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Everything posted by Ormx

  1. I joined in on my 2nd year here, although my French is good enough to understand about 95% (goes down to about 50% when I'm weary of the same argument over and over!). I was welcomed with open arms, and the existing members were delighted to get a different perspective. On my 2nd year I was representing the maternelle as the other parents had moved on. Now my 3rd year I'm the one recruiting at the school gates! I love it though. Aside from meeting people regularly and getting to know them, I also feel I know what to expect as my children move to primaire and college. Go for it. The worst that can happen is that you don't get anything out of it and let it slide after a few months.
  2. You see this is why I hate staying in B&bs and chambre d'hotes. This is what I feel the owners are thinking when they are really smiling and wishing us a pleasant day. I'm afraid your post has put me off even more and you'll put yourself out of business with that attitude.
  3. Hi Me&Mi, Glad you finally made it to France. Hope it's living up to your expectations.  Sorry, don't really know about EHIC, but isn't it valid for up to 5 years? Does the GP check when you arrived in France? What corner of France did you choose in the end?  
  4. ah, all's well.... we've just spent the past few days watching a bird (I have no idea what, very small with tail sticking straight up in the air) coming to and fro feeding chicks. got a god bit of video of the feeding sessions (it's within spectator distance of our patio) and this morning we were remarking how quickly the chicks have grown as big as the parent when I decided to fetch my camera and caught the first flight of one of them. horrible quality picture but  a fabulous sight! the poor thing looked a little shook, I'm not sure if it intended to fly out or just fell out and kept going! the parent (mother? father?) has just spent hours getting them back up to the nest for the night, not sure if they succeeded though...
  5. Things are never as black and white. Our 3 young children have one French parent and one Irish parent and have lived 1/2 their lives in Ireland and France. I have seen French mothers slapping the backs of a child's legs with gusto, but then I've done the same from time to time. (I have also marched off when a toddler simply won't do as she's told and let her trail me crying, bad mother that I am!) I would like to think my 'parenting style' is somewhere in between the 2 extremes in the article. BUT most French mothers I know are not a bit like in the article either. The sand incident, I would agree with, let them taste it and see it's not good! I've tried telling a child till i'm blue in the face 'don't do X, you'll fall/hurt yourself/break it' and it's only when the child actually does fall that they learn. Actually when I read that back it sounds like I veer towards French parenting style after all Instilling manners is very important. Yesterday a boy approached a group of parents outside the school and asked politely if we knew where the toilet was. He was about 6 and is known as one of the 'rougher' children in the town (his brother was expelled from school). I honestly don't know ANY of my Irish friend's children who would be able to do that. I do find it frustrating when I see comparisons between Fr and Britain etc where the lack of originality and imagination are cited. I do not find British/Irish so much more imaginative I'm afraid. I think every country has its own educational system which leads to a way of working and a certain lifestyle. My daughter performed yesterday with her primaire, a fabulous abstract dance/play performed in the streets of the town. Today she'll be flinging herself into the pool with the school, and sometime this morning she was probably learning maths with the teacher keeping very strict control of the noise levels. Very balanced I think. Oh, and back to the article, sometimes there's nothing to say but 'ca suffit'!!!
  6. [quote user="Bugbear"] "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I bought it following someones recommendation on here but what a disapointment. I kept reading, thinking it would develop, but it never happened, not for me anyway. Or am I missing something ? [/quote]   agree with some of the others, couldn't read On the Road, Time traveller's I read to the end but wasn't as wowed as the critics, BUT Life Of Pi I thought was absolutely fantastic and it does have a major twist at the end, so you are missing something!! oh god it would be hard to read over though if you didn't like it..... just read the last few chapters then......
  7. me&mi, i think we may have been chatting on another discussion board : ) we're living in Gers, 45 mins from Tarbes, 1h30 from skiing, 1h30 from the sea. Small village (2000 inhabitants i think) with schools that are delighted to see more children arrive. For us, with small children, walking distance from the town*, lots of associations, swimming pool in town, and playground are all invaluable. Being near the countryside is great. It's important for us to be able to do things we didn't at home like grow vegetables, wander around markets at children's pace, eat locally produced food. It's also important that children integrate, so we're happy that there are very few English children in our schools. a big garden is great too. *one thing i regret is living beside a fairly busy road, i cannot let the children go anywhere unless i drive them. i'm sure this will change as they get older.  
  8. i think it's the nature of forums to be honest. i read a lot here when i was about to move, asked a few questions, answered a few, read about other people's experiences, found many to be negative, and stopped visiting the forum (just once in a while). i do think the negative comments have their place but when i try to respond with my positive take on the subject (in e.g. the education section) i'm shot down as not knowing enough yet! so i don't bother. i suspect a lot of people who are having a great life in france don't bother. life for us is fabulous here. we came with no jobs and a good bit of capital. OH found a job after 3 months (but he is french) and i'm at home with the kids, getting to know the community, enjoying every day. we didn't hate ireland but hated the materialism there. we live a privileged life being able to visit the relations twice a year, being able to go skiing etc etc if i were you I would sit down and write down why you love france, why you want to move, but also how you envisage yourselves at Move+1 month, Move+2 months, Move + 12 months (scenario 1: your business is booming, scenario 2: you haven't any income) etc etc  After you've balanced the pros and cons you can decide. You may not be able to control all of the circumstances around your move, but you can control your attitude.
  9. some children in our school live in the campsite, not sure what their circumstances are but it is possible.
  10. saw a piece on the 20h news about uniforms, apparently they are becoming more common in the departments outre mer, like guadaloupe, and the reporter suggested they should be introduced in mainland france. i'd say it'll probably take 100 years to be honest.......
  11. something similar has happened at our local college, and the reports of several students matched up, as well as the fact that the teacher made the offending comments in front of some parents at a parent-teacher meeting. so, the association des parents d'eleves has taken the matter very seriously and is in full discussion with the teacher in question and the principal, they are also writing a letter to the board of education. the comments? well it's an english boy and he has been told more than once that he should go back to where he came from, and when sarkozy gets into power he'll be sent home! the boy, by the way, is supposed to be a terrible trouble-maker, but that's still no way to talk to him. would you approach your parents d'eleves association and ask them theri opinion?
  12. twinkle i hear you! my daughter aged 6 came home from school yesterday and said X told her he didn't exist and it was just the adults. so i played dumb and asked which adults? and she didn't really know. but damn! i really think at 6 she's only really understanding to expect santa and now he's gone! my other kids are 4 and 2 so we'll do all the necessary but they don't have that twinkle in the eye yet (sigh!)   still, she's writing her letter to santa...... so far it goes...... "cher Pere noel, je te demende un gros cadeau et mon cadeau, je veu ce sa soie un jex de faie; et le petit cadeau de majic.........."   snow is falling all around us......    
  13. I agree. Nobody really replies here, but most do turn up. Parties are such low-key affairs here that it really doesn't matter. One cake, a couple of drinks and let them come or not!
  14. another interesting part I thought was what the mayor of Pantin was up to. Controlling the prices. Buying the house on behalf of the town for a more realistic price. The poor sellers. the lucky buyers. wonder if it'll work?
  15. i'm also on ours and the only foreigner, they don't mind one bit, actually as numbers are so low I am currently the ONLY parent from the maternelle represented which is disgraceful. We don't do that much really. there's one fundraiser that makes a bit and we just repeat with variations every year. the whole pta is pathetic really but hopefully we'll do a bit better this year. (Actually there was another English mum there last year who came with loads of ideas, having been on a pta in England, and the ideas were all greeted but never implemented. She left. ) Motivation is the problem, not the nationality of the person who comes up with the idea.
  16. yes revival is happening... the education nationale have a programme where any school can choose to become bilingual with a local language (e.g. in Brittany this can be Breton but, interestingly, in the 13e arrondissement in Paris this could be Chinese and French). Our region has chosen Occitan (we're in the Gascony area so the dialect is Gascon) and there are some schools around Hautes Pyrenees/Ariege etc that have been doing this for a few years. Our school (maternelle) started last year (the first school in the Gers dept) and my daughter at ripe old age of 3 was one of the first. She has 1/2 day doing her normal lessons in French and the other 1/2 in Occitan (and English at home but that's an exception!). The plan is that the teaching will follow her up through her school years, this year the Moyenne section and Grande section maternelle are involved, next year it will be MS, GS and  CP etc. etc. By the time she's ready to sit her brevet she should be completely bilingual and be allowed to sit it through occitan. That's the theory. So far so good, the Occitan teacher speaks to them only in Oc and they seem to understand, most of the class who are in their 2nd year respond well (and don't even realise they're speaking another language). So far I've only picked up "adios"!!! I went to a talk about it last year and remember only a few points, but the main one was that bilingualism is hugely advantageous to our children in more ways than actually communicating in that language (2 language centres are created in the brain and it give advantages in other things like mathematical problem-solving, spelling and other things I can't remember). So the gov has decided to provide this opportunity using a local language (and NOT English!), and believe learning another language later (in lycee) will be easy-peasy by then. I believe it - that's why I sent my unsuspecting 3 y.o to Occitan!!!!!!!! to answer the original question: i haven't a clue where you could get a book but I did come across this: http://www.dobl-oc.com/Frances/C222Leng1_fr.htm#4
  17. pickles, thanks for looking that up for me! I still have to read it several times to try to understand!
  18. Hi all, I know there have been several posts on CGT but they seem to refer to selling a French property. I'm resident in France (2 years), so not "ordinarily resident" ( or whatever the term is) yet. We have a house in France which is our only residence. We had a house in Ireland that was rented out until recently, income tax paid in Irl. We have sold Irl house and paid the CGT in Ireland. There is no Double Taxation Agreement between Irl and France in relation to CGT. My accountant in Irl couldn't come up with a definitive answer, saying the law is "silent" on this matter. I have to approach our tax office in France and ask. Just wondering if anyone has gone through it. What is the liklihood of having to pay twice? thanks
  19. [:-))]  [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))] [:-))]   Oh my oh my, a lesson to be learned  
  20. [quote user="Fay"]Someone had a fiddle and they were singing "Irish Rover" and "Wild Mountain Thyme" when we left. It was like steerage on the Titanic! [/quote] not sure I like the tone........
  21. hi, I did the same last summer with my (then) nearly 5 year old, although she had another year of maternelle to go before CP. I used a book called "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" (cant remember author) and it does what it says on the tin! It's a bit lacking in colour/pictures/humour but daughter loved it (loved the fact that it looked like a daunting big-person book .... wanted to write adult book there but worried about connotations!) and got through about 60 or 70 lessons over the summer. we gave it a break then and took it out over Christmas when she finished it. she can now read the easy dr seuss, but has transferred her interests to other things, and doesn't try too much. By the way i didn't push her at all, she did all the pushing/begging for the next lesson. it's hard to say if it makes any difference to her overall education. she's obviously finding the easy 4-word sentences they copy out in GS very easy, but, as I said, has many other things she can concentrate her mind on (currently it's the concept of continents v countries v planets). Her English and French are on a par I'd say, and judging by the amount of visitors from Ireland who have planned visits she'll have plenty of practice to keep up her English. Hope this helps.Would love to hear how you get on.
  22.   seemed like it would be 2 train journeys on either end or 2 flights so went for the latter, thanks all for your help
  23. hagar, thanks for that, I didnt know Scotland was so badly served by the airlines from France, looks like I'll have to hop on 2 planes (sigh). thanks for the link though, will check it out.
  24. heard about it, still trying to get in.............. (apparently it's google-earth for France and the DOM-TOM)
  25. i take it that means there are none..... ok just keep googling.....
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