I hope that we can wake up to a brighter, trouble free world where love and friendship are of paramount importance.

Make the most of life!

Chris, do you not have British citizenship?

No good waiting for a saviour; people need to get together at local level, help each other and put up two fingers to the politicians. As for UK attitude towards us expats; they are presenting a bill to Parliament to exclude non-EU citizens from UK if they earn below £35,000 per year. So, after 2019, that could be us!


A man of few words.....


Brian that is exactly the way it is!

I do have rich friends who were as poor as I was once and

I see them once a year if I am lucky.

When we were young we had an amazing times.

Sadly her brother died in the Lockerby bombing and my friend

eventually became very wealthy and it has changed her life. But

this was due to something very dark and political......suddenly a number

of seats became available and my friend's brother was able to go on his honeymoon.

It was a journey to his death. It was diplomats who gave up their booked seats!

But for most of us who will never be rich just realise that it is not always

a great idea. Getting by nicely is probably better than have a portfolio of properties

and posh cars.

Better for your health.

Quite agree Brian but what many on this and other forums don't understand is that France is changing too. What was Nirvana for people looking to 'escape' the UK is now becoming a tough place to survive. Many expats are really struggling as they face the prospect of not being able to continue in France or move back to the UK.

Looking at the economic trends and the ways this country is changing and with the prospect of another worldwide recession on the way the future doesn't look too rosy..

French politicians on the whole 'don't give a damn' either. Hollande is a joke and Sarkozy took the p*** for five years so what hope can there be ? The voters have sussed Hollande and now mistrust Sarko thanks to his Blatteresque dealings so France is looking for a genuine patriot to do a 'Mitterand' and save the Hexagon .

Damned if you do, damned if you don't isn't it? The unpalatable truth is that people will be punished for living outside the UK but punished worse if they go back. In other words, we are all unwanted, surplus to requirement like a mass of lepers. If I wanted to go to live there I would already feel unwelcome, therefore it is a relief I have absolutely no intention of doing so.

As for those living there, well hardly heaven on earth. My sister is in London, where she grew up to the point she lives exactly opposite where her secondary school was and 200 metres from where our GP was, surrounded by friends and familiarity. She is in a flat in a housing cooperative, has been there nigh on 30 years but now the goalposts are being moved. She has a small business, makes more or less a living wage from it after paying a couple of employees and costs, no savings of any kind or other security. She has been told that because she is in business, that her daughter is mostly no longer there, that because she has a two bedroom flat (a chicken coop with partition walls) but is usually alone, she should look for somewhere else. Of course, she is also coming to normal retirement age 65 in three years, having missed 60 by months but the pension would not be enough. Finding somewhere else to live in her 60s without capital for even a deposit means she is in a corner. She has been advised she would get support and financial assistance if she leaves London. So, because she cannot afford to stay where she wants to be she is expected to move away to a place she probably does not know, her friends of a lifetime left behind and not very much to live on.

Is that a place anybody really wants to live in? They no longer care about people, it is pay or go as far as those in control are concerned. If the UK leaves the EU and many people are forced to return then they will not cope to begin with and what will they do with the people who return empty-handed? It is becoming a despicable place and those who govern really do not give a damn.

Well it is not so easy in London.

I have a good friend there who worked until recently and with a couple of

pension pots and his own home he is finding it a nightmare to keep up with

a basic life style. Now what is a basic life style? Having a very basic car to get

you off to the coast for the day in summer. The occasional take away from

an Indian restaurant and a few and some garments from Primark from time to time.

I WISH I had a magic wond too!

I have just noticed Shirlys post which collided with mine.

Yes for the rich no prob......for the poor!

I doubt the low interest rates today will savee anyone with a mortgage or personal loans in the UK Barbara, certainly not your Mr Joe Average, whose taxes and benefits have already been altered, taxes take effect immediately, but the full minimum “living working wage” will not come into effect till 2020. Benefits have already been called or reduced again with immediate effect from this April I believe. So, while the rich continue getting richer with no increase in higher tax rates for them, your Mr Average will continue getting poorer and poorer - again!

One of my sons working in the city, (London), was made redundant last summer, by his employer, I was told only recently by a friend who has known a longer than me, and told to them by my husband. He is now trying to make a living for him and his wife by being self-employed in The same area of his expertise. He used to have a salary, bonuses and lifestyle for many years, that Mr Average and me could only ever dream of!

We only bought and lived in 3 houses in UK from 1975, and sold our last one in 2007 after 8 months on the market. The 1st being the cheapest, with help of a local council 100% mortgage. On selling it at a considerable profit 7 years later. We then bought with aid of a BS mortgage, prop No.2 and within weeks of Completion interest rates shot up! We struggled but managed, which fortunately with help of Maggies local council Home Improvement Grants we improved considerably. That was sold in 1990, by which time Interest rates had reduced again and the market was rising for sellers and buyers alike! Same story - BS Mortgage, much increased and yes interest rates shot up to 15%, almost doubling our monthly repayments. That did become a struggle because at same time as move, the increased mortgage plus a bank loan had also helped us buy our
business premises which needed refurbishing for our use, it was an existing retail kitchen showroom The house was new so did t need anything done, except us to supply our own kitchen appliances at our request. By the time we sold, which took 8 months, mortgage rates were already on way down, as were interest rates on savings, that as well know is history. America has now started to increase rates, where America goes, the U.K. Eventually follows - again it may well prove in the nearer rather than later future to be another boom and bust situation! Look how the Gov is lauding now falling unemployment figures, what will happen again to those figures when interest rates Aug, as/salaries are falling - more redundancies, more debts, more immigration, less benefits,pensions, Less income from Taxes. The, European living expats, reliant on their UK State Pensions, are already affected by UK Gov policies over last 2 years.

How will they be affected again irrespective of whether the UK votes to stay in or out of Europe, especially with the opt out clauses DC is seeking to achieve. How will our families still in UK also be affected by it all!

I don’t think it takes a genius, given past history, to work out what the future

True enough Barbara but unfortunately the gap between rich and poor is getting wider just about everywhere. In France the gap is alarming with more people struggling to pay their bills.

Wish I had a magic wand..

I fear that it is probably a little to late to change the ways of London.

All this has materialism has been building up over many years and has

taken over the city. Most people who want to change that style of living

have left. Only the very rich are surviving.

You and I and can only remember.

I do remember London as an amazing place where the rich, poor and in

between seemed to live a contented life.

INo Barbara - we can’t change the past - but we can work towards changing the future - which could or may one day, help eventually to change the world!

Doing what comes naturally to one person doesn’t necessarily come naturally to another. We all care and share in our own ways, the subject matter most often being the differences in and between us all.

We need carers and sharers from all nationalities and walks of life, a really big ask I know, but listening, learning and debating can be a good start - hopefully!

I was/am married to someone who almost always had his head stuck in the sand, especially on the subject of philosophy! Give him a practical task to do or discuss, and he was in his element, because ‘he always knew best’ in his words. That may have been true in one area of expertise/professionalism, but constantly ramming that down other people’s throats wasn’t helpful, on other subjects. He could have learnt a lot from both his and my father, if he’d listened to them more when he was younger.
Also there is a big difference in sensing and knowing, unless natural instinct about things, always proves you right. I like to listen to expert views on Radio/ TV or by personal and actual involvement in things, as here on SFN and elsewhere.

And, of course I do not read economic journals I can sense what is going on.

It is so very hard for Joe average to survive in or near London and at some

point soon everyone there will surely have to pay for medical treatment.

There is almost no land to grow food unless you are an established farmer.

When the interest rates rise all hell will let loose.....perhaps that has saved

many people from disaster....the low rates.

Just keeping our spirits up and getting by is good enough for us.

I hear too that France will get back on her feet financially and all will be

well by 2030. 'Ashes to Ashes'

Economists are divided on this but the signs are that financially and economically this is going to be a tough year. If a bunch of idiots decides that the UK should leave the EU, then 200 Osbornes are not going to convince the world the UK is worth touching, so better off here with dwindling values and spiralling prices (of everything) that clutching at straws on what would be a sinking ship is worth the effort. I am amazed when I look at how UK media is glossing over what much of the rest of the world is saying, saying that, for instance, the Chinese crisis does not affect the UK and so on. Read serious economics journals and see what a ship of fools they are. France is not that much better but at least they are not deceiving people by making out that it is all hunky-dory.

The 17th jan 2016. Well It looks like I may just carry on doing what

I do here in Gironde.But I have been told there will be another

financial crash imminent and by next year property and gold will

survive all other investments.

So lets see.....if I need the grass cutting I will call in a team of goats.

I began'2016' in the hope that we could all move away from the misery

which covers the world like a fog which never goes away.

How I ever managed to pass any exam at school I will never know

as the dates and details in history and all my other subjects are

lost with yesterday. So I do not engage in political data, drive a car,

follow directional instructions and activity which has a sequence.

So I stick to what comes naturally.

What comes naturally is the appreciation of people, animals and the

aesthetics in life and although France is far from perfect it has a

bounty of beautiful assets and an abundance of tranquillity.

We can not change the world but we can enjoy what we have.

In fact you are kind of saying what Karl Marx wrote in Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie but developed better in Das Kapital. That has always been theoretical, indeed probably Adam Smith and David Ricardo said it just as well without being critical of the role of capitalism as the force that drives political economies, therefore sets the price and value of labour low, the lives of the labourers lower but attached value to the efficiency of production and its profitable maintenance. It has never been put into practice although the majority of countries that adopted Stalinist or Maoist versions of communism had it in their constitutions. China still does. National socialist Germany and fascist Italy did not, in their way they sheltered economic liberalism behind a veil of state control - but then think of the big companies who made a lot of the capital they still use today from armaments and other war related economic activities who are among the biggest of their kind in the world. VW, Daimler-Benz, Krupps, Beretta and so on.