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(Hilary Jane Dunk) #121

Sorry John,

At the risk of diverting the topic, I must respond....

I am of a mild mannered, 'live & let live' temperement, most of the time, but for me, where the burka/burqua is concerned, it's a 'bridge too far' and I am with the French on this.....I find them horribly sinister.....I don't go in for 'PC ness' anyway.....much better that people speak freely...and without fear of recriminations.....(Je suis Charlie ?)...

I find it appalling that women have allowed themselves to be talked into wearing this 'garb'...so dehumanising. It is bad enough that this is tolerated in Islamic countries, but don't import it elsewhere...'when in Rome', etc. Just because it's an accepted custom where muslims come from, (just like female circumcision), it doesn't mean it should be so in Europe....


(Ray Marquis) #122

Hello, we have been in the process of moving to France for 4 years having bought the property back in 2002. We felt that we have finally made headway when we obtained our Carte Vitale (not being of retirement age and not working, with no S1 etc...as many comments on SFN have endorsed)

We live in the Southern part of Cher near Chateaumeillant and are equidistant from all borders. The house was formerly a holiday home for 18 children from a care home in Paris...very practical but in need of some repair and a lot of TLC. I have developed many new skills since arriving and thank the heavens that I had an active youth with the Scouts and practical approach from the military. My better half has the brains being a former admin wallah, and I provide the laughs, terror and occasional success. Best I should stick to building computers rather than buildings, fences etc.

We too have had trials and tribulations with beurocracy, orange, local politics, 'Black' artisans and so forth. There are many pitfalls and many mountains to climb, but overall we would not change our decision to live here. We prepared by learning French (even taking a GCSE) and by taking interest in the local community. Despite all our preparations, we need to continue practicing our language skills and have good neighbours who encourage us as they speak Berrichonne on one side (no English whatsoever) and Parisienne on the other (but are keen to improve their English).

We enjoy holidaying on the motorbike (Goldwing) and exploring the countryside on rambles. Lots of work to do in the garden but at least it is in progress. We look forward to sharing on SFN and hope we can help others in their quests.


(Peter Bird) #123

Yes John, I found the 'burka' reference a bit unneccessary also.


(Catharine Higginson) #124

Balaclava works for me John :)


(Shirley Morgan) #125

sorry John, no I wasn’t at all, just using Hilary’s word! Perhaps Catherine or James would consider using a Dunces cap instead of the black, with a great Big D on it :slight_smile:


(John Withall) #126

You might if you were muslim, I support the unique photo idea but don't like the burka reference as it is not PC unless we are taking the French view of the burka?


(Catharine Higginson) #127

Quite Shirley!


(Shirley Morgan) #128

well said Hilary. If you’ve nothing to hide then why hide i? This was one of the unique things that I liked about SFN, be careful tho one member got chucked out for making an issue of no member photos with some of those members!

I remember not so long ago Catherine saying it’s like being at a dinner party, where we are friends having a good chat over dinner, well we wouldn’t sit at table with a burqua on would we?


(Alan Reeve) #129

John, thank you.


(John Brian) #130

I live near another Genouillé. Shame it’s a different one as we have both singing and walking clubs locally. Good luck with your move.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #131

Hi Catherine,

As i mentioned to Brian (of Bergerac)...

Looking at the members list, I'm amazed at how many people are wearing their 'Burkas'.....have yet to post a photo.....quite disconcerting, I feel.


(Bob Taylor) #132

As I've already got a couple of threads running here I suppose I really should say hello, My wife and I are still in the UK but I'm working on a move in about 2 years time after I take early retirement. I currently drive trains but will finish in my 39th year. I blame the Citroen Dyane for all this moving to France thing, in the 80's and early 90's I owned on and off 6 plus one 2CV . It's been an affair with anything French ever since, except trains, that has to be American! I haven't chosen an area to move to yet but I took quite a fancy to Limoux(my wife didn't) particularly the area around the railway station towards the river. I would say any place with a decent rail service would be useful as I get some European free passes, also if it's got a train service the town would have everything else as well. Infact an ex railway station would be perfect, better if it's on a working line with something to watch! We've lived in Manchester nearly 30 years but I'm a country boy at heart, however I'm realistic enough to know a small town is a better proposition as we don't want to be reliant on a car.


(Peter Schoenmaker) #133

We moved to France 15 years ago to run a small hotel in the Hautes Pyrenees. Many guests were Brits, looking for a house in the area. A couple of years ago one couple made us an offer we couldn't refuse. Giving me time to write my memoir 'Breakfast in Gascony' to share our adventures with guests and other amusing people. It's now available on Amazon.


(Alan Reeve) #134

Hello everyone, I would like to introduce us to the network,. My wife (Suzanne) and I (Alan) have decided to move to France after working in a corporate world for over 25 years and in addition to the offspring moving out (one still returns so the move will be good for her as well).

After 12 months and a couple of trips, viewing over 40 projects, houses and apartments we have decided on Genouille, in Charente to be our home. What a project. We will get our keys on December 18, so hopefully there will be no last minute hitches.

Suzanne and I are multilingual, although being back in France after a few years away, found the our comprehension was in trouble, so it's back to listening to French radio and watching a few French satellite channels. Looks like it's getting better.

We will be looking to join a few clubs where, singing for Suzanne is important as are walking, cycling and quizzes are for the both of of us.

I look forward to interacting with the new contacts we will make on this forum and in the area when we move in.

Cheers


(Gwyneth Perrier) #135

Chloé actually will come from the same educational system. Her school is overseen by the French Ministry of Education, so she can go to any French school and be officially accepted as studying the same curriculum.

Olivier is French and although my French isn't fluent, my accent is decent and I'm used to practicing with his friends and family. That said, I think over time I would enjoy speaking English sometimes! :-)

We don't wish to live anywhere remote, so that is off the list. Being close to Montpellier is a bigger priority.


(Remi Chateauneu) #136

You might consider faith schools which are sometimes academically more tolerant for children coming from another educational system. It might avoid losing one year ("redoublement"). Beware that the waiting lists are sometimes long, but they are not expensive. Also: Even if you French skills are good, you mighty need to meet English-speaking people after some months, so better avoiding remote areas.


(Gwyneth Perrier) #137

I agree! We plan to rent a place first, but we also are hoping to establish an area to live first, since we don't want our daughter to have to keep changing schools. As much stability as possible would be great. It sure is tricky!


(Remi Chateauneu) #138

Probably the best to do to start with, is to rent an accommodation. Renting is rather cheap out of big cities, tenants are strongly protected by the law, and it gives time to meet the right people ... and the right neighbours ;).


(Gwyneth Perrier) #139

Hello! I just joined the group and I have seen such helpful tips already. I'm from San Francisco, California, and my husband is French.

In 2 years time, we were considering moving to his village which is an hour south of Lyon, but are now thinking of the Montpellier area. We have a 6 year old daughter who goes to a French school and she just started CP. We feel that the Montpellier area might be a vibrant place to live and it could offer a good deal of opportunities for her as she grows up. We'd like to be close to the city, but with some nature around us.

I'm curious to know about the housing market around Montpellier. Clapiers or Castelnau-le-Lez look like possibilities and I'm wondering if houses tend to sell around the asking price or considerably lower.

If anyone can offer some insight, I'd love to hear about it! Looking forward to getting to know everyone here. :-)


(Remi Chateauneu) #140

Hi All

Thanks for the approval.

Not sure if this is the right place to introduce myself.

Actually I did the inverted trip of moving from France to UK (Through Germany and other countries), and as I lived here more than 10 years, my mentally gradually became British-ish. But reading your questions and explorations are really interesting and help to understand that our cultural and intellectual Channel is not that deep but really exists. And after all when I come back to France, things are not always 100% easy (Even more for the not-so-little ones who spent all their lives in UK :) )

Remi