Is it just boredom?

HI, I am hoping there are likeminded people out there in dept 56/22 near to Pontivy, I have two very livey boys and little girl aged 16 months, we have been here a year and enjoy being here, not sure if it just the daily grind but I am needing in interact more in both French and English. My husband is working long hours at the moment and I am missing my female buddies. Any ideas?

Hi Leanne,

This sounds exactly what I am thinking of, it is how I began to learn French many years ago. I had to go to sort out the car insurance the other day and lo and behold her youbg children go to Maternelle at the school where I teach the college children twice a week. We got chatting and she is desperate tohave her little ones start to learn Englsih in a fun way! So perhaps I can get this idea off the ground. Is it best to approach the Marie first with the idea and then start to fill in all the paperwork for the association? The link to the website would be a gret help thank you.

Hi there,

I notice that one of the associations one of which included teaching englsih to french and english kids in a playgroup setting. I amthinking of doing something similar and wonder whether you have any advice on setting up an association and then running it?

Perhaps some question to ask ourselves are - why have we come to live in France? What were our needs when we made that decision, and are those needs being met in France? It's OK to have tried it and decided it's not for us and move on. There is no obligation to stay. :-)

Hi Leeanne

Know just how you feel, I think it can be isolating stuck at home with kids while hubby works anywhere but France doesn't have a girlfriend culture so doubly difficult - mothers in my area just didn't do coffee mornings and they looked at me a bit funny when I asked!!

I'm not in your area, unfortunately (Dordogne 24), as here there is a women's association here called NEDWA (North East Dordogne Women's Association) who meet up each month for lunch and hold a huge number of activities and outings for either just women or sometimes we let partners come!

It was started up just over a year ago with adverts posted in local supermarkets, etc and is now going strong. I was encouraged to go by my mother and was terrified it be all twin sets and blue rinses and was amazed to find loads of women of all ages and situations. I think you have to dig around a bit and not be hesitant to join in organisations and events, even things that wouldn't necessarily be your cup of tea - you never know what it could bring and if it's crap you can always just not go again!

Good luck to you and hope you find some type of outlet

Hi Leeanne,

I know exactly how you feel, I can't bear to sit still for too long! I started my own business in the Uk when my first child was just 6 months old because I was basically tearing my hair out!

We are about an hour from Lectoure, in the Tarn et Garonne, and if you just wanted to get out and about now and again, how about some 'Feline' activity??

You could become one of our cat cuddling volunteers in our Cat Rescue Centre.

We have get togethers with all the team several times a year but mainly it would get you out and doing something very worthwhile.

Give us a call on 05 63 94 73 97

Hi Nicky. no did not hear about knowing Nantes. my usual office is chez lulu i should come one day to meet fellow brits that are over here doing missonary work coverting the natives to the delights of proper tea cricket and a sence of fair play. thankyou i shall check it out on goole

Hi Karen. Sue and I are (just) pensioners but we are childminding our 20 month old granddaughter so we qualify as 2nd time parents. Our daughter and rest of family ( husband and baby of 2 months) are moving to France to live and work next May. We live in Lamagaistere (82) but only 35k from Lectoure where we go regularly to the spa. My daughter is flying down on Saturday for 3 weeks and she would live to meet someone who has been here a while, to give some pointers.

If you would like to meet us all, please e-mail on

Regards. Colin and Sue Granville

you are the first brit i found here. i am 44300. not only the ladies whom get bored

not only the ladies who get bored. I live in Nantes 44300 have not found a single brit yet

Where are you exactly Leeanne? I'm v near Plaintel if that's helpful?

Hi Everybody,

Gosh! Aren't we a resourceful bunch of girlies?!! It seems that we've all had this sort of feeling, and dealt with it in our own way.:-)

A few posters have mentioned meeting up, so if you are in the local area - within an hour of Toulouse/Blagnac airport (or Ikea at Toulouse!!) you may be interested in these local groups. If you're thinking of starting a busness or already run your own business, take a look at Business Exchange Toulouse facebook page. It's aimed mainly at micro or solo businesses and is really friendly and supportive. If you have small children try Mums and Tots Toulouse; or there is Toulouse Womens Internaional Group (TWIG) TWIG have a Christmas Fair on the last weekend of November.

Alternatively, if you are in the area and just fancy a latte and a chat, pm me!

Fabulous original post, thank you!


Know the feeling, in spite of being in town rather than out in the sticks. My French is pretty good, but I am still immediately identifiable and identified as an outsider the second I open my mouth. That's not to say that the locals are unfriendly (although plenty are), it's just that a prolonged conversation with me is simply too much like hard work.

However, I have managed to get beyond the superficial niceties of the school yard by:

1) getting out as much as possible, whether to keep in shape with some sport, both collective and individual (in my case swimming, squash, sailing);

2) running my own local business;

3) getting heavily involved in the local scene of my major passtime, in my case as a jazz and pop pianist;

4) and, perhaps most importantly, joining the online "get a real life" type groups. is probably the most widespread and seems to be the most popular, in spite of some idiosyncrasies. The other one I know of is local to me, but there may be several in your area. Free to join, members basically arrange outings or get togethers, sometimes thematic, simply to widen their circle, as it were. Some women members I know have complained of unsolicited approaches, but these can be ignored, shut out on the blacklist or reported to the webmaster since this is not a dating site. Sure, the middle-aged and divorced are probably over-represented (I am the former but not yet the latter), but I can safely say that it has changed my life here. Plenty of new friends and common interests which would never have occurred otherwise.

Good luck!

Hi there, I teach English in my village in Champagne, and I love it. It allows me to "share my gifts" which is a lovely feeling. A friend in the village set up an Association, which is quite easy. You just go to the Mairie and fill out a few forms. You can't make any profit, but it can bring a lot of culture and life to an otherwise quiet village. Since my friend formed the Association, we have me teaching English - the French are hungry for this at the moment, and it wasn't always like that, loads of different musical instruments, art, step classes, dance classes, yoga etc. I talk a lot about "sharing our gifts" in my book, which I've already mentioned elsewhere.

Good luck everyone x

Hello and I too have felt like you, Leanne and many of the other ladies here. I moved to France 16 years ago with two toddlers and my husband was away a lot. I felt very isolated. And after 10 years I'd had enough and we moved back to the UK. We lasted 5 years and have now been happily settled in France again for the past 2 years. What changed? Me! I took a look at myself and realised that it was all down to me. So much so that I've written a little book called "How to Survive (and Thrive) Living in a Foreign Country. I don't want to push it onto anyone, but I really think that many here would get value from it. If you've got a Kindle, you can get it here

If you haven't you can order the real book here:

If you do decide to give yourself this gift, I'd love to have your feedback, and I truly hope that it helps you.

With love from Champagne, Yvonne

Ha ha you and I think so alike that we both replied suggesting Phoenix at the same time!! How spooky, must be Halloween! xx

Hi Leanne, I know exactly how you feel and if it makes you feel any better I felt just the same when we moved here just over 3 years ago. I was so happy to be here and watch our children becoming bilingual yet I could have killed to meet a friend at M&S for a coffee and a shop! The first 'friend' I made here hated shopping and drinking, whoops, but I was so desperate for friends at that point. Three years on I have made some wonderful friends and have got to the point of having heart to hearts with them even if I make many grammatical errors in between tears.

I too had a career in the Uk and struggled with the lack of social life that work had previously afforded me. I became a trader with Phoenix cards and have made lots of friends through this. For example this Saturday whilst my husband was with his mother and the girls I went to his aunt's house and had a wonderful afternoon with 11 other ladies! Female chat, just what I love. Whether it be the cards or some other VDI (Vente Domicile Independante) this allows you to earn some money for you and meet other mums and ladies. I have found this is one of the few times ladies get together is when they are invited to a 'party' for some sale or the such like. It is true that the French ladies do not really have 'girlie nights out'. I have only been out on one in three years here whereas in the UK it was at lest twice a month. However I do feel very settled here and recently when I had some problems it was to my French friends I turned.

I hope that I you start to get that stimulation you need soon and I have no doubt that with children and determination you will soon be the socialite of the village! And don't forget there are always lovely people on here to chat to! Good luck, Jenny xxx

Hi Leeane

I'm not the first to suggest a business idea and it's certainly not a competition but having done it myself I know that starting your own business is a great way to meet people - it helped me improve my French, too.

Not sure if you had come across Phoenix Trading's beautiful stationery when your were in the UK, but they are now operating in France and always looking for new traders. There are no business targets set by the company- you can do as much or as little as you like, which is great for mums (or people like me with elderly in-laws who come to visit).

If you want to know a bit more about the range take a look at my website (Christmas is coming!!) (no need for the www ) and if you're tempted (to buy or sell :0) ) send me a message on SFN.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Hi Leeanne

I think we can all relate to how you are feeling -I'm in Paris so lots of anglophones but still can be hard especially with a young child. I am part of a group that was set up on called English-speaking parents in Paris, this allows you to set up and plan events with a rsvp function really easily and could be a good way to see if anyone else is in your area.

I am interested also in what a PP has said about setting up an association teaching English - can anyone give any more info about how to go about this?

Thanks and good luck Leeane!