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Why do you stay in France?


Rose
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Just thought I would drop you good people a line to say that today we finalised our plans to move [:-))]  [:-))] [:-))]  We have paid the deposit on the house we are going to rent... we now have a long wait until August but there is so much to do I suspect it will fly by! 

We have found a wonderful house that we can rent for 10 months - there is a great school nearby with one other english boy.  The owners of the house are english but lived in France for years and have helped many familes settle in! 

I'm so excited and so terrified - thanks for all your comments and I'll no doubt be back asking lots of questions in the coming months!

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It seems that there is a tendancy to complain about what is missing in a rural french life. Pubs, music, shopping etc.

Well if you've lived in UK in anything bigger than a medium sized market town then move to a hamlet what do you expect?

Music is great in France and well supported by the state unlike in UK.

Rural life is so different from town life as to be utterly incomparable, weither in France or UK.

Stop wingeing and decide what is important then move there.

I ran to France and never looked back.

After 2 years in France I'm going back to the UK for 2 weeks and am nervous about what I'll find. The view from here is all doom and gloom.

Did anyone rate the UNICEF report?

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I doubt you will see many changes, not if you come here (S. London), anyway!

Probably best not to walk up to any youths you see and poll their opinions on the problems of crime and the unutterable nastiness of young people, they've all been interviewed already, and will only refer you to their agents.

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Thanks for the good wishes - I do have another question that maybe you could add your thoughts to... whilst considering all the jobs we need to do before we move and all the bits of paper we need to gather... if you were moving next week to live in France what one thing/job would you have done differently (to avoid frustration, hard work or problems) or conversely what one thing/job would you definitely do again (to save heartache, frustration and time?)

I may as well get a few tips from the experts!  Looking forward to your thoughts!  [:$]

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Not being an expert and still one of those waiting in the queue, like you, my wish would have been born, or had the ability to have a bit more cash so we could have made the move four years ago, but life's not like that.

What area are you moving to? What work will you be lucky enough to find? Our area is so rural that there is not enough work really for the French, so I don't think they are too enamoured of the British invasion. I know I had recourse to point out to a French gentleman who was being rude in front of our insurance expert about us - the remark was, we have to be nice because of the entente cordial. My reply, thankfully in French, was, sorry Monsieur, I am Scottish, not English by my family, so I am afraid I have always adhered to the auld alliance. Monsieur L'Expert chuckled quite a bit at that one. But it made me see that not all the locals are too enamoured of us.

Good luck though - please let us know about your plans.

Keni (female) & Chris

 

 

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Hi Keni thanks for the reply - I started a business 7 years ago - sold my house at the time to do it as the banks weren't keen to back me.  The business is now successful and this will fund our move and our living costs, so finding work isn't an issue for us - I do appreciate how lucky we are to be in this situation though.  (We have also already appointed a french accountant to ensure that we comply both with French and UK tax laws as we want to work on the right side of both systems)

I know much has been said about the expats in France - we do want to intergrate into the French way of life and enjoy what France is... we are learning the language and we want our son to be raised within the french community.  No doubt we will make mistakes along the way but I hope we will become welcome members of our chosen community.

We are planning to move to SW France and we have a reasonably wide 'catchement' area at the moment.  We have a couple of favourite areas but we hope over the next year to find the place that we can really call home... we live in rural england now, we're country people and I can't imagine this changing too much... we can't cope too well with the big city life!

Hope this fills in a few gaps - thanks for the good wishes and best of luck with your plans! [:)]

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[quote user="bigjimbishop"]It seems that there is a tendancy to complain about what is missing in a rural french life. Pubs, music, shopping etc.
Well if you've lived in UK in anything bigger than a medium sized market town then move to a hamlet what do you expect?
Music is great in France and well supported by the state unlike in UK.
[/quote]

Now that is a very French attitude - the State should provide!  [:D]

Music is indeed provided in France, usually for special occasions.  I can pay to listen to music.  But the spontaneous get-together just for the fun of it isn't here.

In an ideal world you shouldn't NEED the state to provide music.  It should come from within, rather than enforced from above, non?

 

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PPS

Wouldn't do : Bring my RHD car with me.  It's fine and we went through the process OK but it would have been better if we'd sold it before coming here.

Would do : Get a bank account organised before getting here.  (And I'd have used a local high-street branch, not an internet one.) Also, I'm really glad I speak good French!

 

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One hears a lot about wanting to intergrate into the French way of life unless you speak very good French and know about French history culture politics football rugby and all the other things which one takes for granted in your mother country one will always be on the edge as it were. You dont say if you are born in the country or not.  Rural France is as England was 40 yrs ago not just the pace of  life but the mentality as well if you have a good education and have always had a simulating way of life local intergration is hard I've been here in S.W. France since 1989 working on the markets selling my produce which is grown on my farm.  Most of my friends, my real friends are French but I still dont feel I've intergrated. I've started to take French citizenship because I no longer feel English I'm now over 60 and left England back in 1964 in fact I've lived on this side of the channel longer than I've in England. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that with so many foreigners here most of them are as intergrated as the Asians are in England. The same goes for the algerians here we all speak french but the culture is so different.As for the kids many not all dont make the Bac and gcse's have gone out the window as I said not all I do know of the odd child coming here in their teens and making the grade but that is an exception not the rule. The only reason to move to France has got to be one of love for the country not cant afford Norfork Wales Cornwell or rural England and a wish for a dream existance as shown on the tele. French values are very different than English Spending all ones time and money "doing up" your home is not  the French way, here we work to live not live to work and a house is here to be lived in not shown off as a status thing. The inheritance tax has a lot to do with that .  No disrespect meant well not to too many people but the things so dear to people coming here to live are being killed off by the town dwellers who have no idea of country life we are custodians of the country side and with all the barns being converted  the owls  and other wildlife are going and as swimming pools they have no place in the rural plan of things the plot is being lost .I could go on but its getting boreing I love my life here but its the only one I've known for a long time I just see so many things changing so fast in the last few years I get very sad and I suppose angry as well. France should never have got rid of the "carte de sejour" its too easy.

Having said all this the best of luck.

Mel

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What a fascinating thread! The reason I stay in France is that I simply wouldn't want to live elsewhere. I live in Marseille, the biggest city in France (in terms of area), yet some parts still within the city limits are in beautiful areas of countryside (hills and some of the calanques), the city centre is affordable to live in without having to spend a fortune in rent like in Paris or London, and there are plenty of things to do here (as live music was mentioned, there is plenty of that around, bars, jazz clubs, small concert venues etc). Also many culural events and some interesting museums (the maritime museum is a little disappointing though, for a city that has been a major Mediterranean port for the past 2,600 years).

I have to admit that I am very picky about food which is another reason I would not live outside of France (with the exception of Italy). I am not one of those who constantly marvels about how great French food is, rather I think that it's food from around the world that is pretty sub-par, at least to my palate.

And finally I am very reluctant to embrace change which is as good a reason as any to remain where I am!

 

 

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[quote user="Mel Prett"]

I just see so many things changing so fast in the last few years I get very sad and I suppose angry as well. France should never have got rid of the "carte de sejour" its too easy.

[/quote]

Montpellier is spreading faster than you could possibly imagine, and it's not forriners.  The new lotissement in our village replaced a sizeable area of vineyard, and brought 300 people in to live, complete with pools and shiny cars and high walls round their gardens.   And they're French.   So it's happening whether there's a CdS or not.

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[quote user="tmto"]Surely that's a good thing.[/quote]

I thought the previous poster was saying that the eating up of the country was a bad thing, and obvious mention of the CdS suggested that it was mostly the fault of non-French people.

I was only pointing out that French people are more than capable of all these things by themselves.  [:)]

I kind of envy you Marseille, you know.  It seems to have such life and such a personality, I like that.   One of my favourite French places to visit is Lyon, we always have a good time there.  

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I was talking about the integration of non french people into the community of French country people not lotissement (estate) building on the edge of towns and villages meant to help the young to get somewhere to live even French townspeople find it difficult to intergrate into the country. Its the same in England up sticks from any town and move to any country location Cornwell Wales Norfolk and see how easy it is to really integrate unless you have the same mentality, values and interests it is hard and to do this in a language which is not your own is really in a lot of cases a step too far. 

Mel 

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Now this could be really political. As a Londoner relocated at present to Worcs., we are in the middle of the so-called fruit basket of the Uk (apt sometimes that title), however around here everyone is losing jobs to - you guessed it - to those moving to the Uk to work the land - we have a rash of Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian cars and people here, all coming in to work on the salad packing places. They never integrate, mix only with themselves and do not spend anywhere, (apart from that very large supermarket chain in the newspapers, 'cos they have brought in a load of Polish foodstuffs).

Our younger people here can not afford to purchase homes, because the likes of the upper class have all purchased second homes, pushing up the prices. The strangest thing I have heard recently, talking to one of our real gipsy families is that they have been hard pressed to find agricultural work, because of all the immigrants - this family are a hard-working bunch as well! So if they can not find work, then times must be hard.

Now where have we heard that before?

On another note do not come anywhere near Winchcombe in the Cotswolds this weekend as Liz Hurley is getting married and they are closing the town roads to allow the like of Elton & Posh to be able to come in to the town without any problems - forget the businesses trying to survive, or the people who are living there every day. It must be great to have money!

Oh well, another day heading towards paradise.

Keni

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[quote user="Mel Prett"]Its the same in England up sticks from any town and move to any country location Cornwell Wales Norfolk and see how easy it is to really integrate...[/quote]

Dead easy... providing you are not in farming. [:P] Don't confuse the typical English village of 2007 with an apparently equivalent French village. They are not the same. In England (alert! sweeping generalisation follows [:)]) a typical village population is mostly middle-management, fairly wealthy and commutes daily to well-paid jobs elsewhere; in France... well, we know the answer to that.

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I stand corrected I always thought the country side was for farming and that farmworkers also lived in the country. If as you say middle-management ect have taken over and I dont doubt your word for one second who will be the ones that look after the land? Here it wont be the pool-cleaners and gardeners who do it  There wont be any small holdings left only paddocks for horses and patios with pools instead of chickens and ducks and all the other quaint things that make rural France what is,  but of course intergration will be easy...

Mel

 

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Why should I want to go to Bulgaria I've been farming in France where I am now since the late 80's and before that in other places in France and intend to do so for the rest of my life. I love my way of life its hard but I know of no other.  I was born to the simple rural life as you put it. I don't need to go and look for it. For me this isn't living a dream this is my life. I just hate seeing the things I love and hold very dear to me being changed out of all recognition.

Mel

 

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[quote user="Mel Prett"]I stand corrected I always thought the country side was for farming and that farmworkers also lived in the country. [/quote]

I just wrote what turned into an irritable mini-rant about how farmers are viewed / treated in England nowadays - frequently by the same people who venerate their new best friend the neighbouring farmer as soon as they hit French soil... but then decided this wasn't the place for it.

Sufficient now to say:

In many villages in England, farmers are in the distinct minority and farmworkers are disappearing because of automation, ever more efficient farm machinery and contractors with even bigger machinery who come in and plough / plant / harvest as required. Smaller farms are dying out because they are not viable. Land is either sold for building or bigger farms buy it and get bigger. Or the farm is an investment owned by a city institution and is managed by an agent.

"Who will look after the land..." most people have no conception - or concern - about land management and how quickly land will revert to a bramble-encased wilderness if ignored. Anyway, the farmers should keep things tidy... that's what they're there for. They own the land, it's their responsibility. [6]

I blame the CPRE and Country Living magazine. And Islington-luvvie politicians. [:P]

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I am one of those that Mel Pret wouldn't like moving to France. Having said that, we have bought a house that is in a terrible state and the locals would have had more sense than us not to touch it with a 10 metre pole. [:)] Therefore, if it wasn't for the likes of us, I wonder what would have happened to it. We bought it from the children and grandchildren that no longer live in the area of an elderly widowed man in his eighties that had died 18 months prior. A different story and I won't go into it now but thinking about this poor man and how he lived here with the state of this house on his own is very sad. The old leaflets I found about the small flats on the sea in the Cote d' Azure I posted on another thread, is a clue to me and as I said, I find very sad. [:(]

But back on subject, I do wonder what would have happened with our house and many others that the Brits and other new arrivals are buying. It appears to me, many were leaving the areas just to let them die. I know we are injecting cash (way too much for us [:(]). We are employing many in the area, even trying to employ a few that aren't the slightest bit interested. [:)] If it wasn't for the changes and the new influx perhaps your life would look even more different. I'm afraid the whole world is changing and whole groups of people are moving and shifting throughout the world, it has become a mobile society. Just look at the UK, U.S. and of course the rest of Europe, many with their own particular problems. I for one can think of a lot worse than foreigners that have fallen in love with the area bringing an injection of cash and life into dying rural areas.

By the way, our local  farmer and his extended family that cuts our fields for hay appears to be very well off and comfortable indeed..  He is an older fellow in his 70's his son and his wife and one of their sons (his grandson) live together in a cluster of houses on a huge farm. They have huge barns full of equipment, trucks, huge tractors, all sorts of equipment. He seems to get new toys all of the time, and is very proud to show them off. Not to mention the many other vehicles, including a few old bangers but also very nice ones and some motorcycles. He told me they have eight cars between them. I don't think this is an isolated case in France.

By the way, as you Mel, I am in the Dordogne as well so perhaps I will be seeing you at the market one day. [:)]

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