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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you!

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 We hope to spend Christmas and New Year at our place in Normandy in the not too distant future !!! but in the meantime we are at home in England ...

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all ...

Can't wait to have Christmas chez nous: room for friends to stay, open fires, walks in the beautiful countryside, fantastic wine, cheese, seafood, free mistletoe and holly in the orchard, etc etc

In the meantime we are healthy, happy and near our family so we are grateful for that.

Hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas time ...




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Hello Normandie,

Yes we got back to this hellhole early this morning having spent 11 gloriously peaceful nights at our beautiful longere farmhouse.   It was bitterly cold of course so we got that old log fire going (after much impatience as we are novices with a firelighter!), set up the christmas tree and stuffed ourselves silly with all that lovely French grub.   Thats aside from all the floor sanding I did, the fencing my husband did and everything else crammed into 11 short days, but we are on the final hurdles to get the house almost fully habitable (whenever that glorious day might come!) for when we depart these grotty shores in Feb 08 - and not a day too soon either.   We have come back here very reluctantly because every time is harder leaving her behind alone again, and  yet for us the wait is almost over with.  Hurrah!

It has taken two years to get our place almost renovated in that we now have REAL electrics, gaz chauffage, her first kitchen & bathroom, well anything or everything as our place was basically a glorified cowshed until 2005 when we bought her.   Its been a labour of sheer love for my husband and I,  although I was a sensible gal in marrying a builder of course which has been a great help!!, but I don't care what some of the knockers say who scorn we who follow their Dream on the Forum, but we will be eternally relieved to be out of the UK asap.  We found our spiritual home in Normandy and thats where we are off to - peace, quiet and tranquility in beautiful surroundings and at night under clear star studded skies.  Surrey hs nothing like it any more.  Maybe you feel the same way too?

Kind regards,


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Dear Framboise

Just HAVE to reply to your wonderful post.  We LOVED southern Normandy and would have bought there but for being let down FIVE times with our UK property.

We are now in the Charente but I see a day when we just MIGHT go to live in southern Normandy.  Difficulty is, we now have so many lovely friends here, French & Brits, that it would be hard to leave.

Happy New Year, Framboise.  Will be Feb SOON!

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Sounds wonderful!  Good for you ... 

Feb 08 isn't long to go at all - in the scheme of things - so it will all be worth it.

Our place is also a labour of love.  A house for me, my husband and new baby, (in the future) plus a separate converted farm building for Granddad!

My Dad has done tons of work himself (to save money) as he can turn his hand to most things - wish I'd inherited that gene!  He's just finished the roof on the house - did all the timberwork himself plus the insulation and tiling.  He's back in the UK for xmas for a well earned rest and to recharge the batteries, but to be honest he didn't really want to come back or leave his cat.

It was our (me & Dad's) dream too - bit off much more than we intended to - without the budgets/finances in place - but if we hadn't bought it four years ago it would certainly have been out of reach now.  The thing is he is living the life he wants to lead - space, peace, room to have whatever you want without having to think 'where are we going to put it' etc! and having to work out how to build your own 'A' frame etc and all the maths involved in bookeeping/budgeting etc (done manually) means he doen't need any extra brain training, soduko etc!

He gets a bit lonely sometimes - his partner doesn't want to live in France fulltime - but that has driven him to learn to cook so that he can return all the meals he's been invited to in the past by his French friends so that's great.  Never dreamt he'd ever offer to cook me a three course dinner!

I guess if I had the same property/land in the UK I wouldn't have thought of buying abroad but that would be impossible here so I'm enjoying the French experience instead, and loving it along the way.

What a lot you have to look forward to ... enjoy ...

Bonne Annee

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We have just had our first xmas in normandy, and it was lovely, xmas lunch with friends at theirs, friends and neighbours at ours on boxing night , roaring fires . Our french neighbour who is about 112 yrs old , sitting eating mince pies and xmas cake in front of the fire and humming along to xmas songs was a sight to behold .

Hope you enjoy your new life as much as we are  [:D]

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We did it the other way round, went to UK for Christmas for six days and boy were we desperate to get back on the 27th.  Enjoyed a wonderful New Year with dear friends in our village in France. 

Happy New Year to all.


xxx [:D]

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[quote user="Normandie"]

I guess if I had the same property/land in the UK I wouldn't have thought of buying abroad but that would be impossible here so I'm enjoying the French experience instead, and loving it along the way.


I think you summed it up Normandie, buying a place in France often allows people to live the rural life and have the space at a price that they can afford.  We are lucky enough to have an old stone cottage (with all the beams, flagged floors, land etc) here in the UK so the pull to move to France is not the same.  I also think there is a difference between rural France and rural UK.  Life in rural France can mean being a distance from large towns / centres of employment which means that living the rural dream is often incompatible with holding down a decent job.  In the UK, because of its relative smaller size and higher number of cities, it is possible to live a rural life and still be able to commute to a large town / city to work.  Here in the UK I can get to three major cities in under an hour and yet I am on the edge of a National Park with little windy lane, lovely rural views and more horses going past our house than cars.  In France, to get to a city of equivalent size, I would have to drive upwards of two and half hours. It also means the type of people living in the two rural communities can be very different.  Both of these were big factors in our decision to stay put in the UK and only use our French home for holidays etc.

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