Living in France

Hi to you all,

This is my first blog,but have been a member afew months now so i really should at least say something, have read loads though.

My wife Laura and i have been here in Montaudin since sept 2010 and have been really busy tidying up the garden and trying to get the house in some sort of order, lots of putting right the unfinished things left by previous owners,seems never ending,i am always in working clothes x7 days a week , we are starting to ask ourselves what are we doing here!! we have meet a few other English people but they all are retired and in their late 60s/70s only 4 English couples in our area, we are starting to get that feeling of have we done the right thing, is this the way everybody feels to start with?

We bought a small garden maintenace business incl machinery off another English guy (+7 customers)hoping to build this up in the good weather, i am a carpenter/builder which is what i really want to do here in France so have registerd for both, i think the problem feeling maybe that i have not worked since leaving the UK where i was always flat out with work (lots of renovation work) which might be helpfull,might just be the winter blues abit of social life might help.

Our French is not very good so plan to get that sorted soon as poss that will help us i am sure.

sorry to be a bore not looking for a shoulder to cry on just need to get over this period and the better weather comming will hopefully make us feel we should be here.

Just got this from a ‘French’ friend by email:
Geography :
France is a medium-sized foreign country situated in the continent Of Europe .
It is an important member of the world community, though not nearly as important as it thinks
It is bounded by Germany , Spain , Switzerland and some smaller nations of no particular importance and with not very good shopping. France is a very old country with many treasures, such as the Louvre and Euro Disney.
Among its contributions to western civilization are champagne, Camembert cheese and the guillotine.
Although France likes to think of itself as a modern nation, air conditioning is little used and it is next to impossible for Americans to get decent Mexican food.
One continuing exasperation for American visitors is that local people insist on speaking in French, though many will speak English if shouted at.
France has a population of 57 million people. 52 million of these drink and smoke (the other 5 million are small children).
All French people drive like lunatics, are dangerously over sexed, and have no concept of standing patiently in line.
French people are in general gloomy, temperamental, proud, arrogant, aloof and disciplined; those are their good points.
Most French citizens are Roman Catholic, though you would hardly guess it from their behaviour.
Many French are communists.
Men sometimes have girls’ names like Marie or Michel, and they kiss each other when they meet.
American travellers are advised to travel in groups and wear baseball caps and colourful trousers for easier recognition.
In general, France is a safe destination, although travellers must be aware that from time to time it is invaded by Germany .
Traditionally, the French surrender immediately.
A tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath


Thanks for all the comments , its great to chat , we are not planning to only mix with expats solely, we would love to have French friends i am sure this will happen,only today had invite from comite des fetes for soiree 12 March we are really looking forward to that, love France.

I've been living in France for over quarter of a century now and I have to admit that 99.9% of my friends and acquaintances are NOT French. They're all Irish, British and American. I would never have imagined this situation when I arrived here all those years ago because I was determined to 'integrate', but it just happened that way. Unless you get married to a French person (I'm not) or raise children (I don't have any) in this country, you'll never get the key that opens 'the door'. I do have French colleagues who are friendly and pleasant and with whom I have the occasional social outing; but overall the attraction of spending an evening with people who speak your native language and who share your cultural references and sense of humour (and attitude to 'drinking') is just too strong to resisit.

I often wonder if this would have happened in any other 'foreign' country like Spain or Germany or Brazil or China. I guess I'll never know unless I actually go live there. I still like France though.

Susan - I agree that we need to look at the positives because if you're considering upping sticks and moving to another alien country there's usually a reason why! Sarkozy - ALL the french people we know detest him and many english we've spoken to him think of him as another Thatcher but politics to one side....your other points are very apt! Personally I did it without too much thought (didn't do my homework either and my french was dire) but have NEVER considered going back and I have kids to consider...

Vive la France - we love it and accept that life wouldn't be normal if there aren't ups and downs. On the whole France has more to offer us as a family than England did and that is what matters to us - nothing in life is perfect but you can choose happiness, whatever that may be....

I wish we had a like button on SFN…there have been some excellent points made.

Well said Susan - I totally agree and we have met a lot of English that are rather snobby about mixing and think they have the monopoly of living in this country as an expat. Likewise there are many who we wouldn’t naturally chosen to socialise with in England if we were still there BUT as a newcomer it is important to have an open mind and make as many friends as possible, especially if you don’t speak french… Good luck

I agree with what both Jayne and Drew have said and I have to say Drew, I think your 6pm rule is sheer genius. Everything seems worse when you are overtired and doing too much. A really sensible idea! Cx

How long have you been in France? - sounds to me like it is the normal reaction of most people (at least everyone we know) who change their life and move here. It takes about 2 years to feel really settled although most of the time before that is taken up with the feeling like you’re on holiday but the doubts do click in from time to time, especially in winter! Just re read your post and realised you’ve only been here a matter of months - chin up it will get much better and spring is on the way so you’ll see a whole different side to life in France :slight_smile: