We just feel we have to give a shoutout to our neighbours and feel others need the same whether they are on this forum or not.
We got in touch with our neighbours by various searches and asked for their help. Risky, one might say, especially as we are still in UK and do not know them. However, they turn out to be as far as we know nice people and were willing to assist… We hope all will go well with them and we applaud them for their help.
This is a shoutout for neighbours, especially in a rural environment, without whom many could not manage. We could have but they were there to assist.
In a rural environment, there is often much more neighbourliness than in a town/city… and that goes for many countries…
I’m pleased your new-to-you neighbours have come up trumps… it all bodes well for your home-coming.
We hope so and know they have been very kind and helpful.
This thread is about all those who have relied on neighbours and whether they are on this forum or deserve a shoutout for their help. There must be plenty of us who have relied on the kindness and genererosity of our neighbours to get by and make life better.
Hope SF people who have benefitted from the help of their neighbours will like this post or reply.
It makes a big difference
Don’t be too complacent though, there are rotten eggs everywhere, even more so these days. My neighbours “back home” became my best friends and still keep in touch and without them in 2011 supporting me through my grief I don’t know what I would have done after the children left.
Stella agree! Difficult to tell who is good or bad, time will tell all. We will not be rushing into neighbourly relations or anything else as such. We take the French attitude, which is slowly slowly… vous rather than tu and no invites to meals for a good while. Slowly, slowly. But we are really looking forward to getting back home nonetheless
Our neighbours, all around, are brilliant. We help each other when needed without hesitation. For me, it’s part of living in the country, whether it’s France or the UK. It’s been my way of life all my life, so just natural for me.
In saying that, @shiba is right. You do have to be careful at first. Trust is earned and trust is valuable.
Ah, hairbear, thank you for replying. Agree entirely, trust is paramount
Our first winter here we had been back to the UK for new year. Horrendous drive back, following a snow plough down the motorway at snail speed with the wipers going like crazy - and truly crazy cars trying to overtake in near zero visibility. Finally made it back well after midnight to find neighbour had shovelled paths to our front door and garage.
Bang up to date here. My neighbours noticed that Fran had gone to hospital, in some urgence too. Firstly Marie-Paule came across bearing a lettuce. She must have bought it, they don’t grow their own. Interesting the thought process behind it, almost as if the shopper and cook of the house had been taken from us and support was needed for the helpless man. In fact for very many years I have fulfilled both of those roles so life continues as usual. But as has been said many times, ‘it is the thought that counts’.
Paulette from opposite walked across their piece of land between our 2 houses to say ‘if there is anything you need, just let us know’.
Marie-Paule is now also the keeper of the keys, or at least the place where they hang on the fence, for the padlock which chains the gate shut while I am away at hospital. This is to avoid having the dogs in the car in this hot weather and so they can have free run of the house and garden without the danger of an innocent visitor mistakenly letting them out by opening the gate.
We are the oldies here. We only have to ask for a bit of a hand if we need younger muscle or help with collecting a car etc.
Our Marie-Paule and Mario are about 20 years younger, but Paulette and Michel across the field are nearer our age. When we only had one car and that was off the road awaiting a gearbox change, we couldn’t have existed without the kindness of neighbours, being 4 kms away from the nearest shop. One reason why I bought the electric trike with large paniers later.
I like the sound of that trike… I certainly can’t manage with only 2 wheels (and no stabilisers)
We consider ourselves extremly lucky. We moved in on the 18th of december and on the 19th we had 4 neighbours knocking at the door asking if we needed anything. They showed us the 2 supermarkets, One neighbout went with us to the Maire’s office, arranged for some logs, and ordered the heating oil. Since then I have been able to repay their kindness and generosity and willingness many times over by repairing their small engines , welding their knackered old lawnmower decks and and lots of other small jobs for them. We have fantastic neighbours who all speak english in varying degrees. We use the local artisans for tree surgery, fencing and patio replacement and other jobs which reflects in their attitude towards us.
Indeed… always be polite, careful and kind…
I’ve proved that even the hardest-hearted, foreigner-hating neighbour will succumb in the end…
One of our best friends here was one of the local young commandants of @Le Resistance@ for this area. He insists on speaking english (which I might add is amazing). He told me in the beginning to watch out for who and who naming them as well.
Yes, such helpful info, discretely given… can be invaluable.
One lovely neighbour warned me “be careful what you say to the lady over there as she is very indiscreet and will embellish everything you say when she passes it on…”
I decided to reserve judgement but was, none the less, careful… and, yes, I soon discovered for myself that she is a gossip… a real gossip and… as we all know gossip can cause hurt/upset/misunderstandings…
so even after all these years, I’m always very careful what I say to her… I’m pleasant/kind etc as is my way… but I keep schtum about anything I don’t want embroidered and bandied about…
Gossips, I used to enjoy listening to who was bedding who, who had run off with a younger woman and leaving his wife and so on plus who currently was an alcoholic. Thankfully I knew most of it to be untrue and never divulged anything, everyone was related to everyone else in my old commune so you never opened your mouth about other people!
My family here have good neighbours who were so pleased to see a young couple move into the cul-de-sac and then have two little ones. One neighbour we call underpants because he never has any trousers on, just those disgusting big white baggy Y-fronts and he is always popping across the road when my son is out front painting or gardening for a chat and then everyone hears his wife threatening to kill him for sitting in front of the TV most evening andhim calling her a miserable old salope. Free entertainment.
Free entertainment is true. Last time we lived in France we had an incredibly nosy neighbour. I was talking to her one day and said the curtains I had bought were too long. She was incredibly enthusiastic about putting this right for me. She really only wanted to see what we had done inside the house. Anyway I wasn’t too fussed about her seeing our sitting room and the dining room so I asked her to come round with her sewing machine. She was there inside five mins! It was only a while later that the news came round back to me that she counted the shocking fact we had 8 electric lamps in our sitting room so how rich we must be.
On the other hand being such a nose, she was incredibly useful for goss about others in the village and surrounds. Lived there all her life as had her husband. She had the low down on everyone. All kept secret with us but it provided me and OH with a laugh of an evening when one of us had bumped into her and got ‘news’
I have lived for 20 years in SW France. Firstly in a small village, and after a couple of years in a large, very rural commune. We have one immediate French neighbour here. They are perfect!
I was intrigued from the outset by the concept of ‘commune’ here. Brits don’t understand it, if we are honest, because it doesn’t exist in the same way in England (at least). But in rural France they are born into a community where they start their education together; have a maire with an elected committee that is required to run their local affairs; and other groups who exist to organise all sorts of social gatherings. Within that, ‘family’ is all-important. They don’t casually socialise.
But if you need help, or support of any kind, then ‘fraternite’ is their password. Those of you who have been to a funeral mass will know what I mean - the whole village turns out in support, even tho’ they never go to church normally.