And if YOU made the rules? Let's get creative! (LOL)


We've all been perplexed, inconvenienced and sometimes hampered by the plethora of rules in France. My view is that the over-zealous setting of rules and procedures for EVERYTHING leaves everyone hemmed into a corner in pretty much every aspect of life. Even the French are frustrated by it at times.

So accustomed people are of being subject to laws, rules and regs on everything, that sometimes, people even abide by rules that don't exist! It's as if they seek comfort in a life that's clearly mapped out at every stage. Crikey, that's certainly not me, LOL!

The other day, I'd just submitted the proof to my french husband that I don't need to change the number plates on the overpriced and oversized car that he just more or less made me buy. It's not, contrary to popular belief, compulsory to change the département number on the plates to the one where you live if the reg number is under the new system, in which the number remains the same when the car changes ownership - like in the UK. This need to "prove" I didn't need to abide by an imaginary rule got me thinking.

Because so many rules (or presumed rules) seem, to me, at any rate, to serve no purpose other than to give comfort to those who like being told what to do at every turn (! not me!) - or even to prop up local businesses (manufacturers of number plates, for example), why not go one better and make up some of our own! Just for the fun of seeing who'll believe them! Because people around here will believe anything!

So I invite you to submit your silly rules below, outlining, if you wish, which bogus organisation (real or imagined) or local "product" or "service" would be either created or propped up under your "projet de loi". (tee hee).

Please find my first idea below.


The UK bank wouldn't take it as it was in my maiden name Carol and I had recently changed the account to my married name. However the French bank were happy to accept it even though I had never held an account with them, with my maiden name on it.

With regards to marriage and inheritance my friends who really did not want to marry for various reasons, recently got married to sort out all these inheritance issues. They consulted the notaire extensively and the notaire said the only way to ensure they got each others property etc was to get married. I guess its not something young people thing about until they get older.

True Doreen....I have been known to shout at OH when I do something daft. In the summer our daughter came to stay and she and husband went out for a bike ride....she fell off the bike at the bottom of the husband said when he returned...."...she is most certainly your daughter, she fell off the bike and blamed me"...thats my girl!

Doreen and did cross my mind that they had assumed I was the numpty that left our card in a machine somewhere on a French fact, I think even my husband looked at me and asked what I had done with his card....! but thats not unusal...he dropped a cup recently, he was in a different room to me...but I heard him utter.....Oh for goodness sake Carol!

..but then functionaries make their rules, they seem to then be adopted within particular groups of functionaries dealing with us who have some kind of link, however the possibility of variations from one person or place to another remains infinity different...

Our first bank account in France, we both had debit cards for. My husband lost his somewhere between Perpignan and basically it could have been anywhere in France. We discovered the loss of the card at Calais. We rang the bank and told them it was Dr Nicholas Norwell who had lost his card and please cancel it. That night at the hotel we sent an email to the bank with the details of his card, and re-iterated, it was his card. On arriving back in the husband who likes to cover all bases, sent a letter to the bank, repeating the details.

When we arrived back in France 3 weeks later,in the post there was a new card in my name. When we checked with the bank they had cancelled my card and replaced it....his card was still out there and not cancelled! it was sheer luck we hadnt had our account emptied. The banks reaction? a shrug....grrrhhhh!


some interesting reading and some more here too ;-)

PS our joint account is always adressed to both of us apart from when there's not enough space and then it's my OH who appears not me - being polite I gave her name before mine when opening the account!

Did you get a cold?

would be interesting to see how many French people are comparison to other countries. Certainly the younger French couples I know are not bothering with marriage, unusual in a country that was until very recently, church going Catholics. From my point of interest, its the Napoleonic laws of inheritance that I would have thought meant most people would have married.

My UK bank account is in my maiden name and won't accept a cheque in my married name. In France I receive letters in my maiden and my married name, I find official letters to do with job and salary prefer to use my maiden name. However, I never did decide which name to use and so have correspondence in both and I did try putting the names together so have a few institutions that address me like that. As to my private French bank account, it always addressed to me and not my husband. Most French people seem not to be married.

did the UK bank give a reason? makes no sense to refuse to put the cheque in your account if it had the same name on the cheque as your account name!!!!


hmmmm....not convinced Andrew...even matters relating to me, ie. a personal bank account is addressed to my husband!

haha.....wonder why!

i think that was a little french humour, Carol ;-)

I am married but a huge amount of correspondence comes in my maiden name still despite me only using my husbands name so very surprised to hear others are given their partners name.

Remember shortly after we married I received a sterling cheque in my maiden name but my UK bank would absolutely not cash it, despite me holding an account there in my maiden name for over 20 years. Walked into Cred Ag with it, no problem madam, thy paid it into our account despite me never using the name there - although it was of course, on all their paperwork.

Know the feeling, sometimes I open official letters and words entirely fail me. I then have to stay simple; i.e. putain....

where I live there are plenty of Brits...and many are divorced and in new relationships, maybe its the curse of the divorced Brits....! however....still maintain wives are chattels of the bank manager actually told me this!

One of my rules would be that all government departments and big businesses would be required by law to use emails and websites...properly! ie. answer emails daily instead of the apparent present habit of once every six months....or in fact never! I tested out a couple of our estate agents by getting a friend to email an interest in our property.....the agencies managed a big fail by ignoring the emails or never seeing them as they dont look! I also got friends to register an interest in our property via Greenacre....the agents have bothered to put our property on this....but apparently they dont bother to ever check for enquiries as these have also gone unnoticed! Ive had builders/Artisans admit they only check their emails every few weeks!