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Wendy

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  1. I think a lot of people who were here from a few years back have sold up/locked up and gone back to Blighty...it surprises me that anyone with any sense still has 'the dream' of moving to France to do B&B/Gites these days. It just ain't worth it.

  2. Not sure if you'll read this dave but we empathise with you; France and its administration crapped on us too in the end. We left and started from scratch again. Not doing too badly either.

    France...? over-rated, over-priced, over-done and - thank god - over THERE!

  3. Sell the car and then move[:P]

  4. This got me to thinking back to ol' Nigel Farrell and Nippy Singh - A Place in France (the Ardeche) - from 2002 (it's been that long???) and after googling Nigel I discovered he'd passed away in Sept.2011...really sad. I've been enjoying his Island Parish series in Barra. Not sure if this has been reported on the forum though.

  5. Hi all - did anyone watch the series then...? was on about two weeks ago - an awful fuss was made about one couple who did not offer ensuites, only one shared bathroom in the house which the hosts used as well. I'd assumed CDH's had to offer ensuite facilities these days. Far better though was last week's episodes filmed in Spain - some very nice properties (bar that hotel run by the drag queen) and had a good giggle at how upset the group got when offered a substantial continental breakfast by the last hosts instead of 'cooked'...how set in their ways are some Brits. Being on such a show - could you eat a fry up five days in a row...?

  6. After re-reading this I can see all kinds of problems for this couple - just being given the run-around by the french embassy should give them an idea of how frustrating french red tape can be...and how worse it can get. Why dont they do B&B in Russia...? I know of a B&B in Siberia, in the capitol whatever it is, cannot think of the name off hand, and it is American run would you believe. They made a killing during the recent solar eclipse there. Im interested to know what the continental breakfast would consist of...

  7. Hi all and excuse me for butting back in here after so long; listen markn, we did what you are thinking of doing and all I can say is DON'T!!! unless your son is a fluent French speaker and writer - 'pretty good' is not good enough, it is the writing skills he will need to have to do such an exam - then don't even consider trying to do an exam like the Bac. I brought my son over here when he was 16 and it was the worst decision I ever made, he never got to go to school in France because no college would accept him as his French was not good enough - and don't forget that at 16 school in France is not compulsory so he can be refused enrolment if they don't think he is up to scratch. It happened to us.

    I'd say do the A levels in the UK - it is not the time in his life to take the risks.

    We ended up returning to the UK - my 16 year old had to go back into high school here into year 10 instead of year 11 as it was found he was behind the other kids in certain areas thanks to the poor teaching at his local college in St Paul de Fenouillet. He's just completed his first GCSE year and is now doing really well.

  8. Sorry, but if you gave up your Belgian citizenship and your hubby is Russian then you sound to be pretty well screwed as for achieving your dream in France the easy way. If you had retained your EU citizenship then the transition would have been much easier. I am Australian, lived in France for six years and still encountered many problems...only my partner being British as well as having a child born in France stopped me being deported. Why do you want to buy in France...?

    Go to Belgium...they are far more civilised there...believe me!

  9. Well, thanks to advice here we are starting to get a result and have had some response - it turns out the accountant was submitting the wrong paperwork to impots for four years...fortunately we can start to sort it and have a name to put to our correspondence at last. I dont understand how supposedly 'expert compatbles' can get it soooo wrong!

    We only went with them because the company had an english speaking accountant who was very familiar with british accountancy practice and we needed that at the time...not so much her english speaking skills. However she took off on maternity leave 3 months after our first meeting and never returned..the firm put our paperwork to one side for almost two years not knowing how to deal with until we started with the threats and then they passed it from accountant to accountant within the firm. A total mess - and something interesting; out of the five accountants there when we signed with them in 2004 only one original member of staff remains. They have a high turnover we have since learned...

    Thanks again for your help!

  10. Thanks to all above for your advice - we have been banging our heads against walls for such a long time now so it is great to have some suggestions as to where to go.

    The situation with the accountants was unbelievable and still is - they sat with our stuff placed to one side for so long and did nothing with it and got us into this mess. And wait for this - they have sent us a bill...! they can whistle dixie for their money until we get our reclaims sorted.

    Thanks again :)

  11. Thanks to our accountant in France who totally screwed up our taxation issues over the course of five years we were vastly overcharged certain taxes and social security to the tune of over 10,000 euros. In some cases mal-administration saw us paying some taxes twice. We have been trying for three years to sort this situation out and despite having sent dozens of recorded letters and emails to Clermont Ferrand and Montpellier we have had zero response. Nothing.

    We finally sacked the accountant who basically sat on her derriere for the first two years before filing a 2005 tax return in 2007 and as a result she filed all following returns late and so we were taxed on 'assumed' income which was nowhere near the correct mark. Impots say we owe seven grand when in fact they owe US over ten grand! all because of an incompetent accountancy firm. Had we not signed a contract with them at the off (they had been highly recommended) we would have gone elsewhere at the first sign of trouble. Why did they do this...? because their one english-speaking accountant left and the rest of the staff did not know how to deal with our work...but we were under contract to them.

    The local tresor (from whom all the tax demands come) has been useless, all correspondance we send (three years worth to date) gets no reply and we just do not know where to go to next. Who does Impots answer to...? and is there a body to appeal to so we can sort out this farcical mess? It seems like a faceless heedless wall of bureacracy whose only function is to clean out your bank account!

  12. No.

    [:)]

    Hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer[;-)]

  13. I was at a park with the kids today when a fellow drove in with a car that stopped everyone in their tracks - an E type Jaguar 4.2 (fixed head coupe) 1965 I think- stunning condition. All the men had their cameras out...anyone here ever owned one...?
  14. We've been back here since January - loving it too. The OH is Belfast born and bred so...

    He lost his Dad in August and his Mum was left on her own - that plus the kids needing proper schooling all pooled to bring the decision to return here. We intended to come back at some stage anyway.

    Our son just was not getting anywhere at school there - he's going great guns now [:)]

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