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  1. I must admit that I was really surprised when I heard that Mélenchon and Fillon are neck and neck. Seems very strange that but there again, at the last election, after le premier tour, Hollande won by a huge majority in our village but le Pen was second! Centre ground?  Do the electors really understand where that is positioned?
  2. [quote user="andyh4"]quote I could see from the extensions, the conservatories, the garden-rooms, the bathrooms, kitchens, decking outdoors, would have had a fortune spent on them. And thereby lies a big difference. In the UK you do these things to increase the saleability of the property, with the view - overtly or covertly - to make profit on the potential sale. In France - at least in rural France - you should do these things because you want them for yourself. Maybe they will increase the value of your property - probably not, because everywhere has a ceiling value and that is much more difficult to judge in rural France.[/quote] It's not just the expensive additions of bathrooms, conservatories and so on, the furnishings were so perfectly "themed" and so much care was taken with the soft furnishings, the wallpaper, the knick-knacks, etc. I think I have just forgotten about all those things and how important they are deemed to be.  I remember you telling me once that if I did go back to the UK, I'd take some time to adjust to living back there. Going by today's tiny (carefully selected, I know) peep into this other world, I am beginning to doubt that I'd ever fit back in again[:(]  
  3. Hey, come on, richard51..............it's just to get a bit of banter and conversation going!  No, I didn't want to PM ALB, don't know that I've got much to say to him in private[:D] I wanted people to come on and talk a bit about living in the countryside in the UK as opposed to living in the countryside in France. We used to start threads all the time "in the good old days" and have discussions about something and about nothing.  We played word games, finished each others' stories and so on. I guess you belong to the social media generation and have forgotten how to chat about this and that on a forum.  That's what forums are for you know?  Forums are for chatting on and I do usually use a headline that I think will catch people's attention and make them want to join in.  See, it caught YOUR attention, didn't it?[;-)]
  4. Today, I fell into a deep sleep after lunch (disturbed nights for over 2 months) and when I woke up in front of the TV, there was one of those programmes for people in the UK, selling up their houses in towns and cities and looking for houses in the countryside. Here is where ALBF comes in because he did mention the west country, Wiltshire, Dorset, etc on his thread about Dordogne living. This couple on the programme were shown 4 houses in Dorset, near the coast (Bridport area) and a bit further inland. So, yes, agree, some of the countryside does look like the Dordogne, except, theirs is a lot greener and lusher so I guess a lot more rain.  Me, I'm an expert on rainy areas, having lived in Wales for over 15 years. The other surprise (and I'd forgotten all this) is how much money and care people seem to spend on their houses.  I do realise the houses would have all been 'prepped' for the tv but, even so, I could see from the extensions, the conservatories, the garden-rooms, the bathrooms, kitchens, decking outdoors, would have had a fortune spent on them. Here in rural France, virtually nobody would spend that sort of money on their houses, not least because we all know that you'd be hard pushed to get any of that money back, ever! Not having been back to the UK for about 9 years and having steeped myself so much in French living, I hadn't cast my mind back to houses of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and the talk about new kitchens, new bathrooms, new carports, new carpets, new 3-piece suites ad infinitum and that everybody everywhere seemed to be buying new stuff all the time.........used to really do my head in. Then, the other big difference is when they showed the beach and it was teeming with people, mostly wrapped up in coats as the wind was blowing like the clappers. Incidentally, I lived on the heritage coast in South Wales, not 5 minutes' walk from the sea and I wouldn't walk down there much because I don't like to be surrounded by hoards of people.
  5. Yes, indeed, an interesting article. I like both Rameau and Lully.  There is a bit of a Rameau rondo that I used to play for warming up the fingers.  Not the same period I know but, talking about ballet music, I am also fond of Adam.
  6. I'd have laughed too[:D] I don't suppose you attempted to explain why the question was funny?
  7. [quote user="richard51"]Would be interested in Mints friends reason but it could possibly be due to the fact that it is very near the northern border of the region and some distance away from the touristy face of the region. I suspect (and I don't mean to insult people living in the Dordogne) that certain areas are more snobbish (or vice-versa) than others.[/quote] Richard, it wasn't a friend, it was someone on the forum when I was asking for advice and impressions about different areas. He said he had a sister who lived there and he knew the town well.  Said I wouldn't like it because it would be like living back in the UK.  All the market stalls, for instance, apparently have notices in French AND English. I gathered that it was a bit of an enclave for les anglais so I never bothered to go and look for myself.  I had spoken to the forum member on the phone prior to that and I didn't feel I had to go and check out the place for myself. So, if anyone does live in PP, look, I didn't go there so it's just hearsay so please don't give me a load of grief over it, OK?
  8. Richard51, if I were to move back to the UK, the Peak district would be one of my hotspots for househunting. What would attract me would be the walking[:D] I'd never understand "weather"!  We lived not an hour from here but nearer the coast and whilst the winters were just as cold, the summers were nowhere near as hot.  In fact, the summers were very disappointing, often rainy and very cool. Where I am, it could, and often does, rain for days on end but then we'd have a dry spell of sometimes weeks to the dismay of farmers. All I can say is, thousands of British and other Europeans who have moved here must all be wrong in their choice if the Dordogne is so terrible?[;-).  There is always some snootiness attached to popular areas in any country and the sneering ones are often the very ones who don't live there and know next to nothing about those places.  For example, if I were to move to Italy, it would be Tuscany and, if to Spain, it would be the Costa Brava.  No doubt more will come on now to pour scorn on my choices.    
  9. Mac, how well you have put your point across. But, hey, what do I know, I have only lived here for 7 years and, before that, for 3 years in the Charente Maritime and I MUCH prefer my current area. Having said that, I do not know any of the other parts of the Dordogne, other than my own.  I was going to view a house in Piégut Pluviers and a forum member PMed me and said not to go there and I took his advice on board. Today, I was chatting to a French friend who has a house in Paris and one near me.  I asked her how long she was staying and she said she'd stay as long as she could because she loved the life here.  She said that unfortunately she'd have to go back to Paris soon on account of the election. I am also very friendly with a French couple from Tours (yes, Tours, ALBF) and they have bought a beautiful house here in the Dordogne and are only waiting for the husband to retire before coming to live here full time. Think of it as a ghetto if you want to, Chance, but you of all people will know that I do not live in a comfort zone.  I like adventure and pushing out the boundaries. I don't say it's the Dordogne per se that attracts me and I will tell you a bit about my day here and you can make up your mind whether it's as you imagine a "typical" day of a Dordogne "expat" would pan out. Usual start, cleaning up dog mess from my poor old doggie with dementia.  Breakfast as usual, eating home-made bread, jam and some cheese.  The postie brought me 3 Raymond Queneau books ordered from leboncoin and keenly anticipated. Some housework then a snatched snack before heading off to walk with French friends in a valley near my house.  Came home and relaxed in front of the TV with the Davis Cup; the French team won, which I wanted as I don't much like anyone in the British team. Went to get the washing in and I stopped dead in my tracks to marvel at the beauty of the early evening.  Peaceful, calm, the sunset colourful, the mistiness of the time of  day adding an extra dimension to the open views.  I knew that the church would be lit up soon and there would be the clear half moon later on  Glass or two of a chilled white whilst I cook dinner, saumon en croute for OH and bacon and eggs for me........miam, miam. Will have a nice long shower soon and get into my PJs.  I have already written on another thread about Friday being my favourite day of the week. I don't care about the sneering.  I am doing so many of the things that I enjoy and I LOVE where I live..........laugh aloud and feeling pretty damn bien dans mes baskets!
  10. [quote user="nomoss"][URL=http://s857.photobucket.com/user/nomoss/media/Posted%20on%20Forums/Wi-Fi...%20%20Wi-Fi..._zpssl5h9otl.jpg.html][IMG]http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab131/nomoss/Posted%20on%20Forums/Wi-Fi...%20%20Wi-Fi..._zpssl5h9otl.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/quote] Ok, Ok, I suppose only broadband will do?
  11. Of course, the Dordogne is a large department and I must admit that I haven't visited other areas within the departement other than my own[:-))] To be honest, I haven't had much opportunity.  Domestic problems, health problems in the past, etc and TBH, also sheer laziness and contentment ............. I am retired so I do have lots of time to do the things I enjoy.  As a keen walker, the countryside round about me is ideal, très dénivelé as the French would say.  Us "real" walkers, as opposed to strollers and ramblers, like the challenge of going up and down, up and down all day! I like my little village enormously and we have a good relationship with a good many of the inhabitants.  We are one of 2 British couples and I think there might be a couple more families a little way out but I don't know them by name or even by sight, not even the other anglais who are only a few streets away. This October, I am taking part in la ronde des villages so I will be walking in some of the more touristic areas of the Dordogne, maybe nearer Eymet which ALBF speaks so highly of.  I am looking forward to it a lot as it's a weekend away with French walking friends. Then perhaps another weekend to the Arcachon area, though that's Gironde, to walk and do some kayaking and, above all, to see migratory birds. Depends on your interests, I'd say.  For me, I am not a "proper" country person, having never lived in the countryside so I love my area, as it's riddled with villages and you can literally easily walk circuits covering 2 or 3 villages in a couple of hours. All the prettiness of the countryside without the isolation of winter and the inconvenience of living in the middle of nowhere.
  12. No, mogs, you have not been wrong.  Jonz has a very idiosyncratic way of spelling words[:)]
  13. ALBF, I don't know any expats with children here though I did know 2 families in our previous house.  So I can't argue with you regarding moving with children. As for your other remarks about la Dordogne, I can't agree with those.  It suits us very well and I HAVE looked at many other departments in France.  I had no preference, north, south, east, west but, by sheer good chance, I have found myself in exactly the house and the place that I love being in. I am out doing some activity or other most days and in fact, I pass up on lots of enjoyable pursuits because both my OH and my dog are elderly and I don't feel it fair to leave them to their own devices all the time. It is a good idea, as someone else has suggested, to rent somewhere first to see if the OP and her family like it.  However, with a limited budget, it does mean that they will be spending money that could be kept towards a purchase.
  14. Bravo, Erica!  You sound like you have feet firmly planted on the ground. I live in the Périgord Vert, the best part of the Dordogne in IMHO.  I live in a picturesque village, small and perfectly formed![:D] Relevant to some of your questions.  Some people just outside our village sold their home and gite complexe (3 bedroom house and 2 gites only suitable for summer lets) for in excess of half a million euros last year.  All renovated more or less by themselves. But don't let that put you off.  I am informed (you'd understand that I know fewer British people than I can count on the fingers of one hand) that there are UK sellers of fully-renovated gites, mills, etc near here or just over the border in the Charente who are pretty desperate to sell up. In this part, and I have just discussed this with some French people I walked with this afternoon, that Dordogne people are more open and "plus chaleureux" than people just over the border.  I have also heard other French people, from Paris, from Tours, from south of here that indeed les Dordognais are welcoming folk.  I have lived in both areas but we made friends readily........if your OH is anything like mine, you'd have people trooping up to visit!  That's another story and that could be something of a mixed blessing..... If you want to do it and if you think it's in the best interest of your family, just keep looking.  Exhaust all the possibilities or you might regret at a later date not having explored all the options.
  15. Wise words from Norman.  Yes, rural French people tend to be conservative in their views and activities.  You could even have excellent French but it would still be hard to persuade them to try out new activities and even harder to prise money out of their tight fists!  I am not trying to be rude to rural French folk, this is half (but only half) in jest. I know many local French people both in my present area and in the previous one and they have all tended to be resistant to anything not "traditional". Is the budget you mention just for the renovation or does it have to include the purchase and legal fees and taxes? If the latter, then I'd say, it is unlikely to be sufficient[:(] Bearing in mind what you plan to do, I'd also say that you need to be where there are sufficient numbers of  people who will read your publicity materials and be interested in the activities you offer and who live close enough to get to you. Out in the sticks in splendid isolation does not seem to fit the bill. But, don't give up altogether, no need to think of a semi-detached bungalow (though I am sure there are lovely ones of those!), but do lots more homework as there are indeed any number of property bargains out there! Good luck! 
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