Introducing me

Hi there. I was invited by Jan Thorpe today

This is all new to me so haven't really any idea whatsoever what its all about or what to do or expect

I was born in a village called Penkridge in Staffordshire and have been married to my husband for 29 years. We have two children, Imogen 22 and Paddy 21. I currently work for Staffordshire Police as a receptionist

My husband Neil, has been residing in Saint Maur des Fosses since September 2013 and working for Air Liquide in Vitry Sur Seine as a Methods Manager. I am hoping to join him later this year and take a career break. I am very apprehensive about going there as its such a quiet area and we currently have no transport - apart from shanks's pony and a pushbike. If there is anyone living around this area, I would be very pleased to get in touch. Hilary

I agree with Doreen to the extent that it is perfectly possible to live in another large city and commute to Paris daily, if you are working in the center of Paris or what is known as Paris "intra-muros", i.e. the bit of Paris located within the peripherique. In fact, it can sometimes be even quicker to do that than live in a suburb of Paris and have to traipse across town on the urban transport system - I used to have friends with P&G that lived in the countryside outside of Paris and it took them 2 hours to get to work every day on the RER/metro - in those kind of conditions, one would be better off living in Lille, Lyon, Dijon, or Orleans - at least there's the TGV network ! Obviously, that might not apply to Hilary's particular circumstances, depending on her husbands work requirements. Out of personal choice, I have always avoided, to the extent possible, having had to take a job in Paris, but the same could be said were I living in the UK and not wishing to work in London. The (dis)advantage of the Auvergne is its lack of a high speed train network and "cost effective" airport - there aren't many of my clients prepared to fork out 400 Euros return flight to Paris with AirFrance just for the day ! Fortunately, we do have the telephone and even ADSL broadband !

Hi Hilary,

Saint Maur itself doesn't look so "quiet", pretty urban in fact, unless of course, you will be living outside in the sticks beyond the limit of the RER rapid transport system. The town of St Maur des Foss├ęs has four RER railway stations, and probably an interconnected bus network too. Having said that, (1) I'm a country bumpkin, so don't really appreciate city life, and (2) I've been told I could live in a cave and still be happy, so I guess that kind of sums up my requirements !

If you are living in the town, then having a car might not even be necessary in the immediate future, especially when you consider all the terrible traffic of Parisian suburbia (although the M6 between Jn 14 and Jn 18 has become my bane in recent years) !