Keren, I replied to your last post, but don't see it.
I came online this morning to say that it won't be until next week that I discuss the topic on the programme. I'd forgotten that the list for this week was already full.
I paste my last post:
Karen, when you go to the mairie, you need to take your daughter, as well to get the right reception and reaction. When it comes to family matters, children and those in need, the French are very considerate, when dealing with you. You need to take your daughter if possible to make it personal. A lot of expats, not just Brits, are very surly and rude, expecting everyone to be able to speak English, and this has soured a lot of relations, in high level expat areas.
I see Lannion is twinned with Caërphilly, so there is probably quite a few Welsh there. The French like the Welsh, especially the Bretons, who are fellow Celts.
Being part of the autoE, gets you a carte vitale, which covers most of your medical, but not all. One problem with that is that the french system connects with the NHS, and a friend of mine told me yesterday the the brexit problem could sever that link. This is mostly to do with OAPs.
Rules for joining the autoE system have changed, due to members (mostly expats) abusing the system and misrepresenting themselves. This applies to artisanal activities, and proof of ability is now required. The misrepresented were encroaching on the french artisans, who are mostly members of the” Micro system”, which requires certs (e.g City and Guilds etc) and have to pay considerable cotisations to the health system (they get full coverage). Friends of mine were "micros", and when the wife's pregnancy became complicated, she was hospitalized for several weeks, which was covered by the micro cotisations. I visited on a few occasions, and the service was superb!
To improve your French, listen to french radio, especially France Inter or Culture. It helps with inflection and pronunciation, even though you mightn’t understand half of it!
Since I’m about to record my next edition of Culture Gap, I’m going to do a piece on moving to France, and will address the topics discussed here. It will go out on Mercredi 16.00 hrs fr time: The programme has just moved to a new station, due to govt subventions being reduced to the station I’ve used for the past ten years (radioliberte.fr based in the Dordogne). The new venue is ex-patradio.fr based in the Vendee.(internet only)+