I’m working on a feature and as part of it, I would love to get some (one liner!) type quotes about those things that you wish you had (or hadn’t!) put on the lorry!
I know that this has been discussed before but it’s always good to get a fresh perspective…
So if anyone would like to comment (it can be anon if you prefer) and tell me what you wish you had or hadn’t brought with you and why (would it have been cheaper / simpler / easier to replace the item in France, for example? ) And if so, where would you go to buy it?
Any top tips for moving with kids and / or teens also welcome too!
(N. B The obvious answer with teens is leave them behind but that is probably not what my readership want to hear… !!)
In hindsight I would have used nothing but vermiculite for packing fragile objects…doesn’t weigh much, invaluable for taking cuttings, growing alpines and similar horticultural endeavours. And well nigh impossible to find here at an acceptable price.
After living here for 12 years I can only think of one thing that we should have brought more of and that is paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets.
Still can get 3 packets for £1 in UK but here!!!
however on the plus side life is so relaxed now that such tablet consumption is rare.
I brought a rather long piece of driftwood (about 1.5m long) from a beach in the new forest as my cat loved it as a scratching post in the garden…oh and I brought many many tins of Sheba only for him to decide he didn’t like Sheba anymore when he went all Mediterranean on me! Yes he was spoilt!!
It has always been a long standing joke with many I know here to answer a family members question of “is there anything you would like us to bring from the UK?” by requesting over the counter medication that I have described. I am aware that here such tablets come in 2 for one form but to buy them here to take to England seems strange and being bigger they are harder to swallow
Folk have different preferences. I have to have medication in powder or soluble form and would prefer to deal with pain etc without any meds. But it is not always possible.
Beechams cold and flu remedy is sought by French neighbours, so I shal be putting some of that alongsidethe Branston Pickle another neighbour has *ordered into my already bulging suitcase. Must leave room fora good shop at M & S while we are here.
I endorse Stella’s pickle advice and, if you like to rustle up a faux-Indian curry, bring some decent Indian curry powder with you, and some ‘authentic’ Indian lime pickle, garlic pickle or similar, because in Normandy at least, it’s just not available in local towns.
The curry tradition in France seems to be mainly North African, Thai or Indonesian.
Indian spices may be found in the bigger cities though.
I don’t even see fresh chillies in our closest Super U, though the Cleunay Leclerc had fresh Scotch bonnet chillies the last time we called plus some larger mild green chillies (which was useful as we needed them for a marinade).
There’s a decent enough range of Schwartz dried spices in the local supermarché but nothing much in the way of curry pastes, and definitely no lime pickle!
These days I don’t like carrying bulging suitcases so I use Parcel2Go to send back a box - usually about £12 for a box about the size of a case of wine that weighs around 10kg. So far has always arrived in good order within around 5 days.
Personally, no - the closest (Rennes) would be an hour’s drive - we drive through (or rather around) Rennes on the way to/from the ports to the house which is why we occasionally stop at the Cleunay Leclerc - given that we drive past it on the Rocade but normally it’s too far for a visit.
Poor you, supermarkets here have a massive range of Patak’s and Geeta’s curry pastes, pickles and chutneys. Not even in the weirdy foreign aisle (with the salad cream, 1950s ration packetfood, Fray Bentos pies and suchlike abominations): in normal aisles.
“Not even in the weirdy foreign aisle (with the salad cream, 1950s ration packetfood, Fray Bentos pies and suchlike abominations):”
This gave me a much-needed belly-laugh, Véronique, for which thank you.
“Weirdy” is definitely le mot juste, I get a shuddering, creepy, sepulchral feeling in our modern and revamped Utile supermarché as I tip-toe past the untouched and sorrowful packets of Scotch shortbread, Bisto, jars of mincemeat, and dusty Eccles cakes. Where’s the salmon and shrimp or bloater fish-paste, I find myself griping?
Never mind, the Pork Scratchings are there!
Brexit will presumably draw a line under these monstrosities after the… Thirty… First…Of…October😜