Introduce yourselves!


(Clara Saenz) #161

Hello everyone!
My name is Clara and I'm from Argentina, living in Buenos Aires atm. I want to move to France in a year or so.
Where? To Strasbourg area, I just love it there! :) I'll be moving with my soon to be wife Ana. We just came back from a month stay in Paris and can't wait to go back!


(Jane Allan) #162

Hell I live in Paris and have recently acquired a small house near Carcassonne. I am a Pilates teacher in Paris and have a busy teaching practice there.However I would like to develope some Pilates classes and workshops around Carcassonne and spend more time in the area.

(Martin Cooper) #163

Greetings Everyone!

I have been 'kidnapped' by my French Girlfriend :) and moved over here to Creuse, since Sept last year and really love it.

We are currently doing up an old farmhouse which has been left unoccupied for over 30 years (including a lovely feature of a collapsed ground floor) and enjoying our new life.

Biggest shock was the different way of 'speed' here which I'm not complaining about as I have had enough of my previous life living and working in London.

Love our lovely french neighbours and beautiful french countryside.



(Catharine Higginson) #164

Agree on most of that esp. Orange!

(Elloise Bennett) #165

Hello all!

New to the site and making my introduction!

I'm Elloise in Nérac... been here for just over a year now. A bit of a nomad, I'm originally from South African but have lived in the USA (San Diego, California), The UK (London), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), and now in beautiful Lot-et-Garonne!

(And to think, people thought I was crazy to study French back in my California days! It's turned out handy!)

In the process of a remod (of course), and in between finding time to write, laugh, soak in the sun, and discover life in Nérac. Looking to put down some roots here. Both in the garden and in life.

A history teacher by training, being in Aquitaine is of course like being a kid in a candy store... and despite the dust and the learning curve with things like SPANC and electricians... loving it here.


(Norman Verona) #166

We just go to the prefecture in Angers with all the correct papers and never have a problem. First few were difficult but OK now.

(Norman Verona) #167

Stella, this reply may be out of sequence as your last doesn't seem to have a reply button.

No chance of getting the 7 registered here until it's 30 years old. Surprisingly that will be in 4 years time! It was built in 1989 but only has 3 original, non-upgraded parts left. The steering column, 2 rear radius arms and the de-dion tube. (OK I know that's 4 but two are the same).

Reason it won't pass the tests are numerous but outside exhaust and toggle switches are just two, there's many more.

No one seems bothered so I'm happy to wait. All the other cars get registered here asap. I've already got most of the paperwork for the land Rover ready. I apply to the FFVE who issue a certificate that the prefecture accept and issue a Carte Gris. Facile.

(Norman Verona) #168

I've nothing that old but did rebuild an MG Midget M type when I was an apprentice at University Motors in London. That had a top speed of about 45 MPH but what a fantastic car. It was a 1932 model, one of the first with the all metal body, rather than the fabric rear.

It looks like I've only got cosmetics to do on the Land Rover. The gauges don't work and he's replaced the voltage regulator (I was about to order one but then read the ad and saw that he's done it) Won't take long to sort it out. It's had a new engine loom following an engine bay fire which is why the engine compartment looks so clean. I'll bead blast the rocker cover, thermostat housing, inlet manifold etc to bring that up to spec, fit new carpets and, hopefully that should be it. Mind you I'm fully prepared to rebuild engine and/or gearbox or diffs if required. I paid £2150 for it, about half price of other, less tidy cars (are they "cars" or "vans" or "lorries" - who knows, I'll call them cars).

The slowest vehicle I've been involved with was the cricket club roller. Pre first world war road roller and a great bit of kit to rebuild.

Fastest must be my Caterham 7 which, before lower ratio diff and top gear was recorded at 151.?? on the runway of Brize Norton. I have driven cars faster than that but they weren't mine.

I'm planning on selling the Land Rover next year (or year after) and if we have a really good year in the business (HERE) invest in an MG PB or J2. Will need a few bob for that so I may get a bit of earache. We'll see.

(Norman Verona) #169

Too true. I'm now looking forward to adding what is probably the slowest vehicles to go with one of the fastest. Picking a Series 3 Land Rover next week.

(Norman Verona) #170

Stella, Lynne does the slurring of the le/la. However she says all her French friends (mainly at Tie-chi) do the same.

Cars do help make friends, we are now members of several car clubs and get lots coming to the gites. We don't run it make money, more to cover costs and enjoy the company of like-minded people.

We tend to keep away from the Brits in the area, we have some good French friends and we like it that way.

I'll look at your links, thanks

(Norman Verona) #171

Stella, I/we were too busy to get over here earlier than 2005. Running a business and, before that bringing up kids. At our age 59 when I arrived, it is much harder to learn French, indeed anything new. I didn't do much French in school but do have family in Paris so that helped. We manage to make ourselves understood, Lynne is much better than I am.

Anyway, you can see what we get up to HERE

(Norman Verona) #172

We moved to France in 2005, bought the place of a friend who moved back to the UK. I've renovated the house (biggest DIY job before this was to fit a light-and I put a floorboard nail through a central heating pipe!).

I had a friend convert the end of one of the barns into two gites. We have friends and family to stay.

You can see all about us HERE

(Elaine Anderson) #173

If you are of a ‘certain age’ it’s worth joining the club des aines. We have found the older folks the most welcoming, maybe because they have more time. At our club they play cards, games we don’t know like belote and mus, so we took dominoes and triominoes. The oldest ladies love the triominoes and have insisted that the club buy a set for the members. We have a group aging from me, the junior at 64, to Isadora , who is 93.
We are beginning to get to know their families too so we are rapidly growing our circle of friends in the village.

(John Trott) #174

A Tom Tom (but only for use in the UK) and it'll show your speed.

(Tansy Forster 2) #175

This is me...we're in Normandy on The Cherbourg Peninsula, Cherbourg our local big town for hyper market, Brico depot etc. our village is equal distance 4 miles one direction to Ste Mere Eglise the other way 4 miles away Carentan, in the heart of the American sector of the Invasion Beaches.

We moved over lock stock from Sunningdale almost 15 years ago,my husband at the top of his career in London, I had my own business, must have been mid life crisis, I just didn't recognize it at the time, but bonkers idea just came out of husband's mouth one morning at the grand age of 49...'I want to quit at the top how do you fancy Normandy'...oh, OK I say & as we have no actually happened! So here we are, him almost 65 & me now 60...we work harder than we did in London, but, have built a great life & a good business.

Now with 4 vacation rentals with mainly Americans as our guests,we have at our home, a little farm, 2 couple only gites, the other 2 properties are no further than 10 minutes away, we are here all year round as we've managed imprison ourselves in the shape of Llamas, Alpacas, Jack Russell dogs, 8 rescue cats to name but a few of our creatures! We have though discovered so we are going to start getting away a bit more, plus we are starting to to talk about slowing down a bit in another year or so.

It's gone in a flash, starting off in 2000, a couple of words of French between us, building a business, a network of friends and local tradesmen, understanding the systems here, getting registered with tax office & correct health cover and everything else that goes with living in a different country.

Don't get me wrong it hasn't been a smooth ride the whole time...we were really taken in by a 'British builder' when we 1st moved was the most horrible experience ever, last heard he was serving time, but the French got fed up with him & his scrounging wife with 6 kids in tow the sent him back to UK to finish his sentence there...hopefully someone managed to lose the key.

Spare time when I get it, I sit and knit with the wool from my my mind the most soothing thing I can do!

(Elaine Anderson) #176

At Xmas we drove in the UK for the first time in a French car. We did find it difficult to work out the speed limits (we had marked the French equivalents on the speedometer of our English car with tippex). The new car doesn’t have a dial tho’ just the speed you are actually doing. We must find a solution before the next trip.

(Joel Whittle) #177

Hi James / Catharine

Sounds good I am only in Sort En Chalosse will arrange to nip over soon so we can share our frustrations and joys of living over here

(Jane Quaye 2) #178

Hi fellow networkers. I have been a member of SFN for sometime when helping CSF in the Aude. Having stood down from that role, since moving down to the PO I have rejoined SFN using an email linked to my general life. We lived in the Aude, near Limoux for three years although mostly parttime and were made most welcome by both English and French acquaintances, many of whom we still see regularly.

Down here in the PO I live in a large village with far fewer English speakers around me which is great for my French. I get my 'English' fix through the magnificent U3A with whom we taste wines, exchange views on books and discover the delights of cooking in France.

I am really enjoying my potager although all my successes are due to the sun not my skill. However I can't tell you the delight of eating my own melons! My aubergine, tomato and courgettes recipes are now worthy of their own library!

I'm a new step grandmother so learning a lot about how to enjoy remotely - as it were!

I caused a stir on SFN in 2013 when I posted about us getting three speeding fines in one UK trip. I was stunned how many others had also experienced similar shocks (given our many trips these fines were a first). However I am sure it is interesting to note we now both support each other on long drives to watch for subtle speed changes!

Hopefully I will contribute a little more often in this guise!

(Diana Pinnell) #179

When my younger son started school we decided to invite a fille au paire to help us out, and we formed a friendship with one special fille and her family and spent many holidays in a small village in the Jura staying in the house where her great grandfather had grown up. When Philip's second redundancy was looming we put in an offer for the ruin next door to our holiday quarters, and started our retirement project by removing all internal walls and floors and once new floors were in place we replaced the roof and the rear wall. As we are both IT people, we had the internet installed before we had electricity (extension leads from the neighbour), water, live drains or even windows, and I worked for 3 months from France until I officially retired too. We are very happy in our village and still drive (with the dog) to the UK to visit the family several times each year. Last year we went to the wedding of our fille au paire's daughter and feel very old now that our fille is a grandmother. We have two sons in southern England, both also IT professionals, one of whom is married.

Needless to say our retirement project, started in 2006, is not quite finished, perhaps it never will be, but we are happy and comfortable here, having made so many friends here well before we moved over. I will never be as expert in the language as I would like, but we cope quite well.

(Annette Gray) #180

Hi I am new to the forum so just a quick Bonjour to introduce myself. I split my time between France & UK, we may look to make the final jump in a year or two, depends on how quick I can learn the language ! As I would need to work it would help...

I am near to Lucon in the Vendee so if anyone knows of any groups or can offer any advice to help me along the way, I would be most grateful.

If it's not too late.. Happy New Year to everyone.