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Everything posted by Chrisb

  1. I am glad you posted, Rose ........... you said what I was trying to say, but better! Sorry, I didn't understand your post either, Idun.
  2. I doubt you would ever see them on x-factor - they are a heavy metal rock band, tempered by a female vocalist with a cracking voice, who wears little dresses and Doc Martins!! BTW, yes, I do know families who have come over here with older children who, like you say, have failed to settle, or who have gone back to the UK after a couple of years, or to Uni ........ I may be generalising, but many of them were in families where neither parent spoke French, and often used the children as their mouth pieces, expecting them to make phone calls, go with them to appointments etc to translate, thinking that they were 'fluent' after a very short space of time ........ giving them too much responsibility, and shifting the 'balance of power' within the family - not good.
  3. [quote user="idun"] And some kids will do well no matter where they are. I have never denied that. [/quote] My eldest, yes - he would do just fine ............ he even got away with dreadlocks, a piercing and a tatto at his incredibly conservative, private Lycée - the other pupils just couldn't understand it, some of them were hauled over the coals for having a fringe too long!! He knows how to 'play the game'! The youngest isn't that academic, (bright, but very lazy) but various teachers (in 3 different schools in 3 different towns) have put themselves out to try and help him - extra French in their own time, sourcing 'age-appropriate' English work to give him so that he maintains his written English level etc. There has also been Aide Personalisé available to all the pupils in both college and lycée, whatever nationality in French, Maths and English.
  4. Other side of the coin. We moved here nearly 8 years ago, when my sons were 9 and 11(nearly 12). It certainly wasn't plain sailing for the first couple of years, and they both started a year below in our, then, village primaire. Since then they have done just fine; The eldest passed his BAC this year with mention, and has just started doing a DUT in techniques de commercialisation at the IUT in Cherbourg, with a view to eventually working in Human Resources ....... he has travelled widely both with his college, lycée and with his mates; and the youngest is doing a Bac Pro Comptabilité, and intends to do broadly the same thing as his brother in a couple of years time. They are completely settled, love it here and have no wish to go back to the UK - we used to ask them every 6 months whether they wanted to go back, and they have never once said yes - and eventually told us to stop asking! Socially they have wide circles of friends, play in a local anglo-french rock band, are are playing in the semi-finals of a Battle of the Bands type gig in Paris next weekend!! The girl singer in their group came over 3 years ago aged 13 (her Father, in the UK passed away, and so she had to move over to live with her Mother and Step-Father) Yes, it was quite tough for her for the first year or so, but she passed her Brevet, has never re-doubled, and has just started in Terminal for her BAC L, and has a high moyenne in all subjects. I also know another girl who came over at 14, passed her Brevet, was doing a BAC L, then applied for and got accepted at Film School in Paris, and is having an absolute ball. I have found the majority of teachers to be just fine, yes, there have been some who have annoyed the heck out of me, but I am sure there are teachers like that in the UK as well!! .......... my boys have never encountered any form of racism or bullying from teachers or students alike. Going by the posts on here, we appear to be in the minority, but, in my opinion, it IS possible to move over here with older children, and still make it work.
  5. Chrisb

    Additional Dog

    Can I just put in a note of caution about going for a 'Husky-type' dog if you want it to shadow your son...................Husky's are notoriously deaf to recall, and, in general have to be kept in a secure run/garden or on a lead at all times, or they are off - just thought I would mention it! Chris
  6. Hi there Thanks very much - we didn't find the key, but ordered 2 more from the Kubota place in Coutances, so we are up and running again. Funny how as it was the OH that lost it, it was just 'one of those things', but had it been me...........................................!! Chris x
  7. Us, too, Ernie - exactly as you describe. Chris
  8. Somehow, my OH has managed to lose the key to our tractor whilst in the field! Does anyone near St Lo/Periers/Carentan/Coutances, have a metal detector that they could either lend us, or come along with to try and find the blinkin' thing?? Finger's crossed!! Thanks Chris
  9. I'm with copperlola - L'Histoire de France pour les Nuls is excellent, and is very easy to dip into. http://www.amazon.fr/LHistoire-France-pour-Jean-Joseph-Julaud/dp/2876919419 Le francais correct pour les nuls is also very good....................it's great to realise that there is a book like this because native French speakers find it hard as well!!! http://www.amazon.fr/fran%C3%A7ais-correct-pour-nuls/dp/2876916401/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206823628&sr=1-16 Chris
  10. I'm sure I have seen it in the supermarkets, in the pet section, next to the big bags of dried pasta! Chris
  11. When we were house-hunting 4 years ago, we fell in love with a huge Manoir which needed renovation...........we were blown away by the space and the outbuildings, and by what seemed to be a huge amount of land (2.5 hectares). It truly was a fabulous house, cost an arm and a leg to just about finish the renovations and it had acres of character - terracotta tiles, beams, huge fireplaces everywhere etc etc. But, we gradually came to realise that it was just too big - we are a family of 4, why did we need 7 bedrooms and 4 reception rooms, and 1500m2 of outbuildings? Great for impressing visitors, but a nightmare to keep clean - heated by wood-burning stoves which chucked dust everywhere. We started looking for something else...............no-one could understand why we wanted to move, but they didn't have to live there. We found a lovely stone longere 10 minutes down the road..............for us, it's idyllic, most of the renovation has been done, central heating, new electrics, fosse etc, just a kitchen and bathroom to put in to our own taste, 11 hectares (we have accumulated lots of animals over the years!), a little river meandering through it, and for me, the icing on the cake,an 80 x 40 m sand-school. It has only 3 bedrooms and is so cute. There is an apartment attached which our eldest son is going to have. We love it, and it is so easy to look after - I had always dreamt of buying a chateau (!), but I would never go back to an enormous house again. Chris
  12. Aahh, lovely...............thanks for that, Christine! Chris
  13. Sorry, my mistake..........I've re-read the thread and poem - I got my names mixed up.................... RIP Kenzo, [:(] Chris
  14. So sad, Christine............... RIP Rocco  XXX  Chris
  15. Ditto everyone else.......................what a lovely girl. I just love GSD's, please someone give her a home - she looks so sad [:(] I always try not to pass judgement on people who re-home their pets, but I am really struggling with this one.[:@] Chris
  16. Oh yes, I love Freerice - as you say, good for exercising the old grey matter!! Chris
  17. Hi Pads No, he's not taking the mickey - that's the translation!! Chris
  18. Sounds like a Pret Relais, or Bridging Loan to me. We have just taken out a Pret relais to cover us over a 6 week period between the purchase and sale of our house and will be paying 90 euros per month insurance with around 2% interest to pay when we settle after our house sale goes through. It, too, would have been valid for upto 2 years. Chris
  19. [quote user="BP"]Thanks everyone for your replies.  The sawdust bricks sound like they might work best (and are ecofriendly, right...?).  Roughly how long does a brick burn for - how many would you use if you had the stove on for ~4 hours? [/quote] Largely depends upon whether you just want a warm glow or full on heat....................half a dozen would probably last about 4 hours in a small stove giving off a 'glow' We, too, had ours fitted professionally. Chris
  20. She did really well, and came across as very likeable and matter of fact - I liked the fact that she made about dogs not being used as baby-sitters, and how often they will warn a child as they would a puppy, but the child doesn't stop so they attack.....................therefore it is down to the owners to educate their children, and not the fault of the dog - hear, hear !! Chris PS Took me a moment or two to tune into her accent - they don't talk like that round my way!!!
  21. We have a small wood-burner upstairs with a small aperture and we burn compressed sawdust 'bricks' in it.............You buy them in wraps of around 12 from places like Point Vert and they burn well......................one advantage is that they are easy and clean to carry upstairs as they are shrink-wrapped. Chris
  22. What an extremely kind gesture from the vet (I think I know who it is ........... from another forum ?), and good for you, too, for caring, Monika.[:D] Chris
  23. Well we signed at the Estate Agents office for the Compromis for both the sale of our current house and the purchase of our new one - in both instances the purchaser and seller were both there!! However, the 7 day 'cooling-off' period doesn't start UNTIL you have subsequently received a copy of said Compromis by registered post. Chris
  24. Oh, how sad.....I am sorry. [:(][:'(] Chris
  25. Just beautiful, Bilclairie! Chris
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