What did you wish you’d brought or left behind

Our house in the UK is in the market and all being well, we will be FT in France by early Autumn. Except for the kitchen, I’m not really a hoarder but interested to know what you wish you’d brought with you or left behind before you moved here.

We haven’t moved, but if we did I would want to bring my favourite guitars and amps, our kitchen table (been in the family 3 generations) the drawer unit my wife stripped & refinished, the books I’ve collected over the years and family photos both print and electronic. Everything else is just stuff, replaceable in exchange for money.

Basically the things that have personal significance. I had some good times riding the bicycles in our shed, but they don’t mean much to me.


Not sure I would have had the courage to leave them behind when we moved here 15 summers ago because I was still struggling with the idea of “retirement” and not being a “commuting working woman” any longer - so all my business suits and blouses came with us. I think I wore one or two about twice for meetings back in London and then they hung in the wardrobe reproachfully for years. Living in the depth of France Profonde there’s not much call for London business meeting attire, so in the end they went back in someone’s van to the first suburban Oxfam shop. I kept one cream blouse - useful for funerals - and beige linen trousers and jacket for meals in our favourite Michelin star restaurant in Agen where all the elderly women dressed to the nines.


Ah yes the books……god help me….

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I can relate. I’ve been retired for four years now and have got rid of them little by little. Hesitantly at first and then with actual glee. I have a single pair of trousers and a few lovely blouses left from that era that will be going. I haven’t really weeded silk scarves but neither do I wear them so I will keep a couple that were my mum’s.

My dress code is so different these days even in England and I’m much more likely to wear a dress for dressy. In France, I’m even more relaxed and so much the better for it.

I wish I’d left my right-hand drive car in the UK and instead brought a left-hand drive car in the UK. We bought a French car, they’re oh-so expensive and yet my British car was worthless. LHD cars in the UK are so cheap!

One thing I’m glad I did bring over is my old Sky set top box. A quick phone call to Sky to cancel my subscription and 5 minutes pointing the satellite dish in a different direction, and we now have free-to-air UK TV channels (just without the ability to record or access on-demand).

Edit: how could I forget… Teabags! Bring plenty of teabags with you cause Lipton yellow is awful. I can buy Twining’s at my local Carrefour but I applied for a job with them and didn’t get it so refuse to buy their tea now :grin:


Someone else posted about what to do with books you no longer want on another thread, but if you are going to get rid of any books I would do it in the UK.

Not lose the ones you love obviously but it is all the books that make many of the boxes so heavy. Even if you pack the boxes half books and half something light!

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Very interesting. We have been debating about the 4 year old RHD car and buying a LHD here but I think you have to pay duty unless you’ve owned it 6 months and now I think we might just hang onto it for a few more years. We only have one and previously have hung on to them for upwards of 8 years.

Re the sky box. Great idea! How far down are you?

I started off taking favourite tea bags down and a pot but we’ve got used to PG tips on a string which we can get in the Casino.

Yes we’ve moved them before and although I don’t want to I am going to get rid of some (the many not the few) this time. Luckily we have a great charity bookshop near us which raises money for local causes.

We’re in the Medoc - halfway between Royan and Bordeaux.

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Don’t forget the sky box.

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Ive had sky boxes of various types over the years, but unless you still pay for a subscription I wouldn’t bother now. Most channels will be unavailable and its a PITA scrolling through them. A Manhattan box or similar is much more convenient

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I wish I’d been able to bring my large collection of books, collected over many years and cherished. Unfortunately, before moving, they went into storage temporarily. Said storage was flooded and all my books destroyed except for the few I had kept in the house.


Oh no hairbear, that is just dreadful.

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Things I wish I’d left behind:

  • couple of suits and sports jackets;
  • most of my CDs (now all ripped to MP3s);
  • all of our DVDs (too busy to watch them);


90% of my wife’s clothes!

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I have a Sky box, and also a Freesat box. From previous discussions, I know I live near to where you are going. If you’re worried about signal, I have a 1.2m dish (which is big) and that’s the size you will need, along with a good quality LNB.
If you need more info, you can pm me. My line of work was design and development of satellite receivers :slightly_smiling_face:.

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You only wear 10% of your wife’s clothes?!


Thats not real tea.
Its the same with curry powder in France, no matter how much you use the dish doesn’t get stronger.
So my tip is bring plenty of your favourite teas and curry powder.

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We are slightly further south and an 80cm dish is working well.

I do have a Sky subscription which is my personal luxury.

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