aie, aie aie, hope things are OK with you John ;-)
Fine thanks Andrew bit of a shitty xmas etc but hey ho thats life. Onwards and upwards.
Andy, all I can say is, you must be a really irascible type not being able to integrate, or perhaps should you define the word integrate?
Integrate to me means going to brocantes, being invited to dine at the Repas de Noel for all the oldies in this commune, saying "bonjour" to all and sundry, stop and chat, (well I do my best) to neighbours I see when taking my dog for a walk, actually going for an aperitif when invited and reciprocating the offer. Going to a Moulle and fritte shindig, im other words doing that which the French do as an everyday event.
We often eat out, be it a plat du jour, or an evening do, we tend to go to restaurants we like, and getting to know the staff by simply being polite to them, they ALWAYS respond positively, and before you ask, five years ago I spoke not one word of French, but now, thanks to a good listening ear, I can get along quite well.
All I can say to you is , try extending yourself --- go to them --- don't expect them to come to you --- they wouldn't do that in the UK either -- and I am sure you'd be a smash in a local brit pub, running down all that is France and of couse us French lovers.
The UK ( imo) won't withdraw from the EU, it might disengage a little more and watch from the sidelines outside the Eurozone, but in the end the trouble-making free-trade Atlanticist nuttters will become increasingly irrelevant.
At worst ll that can happen is that we withdraw from the EEC, all that will mean is that we don't have a seat, along with twenty six other non English speaking nations sitting around a table trying to scrounge as much of the fiscal pie as we can.
I am by no means an educated man but surely, if we lose a certain amount of trade with the remaining member states they in turn will lose the market of the U.K. which ,I would imagine, being the credit driven country we are, will lose far more.
Can you HONESTLY imagine the likes of Germanys car industry turning round and saying ---- PAHHHH those Brits across the channel do not deserve our fine cars --- or the FRENCH saying --- we will no longer send wine to th UK as they are philistines and don't appreciate the finer things in life, no of course you can't.
There appear to be many people that subscribe to this forum who think they are more intelligent, worldly wise , intellectual, than us poor fikko's, they write as if they are speaking at a lecture or are addressing a governmental hearing their diatribe is that of those that know ---- let me allow you into a little secret ---- NOBODY BLOODY KNOWS whats going to happen in the future, its all supposistion, predicitons etc etc.
Lets get back to real world and try and let nature take its course. It has ALL happened before in my lifetime and I have no doubt whatsoever it will happen again before I die -- and I am seventy two.
Reply to several of above - pace to our friend from up North (you obviously don't do irony!). I don't read the Daily Mail, I do read le Monde and watch French TV News. We do go to local (ie French) restaurants and bars - though the nearest one is now 10 km away.
I have been saying 'bonjour' to all and sundry since I first arrived - I still get strange looks from some people when I do so, as if it is unacceptable behaviour. We have French people to dinner - even for Christmas - and likewise visit them. Oh, and yes - I can and do speak French.
We don't go to brocantes in France, just as we never went to car boot sales in the UK. Neither of us is yet old enough for the OAP Xmas do, we and other 'Brits' (and Dutch as well) are usually shunned at the July 14th bash and not allowed to mix (and I mean not allowed to - at least the maire objected to the rudeness shown to about 20 of us when we were told to go and sit elsewhere). Other local events are publicised only by word of mouth - you find out about them after they have happened.
Perhaps I am 'irascible' - or just bloody-mindedly British (and I have no intention of changing that!). But now even the OH, with her French citizenship, is sick and tired of this commune, for much the same reasons as self. So perhaps my experiences (and feelings) a remore a reflection of this particular part of France - I do hope so, actually.
I knew I would stir things up by being honest!
Oh - and just to return to the main point of this thread (the EU) - 'don't blame me, I voted against joining in the first place!'
Andy, you've obviously gone to great lengths to integrate and I can't undeerstand why it hasn't worked unless you're in an area of france where there are a lot of brits, dutch, belgians etc. If that's teh case then it isn't the first time I've heard of the locals being like that. I'm fortunate in that my OH is a local and so are my kids and I'm the "integrated outsider" - but no problems with that! No not all of france is as hostile as that but I've seen it first hand when I was teaching in Brittany.
I think perhaps you summed up your personna thus --------------------------------- Perhaps I am 'irascible' - or just bloody-mindedly British (and I have no intention of changing that!). ------------------
OK so the national July 14th jollies should be avoided, I go to the Rememberance Day service each year, and am invited back to the Polyvante for a glass of wine afterwards, where, if anything, a respect is shown to me because I have attended "THEIR" service, but as I point out to them, many died during the wars of freedom and to respect the dead at any war memorial is a point of duty.
Perhaps you are right in saying it could be the area you live in and perhaps the disappointment of not making "loads of money" with your Gites could be another factor.But you still haven't defined what you consider---interation ---- you say you speak to -- have dinner with --- dine in ---- you obviously don't use the "I only speak English" card and you have to put ignorance down the person, not the culture or the country.
P.S. For us , distance is not a problem as long as the ambience and the food is good.
P.P.S. I voted to JOIN the EUROPEAN FREE TRADE AREA" but not to become a member of a disorganised rabble of federal unionists..
There was no vote for EFTA but there was for the EEC, so get your ammunition in line before shooting askew!
I would suggest you check your arsenal as well as neither was there talk of a Eurozone --- Federal Europe, handing or handing national power over to a "committee".
As I remember it, Ted Heath put joining the " COMMON MARKET" to the people as a way of trading with our European neighbour on a level playing field with no Tariffs and no hold ups at the borders, allowing Europeans to travel each others country without let or hindrance.
Thats the way way I remember it and thats the the reason I voted yes.
That is what I remember too! We voted YES (or NO!) to join the Common Market. That then "morphed" into the EEC and then the EU. So after voting for fair trading terms we then find outselves part of a Federal Europe!! That was NOT what we signed up for!!
Common Market was the UK's name and a formal choice of 'common name for all countries' was still on the table. It was an entirely bureaucratic choice that actually engendered no change. I have the entire histoy on my bookshelf nearby and checked. All changes were negotiated between nations and only the Common Market that was rename EEC has changed complete with new treaties. You and I signed up for nothing other than voting yes or no to join, whereby I did not vote because I was not in the UK at the time in fact.