone phone up yet - although the owner of the hotel next door said they were thinking of taking lessons "when they were less busy" (that'll be next winter, then!) I've been told that, being quite rural, this is not a rich area & so people aren't very likely to pay out for lessons; I was hoping that, as there are a fair few Brits in the area, & with the camp site the local shopkeepers etc might feel it worth their while taking lessons. But no. Oh well. Back to the novel that's going to earn me millions then! (I wish)
  9. I am hoping to find work as an English teacher (self employed - although I'd love to be employed as well!) My local Site de Proximité has recommended that I advertise as only being paid by these Cheque Emploi Service Universel. It seems like a good thing, but I wondered if anyone had had any experience (good or bad) with these being used as a method of payment.
  10. On a serious note (no really) someone suggested greetings cards. I do that, but sadly France does not have the same card sending culture as England - & certainly not the small village I live in. I have only managed to sell a few to friends (making a total of 15 euros) . I am trying to find working TEFL-ing but not round here. No bites at all yet. SIGH.
  11. Here in the Loire, I have a good friend who is an (honest) English speaking Immobilier. He is finding it difficult to deal with French vendors who, having approached several immobiliers, will not accept my friend's guide price because other French immobiliers have said that they could sell it for more. I don't think we can blame "the Brits"
  12. all help appreciated so far - but don't stop if there's anything you wish to add!!!
  13. I hate to admit it, but I really am a klutz when it comes to offialdom; I tend to panic and hide my head in the sand, and not know what to do. I think we have moved to France without really researching what needed to be done healthcare wise, & now when I read these pages, & the FAQ I find myself not really understanding what I should have done/need to do. Basically, we moved here 4 months ago and I haven't done anything healthcare wise to get onto the French system, nor have I informed anyone in England. My husband is still officially living & working in England, paying UK taxes etc and so isa covered by his E111. I am living in France fulltime, unemployed, at the moment. Am I right in understanding that I need to fill in a form to get a E106? And if so, can I download a form from somewhere? Then, having received confirmation that I am no longer on the UK Healthcare system I trot to my local sous prefecture to get onto the French system? As I read back over this I am embarrassed by my ignorance - I'm sure seasoned France-livers are taising their eyes heavenwards, but I would be enormously grateful if someone could take pity on my ignorance/stupidity & in words of one syllable explain what I need to do... Thank you.
  14. Interesting to read this thread - I am in the Loire departement (42) & am trying to find work in TEFL. I have a CELTA certificate & 18 years experience as a qualified teacher. So far, no luck, although contacts in Roanne and St Etienne have said they "may" have work in the future. What would people suggest in relation to approaching the local schools directly? I am also thinking of putting posters up in various shop windows & the Mairie advertising my wares (as it were!)
  15. Thank you! We are here - hoorah! Am trying to find some TEFL work, not very successfully, but if I make it Lyon I'll be sure to hunt out the magazine.  
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