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  1. We live just outside Le Havre. We had been here for 3 years before I saw my first rabbit! We now have a small colony on a piece of land adjacent to the main road near our town. I do hear lots of hunters out on saturdays - even this close to the city! I always assumed they were after rabbits. Joy
  2. Hi Clarkesin france. You may need to check your Xmas ferry crossing from Le Havre. From the early part of November the Norman Spirit is redirected onto the Dover Bolougne route and ther will once again be only 1 crossing a day from Le Havre- leaving at 5pm and arriving in Portsmouth at 9.45pm. The night crossing will still operate for the return journey to France. Joy
  3. Hi Tuppance. Are you sure that it is a fosse and not a chamber with a pump to push the waste up to the mains sewer?? Only asking as this is the system we have just had installed instead of the fosse. We were told we had to connect to the mains but as our house is below the level of the mians on the road we have just had the new system installed today with a working pump- woohoo I can now use bleach in my toilet!! Perhaps your pump has got blocked and the system has backed up?? You could try asking you neighbours to see if anyone knows- or look for a power connection. Joy
  4. Thanks again Panda- hope I can give them enough information!! Hopefully my son will enjoy returning to the UK system as much as your son has! Just wish we were all going- still trying to sell the house, not much happening as it's August! Joy
  5. Thanks Panda. Did you have to get the school admissions form for the UK signed by the school in France? I have explained to the education authority that the form is all in english and a school in France will not be able to complete it- hoping it's OK! They said they just need his attendance figures for france so I suggested sending a copy of his report. It is very difficult trying to sort all this out during the holidays- but we really want him to start on Sept 7th! Joy
  6. Hi. We have decided to send our son back to the UK to live with his grandparents and begin GCSE's. Can anyone ( Panda?) tell me if we need to get a certificate from his school here in Normandy? What do we need to tell the school here? Thanks Joy
  7. Best wishes Sunshine girl. Hope your daughter settles in well in the UK. We are still trying to sell the house, 4 months 19 viewings! Thought we had a sale but they pulled out on day 7 of the "cooling off" period grrrr!  Our 2 kids will have to go back to college here in september, 3eme and 5eme. We hope to move asap! Our son should be starting gcse's this year, but if he misses too much ( and he seems very behind from the english key stage 3 books I've given him to look at) we will have to see if he can be put back a year in the UK. Joy
  8. Hi. The summer sales start here next Wednesday- have been saving up and am looking forward to having a good shopping trip! Joy.[:D]
  9. Hi Panda. We still need to sell the house yet, been on market for 2 months and had 7 viewings so far. We will be returning to the West midlands as we still have lots of friends and family there. We don't regret moving to france and think the kids will have benefited from living in a new culture and learning a second language, but feel the time is now right to move back. The french education system is not for us, our son is very bright (daughter is too) but he is just not achieving in the french system, this year his moyen has dropped from 15 to about 11 and he seems to have lost all interest in school. We have spoken to his Prof principal but there seems little can be done to help re-motivate him, most of the teachers just want to get through the curriculum and are not interested in finding out why a bright 14 year old is going backwards so quickly. Our son loves computing but  has only used the school computer faccilities about twice this year, and then only to copy type some text, hardly very inspiring for a boy who considered a career in computing! I just hope he can catch up in the UK, he should be starting his GCSE courses this september, but it looks like we'll still be here and he will have to go down a school year in the UK once we finally return. All the best with your move, Joy
  10. Hi Panda. My daughter had loads of homework in primaire, especially in CM2. She frequently spent up to 2 hours a night doing homework- supossedly in preparation for starting college!! Now she is in college she has very little- maybe 3 hours a week! None of the homework is ever collected in or marked, the teachers just check the book during the lesson to see that it has been done! Joy
  11. Hmmm Odile, not much in the way of homework at my kids college!! My son in 4eme seems to average about 20 hours at school per week (on a good week when not too many teachers are away!) and only ever have about 20mins homework a day!The problem is my son is very lazy and the lack of teaching hours and homework means he spends most of his time "playing"- not so good for a nearly 15 year old! can't wait to get back to the UK system with a 30 hour school week and lots more homework, i have warned him life will be much tougher for him in the UK, but he really needs the discipline of longer hours and more homework and less of the coming home after a 3 hour school day!! Perhaps teaching varies across France, but the college my kids are at is considered the best in the area! Joy
  12. Hi Mitsi, sounds very similar to the college my children attend. My son is in 4eme and hates school as most lessons are so boring. My daughter is in 6eme and is also very bright and not being challenged at all. In fact, we have made the same decision as Panda and are returning to the UK after nearly 4 years. (Just need to sell the house!) I have given my son the Key stage 3 course books in main subjects from the UK and he has found them very stimulating, particularly geography, which here he has had 3 years on population growth and no physical geography at all- he now thinks he might like to study geology at university! I don't know what the answer is for those who are staying here, French friends seem to sugest private college as an alternative. Both my kids miss loads of lessons due to staff abscences, my daughter had no french for 3 weeks before easter as her teacher was away ill. I seem to spend all my time collecting one of them from school due to lessons being cancelled ( we live near the school so they come home if possible). Sorry to be so negative and I hope you can sort something out! Joy
  13. Joy1


    I agree with Jo on this. Our dog is very possesive of our back garden and will chase any visiting cats on sight! (This is not something I encourge as I love cats!). However, two years ago we intoduced 2 kittens to our household and have had no problems. The dog still chases visiting cats and barks at them, but he curls up asleep with our own cats! Of course we didn't leave the kittens in with the dog on his own to begin with, and made sure at night they were shut in the bathroom and the dog in the kitchen, but they all soon got along really well. I would just say Val, that you know your dog's temperament and if he is easily trained or not. It is just a case of ensuring the dog knowns his place in the pack- below the cats! good luck Joy
  14. There is also a new one opening in Rouen this week! I'll be waiting for all the queues to go down before I go though!
  15. Hi Mooky. Forgot to say earlier, when you get him back perhaps you should buy him an elasticated collar with an address tag on it? Our cats wear these and I am sure it helps identify them as belonging to someone and not strays. Sometimes well meaning people feed a cat they think is a stray and cats being cats, they are always up for free food!! I once had a story book I used to read to my son called "Six Dinner Sid", all about a cat that had 6 different homes, he got his comeuppance though when he got a cough and all 6 "owners" took him to the vet for medicine!! Only a story, but so true where cats are concerned! Joy
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