Introduce yourselves!


(Majena Mafe) #81

Hi lovely fellow survivors, I'm a newbi to this web and board and newbi to France and already surviving is on my mind, so Im very glad to find a team of fellow survivors out there doing whats necessary to make a new life in France more than Ok ... better than that ... good even. I arrived 4 weeks ago and opened the house my partner and I brought in Mazamet few months ago. Daniel is arriving in a few weeks from Australia, we are both Australian, though Daniel has a British passport as well, Maxine the cat will arrive in a few days, meanwhile I've been getting the gas and electricity and internet put on ( good grief I thought Id died and gone to heaven the day that was finally done!) ... plumbing fixed - broken sewer pipe surprise, yeah - (all fixed now thanks Jeremy and Martin), got a new boiler put in, yeah, a new kitchen organised and on its way, wallpaper stripped and painting done well almost ... where does all this 50's wallpaper come from? ... (well actually Im getting a very nice team Mike and his son Adam are doing it), plus you all know a million other little things you never imagined you'd be doing to try and set up a new home. The latest challenge, last night the roof flew off, well a big part of it (two tiles) and what with the big rain, I woke up in the middle of the night with a soaked bed and a pool of a bedroom ... and i couldn't find the torch - its in a box somewhere ... got to laugh.

We settled on Mazamet in the south west as the launching pad of our brilliant new good-crazy next stage of life da da. We brought a big, as in tall, house with a big garden as in long or deep ... a very big garden full of fruit trees - Im a very keen gardener, vege and flowers are being planted in my imagination as I sleep. Mazamet is close to the forests and the two coasts, the weathers supposed to be mild after Australian summers ... that will be a relief, and its sort of close to chic Toulouse and to historic Albi and its mini sister Castres. So it will serve us well as well as being close to Italy and Paris and London (it makes my toes curl to think it will be so easy, relatively, to travel to these cities after the usual 30 hr flights from Australia) We are both artists and also write so in between trips all over and eating lovely food, markets, wine tasting, gardening etc we are planning to finish off and probably start some new writing projects and when were get the studio set up in the attic (before Xmas) keep going with our arts practices as well. We've both left high pressured teaching jobs (Daniel) and a research degree (me) in the uni system in Australia and will definitely be glad to be away from all that bureaucracy and have time to make, paint and write full time if we want to.

I'm loving it all so far ... I have met such lovely people, I have lots and lots to learn, but am trying to enjoy even the upheaval, culture shock, language difficulties and frustrations, and cardboard box nightmare. I'm yet to buy a car ... thats the next big job, any hints about that kettle of fish?

I am keen to make contacts and hopefully friends here and and give what i can back in return. Looking forward to chatting and hopefully meeting some of you soon.

cheers Jena

(Barbara Deane) #82

But I still miss out words and manage the strangest expressions of English.
That is me....and that will never change!

(Barbara Deane) #83

Well lets get right down to the real nitty gritty!

I came to South West France almost 8 years ago having spent my

life in London.

After leaving school with adequate education; which included passing

exams for English lit and language, I decided that my life would be filled

with adventure.....and it was!

Although I started my working life at The Prudential taking care of naval policies

and composing letters to clients I moved onto property rentals, managed a blues band,

assisted managing a night club in West London, worked in PR and eventually became

a chef in London with my own restaurant. With my partner we eventually earned the accolade

of being one of the top restaurants in London.

So all in consideration I not consider myself as illiterate!

But I am the sort of person who never wants to stop and will always have

a project brewing.I want the world to be a better place. A place where people can find


We came here almost eight years ago with a plan and a dream.

Despite the economic turbulence we have managed to do what we set out to

do and have continued to make all sorts of aquintances during our time here.

(Josie Hall) #84

Hi Elaine

Yes, we were very dissapointed in what we were shown but as you say it does give you new comparison abilities! We are looking in the Confolens area at this time, we really do like it but you never know with France! :)

(Elaine Anderson) #85

Hi Josie

We too booked lots of viewings from what we had seen on the internet. What a load of rubbish we were shown.

In the end it was worth having seen it all as we had plenty to compare the better properties with. We found our house by chance, driving through a village that we thought we wouldn’t be able to afford and spotting a homemade ‘AV’ sign.

I don’t know the area where you are searching (we’re in Pyrenées Atlantiques) but I’d like to wish you good luck with your search. I hope you will be as happy in France as we are.

(Colin Buckle) #86

Hi Colin here, I've just joined. After holidaying in France for 20 years and spending an increasing amount of time skiing there I bought a property in Les Deux Alps (which I know very well) this summer. Typically it hadn't been modernised since being built 50 years ago so I've plenty to keep me busy. I made a start in the summer and will have a couple more weeks of DIY before the skiing season starts in early December. I've plenty of English and French friends there but I'm sure I'll be asking for help on here too.

(Peter Bird) #87

Quite right about he lack of light. I like the area but find the traditional stone built properties a bit austere at times. They can get cold in the winter but refreshinly cool in the summer....

(Shirley Morgan) #88

ps, Josie, the clocks have only just gone back here - as in UK, but after 10 weeks only, it was just 5pm there when I could leave work in almost daylight in UK pre our arrival here in 2008!

So 10 weeks is not so long to wait is it, to return to France, just think of all that Internet research you can do online in that time, find out about agents fees, health system, local towns, places to visit - takes me back to times when OH and I were doing same in UK. And you have Xmas I between now and your return! Happy hunting :slight_smile:

(Shirley Morgan) #89

Hi Josie & Steve welcome to SFN - don’t live in the area you are searching, but good luck with your searching. Was it the properties that disappointed you on your visit, or the 1st area you looked at? Older cheaper properties will probably need quite a lot done to bring them up to the standard you may want or be looking for at time of purchase! Ours did need everything done internally, in 2008, and cost a lot to get there, wit my husband and I doing all the work ourselves except a complete re-wire, but but we made it the way we wanted it to be in the end. Don’t let that put you off though. The French are lovely people to have as neighbours and friends.

(Shirley Morgan) #90

hi Lesley - not near, but welcome to France & SFN. Shirley.

(Josie Hall) #91

Hi John

We asked the estate agent to get together a list of viewings based on our wants/would like list! i think most of them were ones that had been on their books forever! and not in particularly nice places, the ones we did like had far too much land and were in the middle of nowhere! we then travelled down and hit Confolens by chance and we loved it! unfortunately we found it on the last 2 days of our visit which happened to be the weekend. So we spent that time looking round the area etc and came upon Lesterps which i loved, it aslo happened that there was a house there being sold by the owner with UK number, so when we got back i phoned him and he sent the only photo's he had, he doesn't have a clue what size the rooms etc are, i do wish there was someone i knew in the area that would go and take photo's for us and measure up and do a rough floor plan! as we cant get over until January and it's driving me nuts! as i love this house...or do i? but from what i've seen i do...but hey ho will just have to bite my nails until January! until then i keep looking but am more aware now of whats what!

(David GAY) #92

No he's not even called Neil. I like the town houses in Lesterps and some have separate gardens I seem to recall. I don't like the stone used for the buildings ;rather depressing. Not full of light like down here in Gironde.

(John Brian) #93

You say that you were disappointed by what you saw. In what way? Location? Value for money? Choice of property?

(Josie Hall) #94

Thank you Peter! i will also have a look at the places you have mentioned. Much appreciated!

(Peter Bird) #95

No problem, i'll send you a PM.

The other side of Saint Junien is nice too with Rochechouart a particularly nice place to live. I had five happy years there. I was in he notaires office (Maître Couret) and noticed he had some nice places for sale at really low prices.

(Lesley Scully) #96


(Josie Hall) #97

Hi John

There are so many beautiful area's of France and we have been to quite a few but sometimes you go somewhere and it feels like home! no rhyme or reason to it!

(Josie Hall) #98

Hi David

I love Lesterps! my sort of place! Confolens is lovely with lots going on etc but don't think i could live there full time, i much prefer to live out of town and just pop in and out when needed! Your nephew isn't called Niel by any chance? now that would be spooky!!

(Josie Hall) #99

Hi Peter

any info on agents, good and bad, would be much appreciated. The restaurant in Lesterps has extremely good reviews on several sites for their tasty food and value for money, we intend to go there when we go back over and give it a try!

(David GAY) #100

My nephew used to live there. It's a smashing little place with a real sense of history. Much nicer to my way of thinking than Confolens