Jump to content

Did we do the right thing?


Recommended Posts

24 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

"quasi-humerous" (that's spelled wrong by the way, it shouldn't have an 'o' in it) - Were you thinking of the collarbone, or the shoulder?

😇 every forum needs its resident pedant...

It was intended to be bone-breakingly amusing...😝

In my defence, I am writing on the fly, when I ought to be working; well not much more as I have just realised it is nearly 7.00 pm in blighty and almost time for some food!

Cor! Don't time go quick when you are having fun!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, sid said:

Well pardon me for breathing!

I'm definitely happier here than I was in the UK. We arrived in 2004 and live in a country village. It's all very well to highlight troubles in Marseilles or Paris, but I don't live there, and I didn't live in London previously, so whilst I can't give an accurate comparison that covers all instances, I'm very happy with my lot, thank you. I picked where I live for a reason, peace and quiet.

I've got a friend currently waiting 3 months in UK for the results of a scan and cardio exam; she had a recurrence of her problem this weekend and had to wait 8 hours for an ambulance (but her husband took her the 7 miles by car) and then spent 8 hours on a trolley in the A&E corridor, before being sent home because the hospital pharmacy had closed. Does that happen here ? Not in my experience. My wife was treated for breast cancer in 2015 and I can't praise the staff and treatment highly enough.

We watch the French news in the mornings followed by the BBC News a little later. All I see at the moment is a bunch of spivs running the UK who wouldn't know the truth if it smacked them in the face. Our UK family with university-age children have lost the chance to easily spend a year in Europe doing modern languages. The country is on its knees from where I'm sitting.

Those who miss "good ole Blighty" can always pack up and go back.

I find the benefits far outweigh the disadvantage and we're here for the duration.

Amen

 

Well put.

Healthcare in the UK is fine; all provided one can afford the outrageous costs of private insurance or can self-fund.

"All I see at the moment is a bunch of spivs running the UK who wouldn't know the truth if it smacked them in the face. " Sums them up pretty well! 😁

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if your initial post was to enliven this forum the it has helped tremendously. I was totally fed up reading about flowers though now it seems it's going to be Turkeys!! Some people like their comfort zones I suppose!! As for comfort zones: Leigh on Sea, yes I know it. Southend is just down the road and that is the posh part of the coast with Leigh on Sea being a nothing place to visit.  As a young cockney kid Southend always had its attractions; the Kurzal, whelks and kiss me quick hats. Leigh on Sea, just another retirement home on the coast!

Now a quick ad. for the Pays Basque: Very few  Brits, in fact I don't know of a single one so I don't get to hear any whinging apart from here! No fish and chip shops or pubs (there is an Irish one in Bayonne though!!) Fantastic scenery and a frontier with Spain that offers very competitive shopping. The language can be a little bit of a problem at times given that Basque is usually spoken by most 'natives' though most are bi-lingual. I often have to repeat like a parrot when talking as my cockney accent still dominates!  A great place to live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Ken said:

 Leigh on Sea, yes I know it. Southend is just down the road and that is the posh part of the coast with Leigh on Sea being a nothing place to visit.  As a young cockney kid Southend always had its attractions; the Kurzal, whelks and kiss me quick hats. Leigh on Sea, just another retirement home on the coast!

 

I fear you have that backwards, Ken!

Southend was the cheap bit: the "Golden Mile", famed as a day out on their "Beanos" by Cockneys and South Londoners, was a dreadful place in the season. Years back I wrote an historical note about this for a magazine, much information culled from an elderly relative of my maternal grandmother, called Moses Abbott, who was a sergeant in Southend Constabulary in the 1920s... Mo used to tell me how his coppers sorted out the horribly drunk Londoners and took them in black marias to the local nick.

I grew up (9 to 22) living in Chalkwell along the estuary. After Southend cam Westcliff and then Chalkwell and Leigh is next to Chalkwell.

Chalkwell was the posh bit; with a large avenue leading down to the "Sea Front" (Except it was never sea per se, it was and is the Thames Estuary): the avenue had tall plane trees and alternate pink and white paving stones, with large imposing mansions most of the way down. That was where my parents and indeed I, lived.

Leigh was (It is not now, sadly), also a very posh place and reveled in its history: St Clement's Church graveyards has tombstones of naval officers serving with Lord Nelson: and the Pilgrim Fathers Mayflower, called at Old Leigh, briefly, to stock up on comestibles.

What is called The Old Town (What's left of it!), was a centre for fisherman and particularly sea food;  old foundries, potteries and a wharf where sand and gravel was barged in and collected by horse drawn drays. Indeed, my wife's family owned the main pottery and we have a number of old jugs etc from that age.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was born in Westcliff in a small block(now demolished) on the Parade with fabulous views over the Thames. If I had said that we lived in Southend my mother would have hit me! Bit of a snob, my mum. Must have lived there for five ormsix years before going abroad.

Revisited the area a few years ago and was shocked to see how rough it had become.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, anotherbanana said:

"I was born in Westcliff."

So were many other interesting people, Wools. Helen Mirren, Anne Stallybrass, who recently passed away, etc.

"Revisited the area a few years ago and was shocked to see how rough it had become."

Westcliff is now called Milton Ward and it is the epicentre for HOMOs (Houses In Multiple Occupation), as big old houses have been broken up into semi-derelict slums.

Hamlet Court Road was once (in the 1950s) the poshest shopping centre for the well to do. I remember it well.

Now a tip.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We lived in Wimbourne Road for many years, went back and visited that 2 times. The first about 10-12 years ago and I couldn't believe the house still had the awful louvred glass windows, permanent draught and a burglar's delight. Second visit about 3 years ago they had changed the awful windows to double glazed at last. There was a huge concrete jungle of flats and shopping centre built in the 60's when I was there.

Yes shocking dump and £10 to go to the end of the pier! I used to catch cod from there as a kid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 25/10/2021 at 18:33, alittlebitfrench said:

You retired folk have no idea what France is like. 

You think retired folk are stupid or something ?  I'll tell it how it is - I'm sick of whinging poms on this forum complaining about this country they decided to live in!

In my case I lived and worked in the UK and took early retirement and chose to live in this "SW nonsense" (whatever that means). I love it! I think you'll find that most retirees have a lifetime's experience on which to base their choice of new life, and we pick where we live precisely because we have an idea of what France is like and which are the best bits (and which bits to avoid), and because we can choose.

As I said before, if you don't like it, and the UK is so fantastic, you should pack up, go back, and tell them all what a terrible time you had. It'd be a lot quieter here.

We all have our reasons for choosing to live here, and I for one, have no need of some opinionated imbecile telling me what to think.

Alittlebit-ex-brit.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually think ALBF has a point, I'm sorry to say.

Nobody is saying retired folk are stupid, Sid. But, an expat early retiree's experience of France is going to be different from the experience of the majority of the population and specifically working folk. As you said yourself, you have choices that most people in France don't. You're not affected by most of what's going on in France right now, the  economic and social problems etc that plenty of people are directly affected by and many more are concerned about because it's their country and their society. With that in mind, would you not agree that the carefree life you're living and loving as an expat early retiree, is not typical of life in France as lived by most of the French? 

Right now I'm chilling out and living the good life on a smallholding in Wales. I've read about Rishi Sunak's budget announcements and how they're going to affect the majority of the UK population but it's like news from another planet. I'm pretty sure that it is barely going to affect me, because my situation isn't typical. If alittlebitbritish says to me that I'm not living in the Real UK, I would agree. I do realise how fortunate I am, because I lived most of my working life in the UK (and the latter part of it in France) and so I can empathise with the swathes of UK population who are trying to live decent lives in urban West Yorkshire, South London and all the other places where I've lived and worked, and who are maybe finding things a bit tough right now. So I accept that I'm not living in what we might call the real UK, in exactly the same way that you're not living in what we might call the real France. But I think the issue is, you don't seem to want to acknowledge this. You're loving your life there because of being an expat early retiree, not because France is a bed of roses generally. 

Which is fine, but what's not fine is to make a comparison between the expat early retiree lifestyle in France and the typical UK urban/suburban/inner city lifestyle, and use it to diss the UK. It would be like me comparing my landed gentry lifestyle in Wales with the typical French urban/surburban/inner city lifetyle and dissing France because it compares badly. Do you see my point?

Enjoy your lifestyle, I'm sure you've earned it, but please see your situation in context for what it is, and don't turn it into a France good UK bad thing. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by [email protected]
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have similar conversations with my retired in-laws in the UK as we do with retired friends here, they all live in their little protected 'bubbles' and cannot relate to what we have gone through as a couple who have moved here to work and raise a family. That's not a criticism, just reality. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 26/10/2021 at 12:27, Gluestick said:

 

 

 

I read  the post Sid put up and thought it a little odd! Odd in the sense that apart from  just one who criticises France at the drop of a beret, France hardly is knocked at all. Sure Macron takes a bit of stick but he isn't 'France'! There are comments about crime and bureaucracy but generally speaking they are factual. As for the U.K being fantastic, again I haven't found that posters are eulogising about the U.K. and knocking France . In fact very little is said about the U.K. at all. I have lived here for 22 years and the only 'real bone of contention' between the U.K. and France appears to be with politicians. I, for one, live my life in more or less the same way a I did in the U.K. I agree with the comments about people 'living in bubbles'. It has always baffled me why Brits come to live here and move , in effect, into a 'British community'; personally I can't think of anything worse! The only english I hear is when people, finding out I'm English, often try to practice what little of the language they have, which is quite nice and often amusing. So Sid, I don't think people here are unfairly knocking France. It definitely has its faults and there is nothing wrong with people pointing them out but comparing it to the U.K.; no real evidence of that at all. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, sid said:

You think retired folk are stupid or something ?  I'll tell it how it is - I'm sick of whinging poms on this forum complaining about this country they decided to live in!

In my case I lived and worked in the UK and took early retirement and chose to live in this "SW nonsense" (whatever that means). I love it! I think you'll find that most retirees have a lifetime's experience on which to base their choice of new life, and we pick where we live precisely because we have an idea of what France is like and which are the best bits (and which bits to avoid), and because we can choose.

As I said before, if you don't like it, and the UK is so fantastic, you should pack up, go back, and tell them all what a terrible time you had. It'd be a lot quieter here.

We all have our reasons for choosing to live here, and I for one, have no need of some opinionated imbecile telling me what to think.

Alittlebit-ex-brit.

 

I am fed up with 1000's of French people living/spent most of their time in the UK telling me about how life is in France.

If you are French, you will know full well that most people (if not all) complain on a daily basis about France. It is what we do.

Point of fact, I live in a very large French family. They live all over France. All hierarchies of society. From the very top to the very bottom.

I have lived in France nearly longer than I lived in the UK. If you take out the 'baby' bits a lot longer.

I know more about France than most of my French friends and neighbours. 

Don't waste your time telling me what you think.  

 

 

Edited by alittlebitfrench
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I know more about France than most of my French friends and neighbours."

Oh come on. That is just plain daft. 

You may know as much, or possibly more, in theory, than they do about certain things, i.e. the things that happen to interest you or that you happen to have hands-on experience of. You certainly know less than they do about other things and on balance I would be very surprised if you know anywhere near as much overall. They've had a lifetime of dealing with the nuts and bolts of life in France as a French person, whereas your wife has done most of your admin dealings for you. Most of what you 'know" is what you've picked up from your family, filtered through their eyes, not from what you've experienced first hand. 

To take one tiny detail - URSSAF looms large in the lives of many French people. What have your experiences with URSSAF been like? 

I'm sorry ALBF, you are a little bit French, even quite a lot French by now, but that is all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

"I know more about France than most of my French friends and neighbours."

Oh come on. That is just plain daft. 

You may know as much, or possibly more, in theory, than they do about certain things, i.e. the things that happen to interest you or that you happen to have hands-on experience of. You certainly know less than they do about other things and on balance I would be very surprised if you know anywhere near as much overall. They've had a lifetime of dealing with the nuts and bolts of life in France as a French person, whereas your wife has done most of your admin dealings for you. Most of what you 'know" is what you've picked up from your family, filtered through their eyes, not from what you've experienced first hand. 

To take one tiny detail - URSSAF looms large in the lives of many French people. What have your experiences with URSSAF been like? 

I'm sorry ALBF, you are a little bit French, even quite a lot French by now, but that is all. 

 

Good points...except....

Do I know more or less than a 25 year old born and breed in France ? Hmmmm ?

I had this debate with a 14 year old French girl once many years back. She must be in her 30's now.

Any French person living in the UK for 25 years...knows more about the UK than me.

They would probably beat me on UK history as well. LOL. Certainly UK TV. 

 

So how does this work then ?

 

Am I allowed an opinion if I am not French ?

Or should I keep quiet and be told when living in France ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by alittlebitfrench
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Do I know more or less than a 25 year old born and breed in France ? Hmmmm ?

I had this debate with a 14 year old French girl once many years back. She must be in her 30's now.

Any French person living in the UK for 25 years...knows more about the UK than me."

That is chop logic. Yes a French person living in the UK for 25 years knows more about the UK than you do. But a person born and bred in the UK, lived their whole life there and still living there, knows infinitely more about the UK than a French person who arrived there as an adult and has lived there for 25 years. 

I actually think that any person who has lived in more than one country, will never see the country they live in, in exactly the same way as a person who has never lived anywhere else. Their focus may be slightly different (because when you're new in a country, oftgen you have certain experiences that are unique to newcomers, than no native needs to experience or know about), they will see things a little more objectively and be less inclined to take things for granted without questioning them because they have other systems to compare with. I'm not saying that makes their view any more valid or any less valid, just different. 

"Am I allowed an opinion if I am not French ?

Or should I keep quiet and be told when living in France ?"

Of course you're allowed an opinion, everybody is allowed an opinion. But I think sometimes you need to make it clear that it is YOUR opinion and that you're aware it is not necessarily the only valid opinion out there. 

Nobody is asking you to keep quiet, it would be a shame if you did. But equally, you shouldn't tell other people to shut up because you don't want to hear them, which you must admit you do have a tendency to do. It wouldn't hurt if you listened to what other people are saying, and tried to understand why they are saying it. There's nothing wrong with telling them you disagree if you do, or even telling them you think it's tosh. The problem is when you state your opinions as if they were facts and say that it IS tosh. Because to them, it clearly isn't. And they are also entitled to have an opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am glad my OP seems to have enlivened a forum which was, sorry to say, all but dead!

Simply put: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Personally (and my darling wife agrees, thank goodness! 🤐) I very much love la belle France; or perhaps what it was 20 years ago.

In the early 1950s, I was proud and grateful to be British and to live in a nation state, where policemen carried truncheons not guns, addressed me as "Sir!" when I started driving in 1959; when murders were few and horrifying events, when we adored our Queen and showed her much respect.

As British society progressed (Backwards IMHO) Anti Social Behaviour and youth crime increased: the police went backwards and the left wing changed magistrate's courts and JPs increasingly handed down sentences based upon apologism, rather than acts: "It isn't his fault; he came from a deprived family; was drunk at the time; was high on illegal drugs etc".

Politicians increasingly believed their lofty position was above the electors and that they had every right to enrich themselves through their position, yet constantly trot out the tired mantras of integrity, playing with a straight back and zero corruption 'cos we are British, you know!" etc.

I hate people such as postmen calling me "Mate"; I very much like being addressed, in France as M.  I much appreciate day-to-day French manners and politeness. Sadly, amongst the young in particular, the English language has been Balkanised with American slang; as one example, my wife and I were kept waiting in a bank main branch and after some time, a spotty-faced kid came out and said “Hi Guys...”

I said “Goodbye!”

 

Obviously, it all depends on where one lives in both the UK and France. Our close friends of some years, our vicar and his lovely wife, moved to the edge of Cambridge and Essex to a small place called Castle Camps, where he is now in charge of five churches. It is a sort of time warp to an earlier era when agriculture was dominant.

 

Same in France: our house is in the Pas de Calais, in a small commune (Pop, circa 130) which itself, is a sort of time warp; as is our nearby Canton town. The area has no real industry and is focused on agriculture.

 

Now, why do my wife and I like France?

1.       The nation state was sensible enough to early on invest in electricity generation by nuclear power:

 

2.          Despite being FIVE TIMES the geographical land mass than England ( And England is the largest part and has the majority of the total population), Metropolitan France developed excellent road systems and above all else, keeps them maintained:

 

3.       Ditto with railways: and still, thank goodness canals and traffic-bearing river systems:

 

4.       The French health service is far superior to the UK’s. At this point, people always say “But look how much it costs!” Well, so does the UK’s NHS. Last time I checked, delivery of services to the patient in France was far cheaper than the UK. Plus, in France, the ratio of qualified medical staff to patients is far higher; and, France has no equivalent of HCAs (Health Care Assistants, un- qualified, taking on the role of nurses as in UK). Rather France enjoys two levels of Infirmières

(Nurses):

 

Let me provide a small example; my wife fell over and badly twisted her ankle: our local GP believed it could be broken and sent her to a local imaging clinique for X Ray. We arrived ten minutes before the booked appointment, were seen time. Four X Rays were taken and then immediately emailed to an orthopaedic consultant, who reviewed the pictures and came straight back with the opinion that it was a serious sprain. Cost of the X Rays? At that time circa £30.

 

In the UK, a recent ECG at our local Spire-Wellesley private hospital cost me £75; and it was clumsily carried out by a supposed nurse.

 

If the NHS were to be used, then first one must see/ask one’s GP: he refers you to a consultant; he refers you for X Ray: and then you have to return to see the consultant again! With elongated waits in between.

 

5.          France has prevented foreign companies from acquiring critical national assets: in the UK most have been flogged off with zero thought or control:

 

6.       Food quality is far higher in France and unlike Britain France is very much self-sufficient. Local markets are alive and well, too:

 

7.       Wine: drinkable wine in the UK will now cost around £10 bottle...

 

8.          France has a huge area, in which different gastronomy exists, different climate and culture; and thus far, its cultural heritage is still very much intact. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the majority of Britain as Wokeism attacks cultural heritage almost each and every day.

 

Yes of course, as with all countries, France has its problems; however, I would suggest that the UK has far more and many will be rearing their head over the next few years or so.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gluestick my dear fellow....I refer you back to my first post.

I could pick your post apart but I have a duck pond to dig. Yes a duck pond. 

But Gluestick, would you live in a 'hot' suburb of Paris (or wherever) and have the same feelings ?

Would you have the same feeling if you lived in the French rat race like most people do ? It is, really not nice the French rat race. Believe me. 

 

I like France a lot, but I like the France that nobody on forums talk about.

But the last 5 years under Macron has taken it's toll on me.

And now, we have to look forward to another 5 years under Macron. Which I am struggling to do. So if he gets in power again, my options are open. Maybe America. 

Or we could have a far right nutter in power. Would that work ? MLP or the bloke from The Simpsons who does not like anyone regardless of gender or race. He hates the Brits. So we are stuffed.  

The future does not look good does it ?

So the UK (even under Boris) is a softer option IMHO. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by alittlebitfrench
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have travelled and stayed in quite a bit of France, ALBF and I wrote in appreciation of la France Profond; not dire cities such as Paris. For example, I would not live in London or its suburbs if you paid me! Clearly, it is now cynically referred to as "Londinstan" for good reasons.

What I have surmised, over the years, is that most of the French, are not to interested in national politics; rather they are more concerned with their Commune, Canton and Departement.

Obviously. idiocy from the French National government is little different from the idiocy from no 10 Downing street, or Washington DC. Certain decisions which have pan-national effects (taxation e.g,) affect all residents of a nation: no matter where one lives. However, it would seem as the French have created their own local cultures, in various regions, these are far more immune from forced and imposed change than others. Perhaps, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, ne c'est pas?

"The future does not look good does it ? ".

Far from it, I'm afraid...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Gluestick said:

For example, I would not live in London or its suburbs if you paid me! Clearly, it is now cynically referred to as "Londinstan" for good reasons.

 

 

Gluestick my new forum mate, I am going to have to pull you up on this point. 

I know what you mean, but you have moved to and you sing the praise of a country that has the largest Muslim population in the EU.

And before you say integration, the UK is far more integrated in this respect.  

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, alittlebitfrench said:

 

I know what you mean, but you have moved to and you sing the praise of a country that has the largest Muslim population in the EU.

 

 

 

Oh I do realise this, ALBF: and as the Muslim population grows in France this will be its death knell; since the grand plan is to establish the European Caliphate which was beaten back a few hundred years ago.

It was most interesting to learn, earlier today, that the highest Greek court has now outlawed Ha Al slaughter of animals: and this also applies to the orthodox Jewish community, too.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gluestick wrote "What I have surmised, over the years, is that most of the French, are not to interested in national politics; rather they are more concerned with their Commune, Canton and Departement."

This is the truth I think. And it's the same in the UK and everywhere else. What you read in the papers over breakfast makes your blood boil, then you get on with your life and push it to the back of your mind. It's the only way to stay sane. 

ALBF, it will be interesting to see where you try next and how it works out although I suspect it won't be America because of US immigration policies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...