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Wendy

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Everything posted by Wendy

  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 [:)]

  15. There is also the matter of not just your child maintaining their english - written and reading - but maintaining it to the level appropriate for their age.

    Our son is six and now in primary school here in Northern Ireland - where he would be normally in P3 (he is seven next month) he has had to start in P2 as his reading and writing skills were not up to the standard of his peers. We regularly read english books (Usborne are great) to him from an early age but his being in school in France kind of messed things up. The alphabet is different in French (obviously), so is counting...

    He is doing fine now and catching up but it has taken some effort. Point is, if you intend to take your kids back to a UK school keep in mind that their english literacy skills will need work - especially if they are under ten and have only been educated in a French school. It is one thing their speaking english, another thing altogether when they have to sit and do their schoolwork in english.  We were less than impressed with the standard of teaching at his school in France - he is doing far better now. We made the right decision. For us anyway.

  16. The wine is produced out woop-woop (in the sticks) and the roads most certainly are not empty around Sydney - go to Adelaide or Perth if you feel inclined.

    Try Sydney at your own risk - if you have squillions to spend of course.

  17. Belated reply but here goes.

    We use faxtastic.co.uk - £23.50 incl vat a year and they are brilliant. Dont go el cheapo - the free providers wont let you receive a fax from outside France and for this money you get an 0870 UK number which you quote to bookings.

    Never had a prob with them in 3 years.

  18. There is no work in France. The French refuse to employ the children of immigrants. Do your daughter a favour and stay in the UK. In our opinion the education here is Shite and I have five kids aged 4 to 22 who have gained nothing at all from being here in nearly five years. I wish we had never come here.

    Others on this forum would have you believe it is the answer to all your dreams...PM me and get the truth.

    France stinks.

     

     

     

  19. We never bothered with phones in the rooms...everyone has mobiles these days.

     

  20. Quillan; French TV sucks - enough said. We were in Northern Ireland in August and I had fish and chips at a cafe in Derry that made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven...not like the anorexic 'frites' you get here. And fish with REAL BATTER !

    The food here is pathetic...duck, duck and more duck - pizza, veau milanese, pasta is all you get - and the local kebab shop closes at 8pm!

    We paid 60 euros for an 'Indian takeaway' for 4 people in Perpignan 2 years ago - it was all bones and obviously made with supermarket-shelf spices. The rice was the boil-in-the-bag type. And cassoulet is fine if you like lots of grease and want to fart for a week afterwards...[;-)]

    And steak...nice so long as it is not dangerously undercooked and served to you swimming in blood despite your plea of " tres, tres bien cuit!! " [+o(]

     

     

  21. Catalpa, there was nothing subversive at all in my original question. Or anything sarcastic. Don't get defensive please! I was simply asking the members here, who mostly would be British, just when did THEY start to see a difference in their own nation...when did they think to themselves...'right, it's time to leave...'?

    Put it this way - when living in Northern Ireland I met American tourists there who had been down to the Republic of Ireland and had told me how they thought Dublin would be all 'fiddle players and people with ginger hair'...I recall visiting the village of Avoca in Co.Wicklow several times (which was the location for the filming of 'Ballykissangel') and the Yanks there (just off their tour coaches) were wondering why it was not as it was on the telly...

    The rest of the world, thanks to TV, has a rose-tinted view of jolly-old England and the English. But for most of us that's all we had. No doubt the UK has changed alot in in past 40-50 years, but I was wondering WHAT caused it...and there are no better people to ask than the Brit's themselves.

    If people still assume that kangaroos still hop down Pitt Street in Sydney then I suggest they take a reality check - because they never did!

     

  22. Oh wow - so many Brits having abandoned Britain - and yet none willing to come up with an answer as to what is wrong with old blighty. You all left for some reason !

    I have already said that the rot set in Australia with the 72' Labor mob - so what's YOUR excuse for the way your nation has gone down the plughole...?

    Maybe all the UK headlines are wrong then...

    Who here cannot wait to go back...?

     

  23. No Danny, the Moors Murders happened in the early 60's - 'Skippy' was a product of the early 70's...
  24. Yes, but how many French are leaving France in search of a better life...?

    Does France boast the same quantity of 'sink estates' that the UK does...?

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