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Books about moving to and living in France
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Jensen



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Poitou Charentes

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
I know that this is the France thread....but it's interesting that you've mentioned Yorkshire as we're hoping to move there (or Lancashire) from Ibiza Very Happy
After 20+ years we want a different life....and sunshine is way overated Laughing

Mousie
x


Wow ! That's some change but I can understand why .

My Auntie has just moved back to North Yorkshire about 35 years out here in France. She absolutely loves it except for the bloody weather (her words Very Happy )

My old man always used to say "The grass is not always greener on the other side but it's sure as hell a different colour "
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7213
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true Jensen. I think we did it the reverse way by coming out here in my 30's and returning to Blighty for 'retirement'. We just miss culture, history, live music, theatre, the ability to travel on easy flights at good prices. Island life can be restrictive.

I'm sure we'll embrace the weather....and once the pets are gone we will be looking to spend a few months abroad if it all pans out.

Mousie
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Jensen



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Poitou Charentes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
So true Jensen. I think we did it the reverse way by coming out here in my 30's and returning to Blighty for 'retirement'. We just miss culture, history, live music, theatre, the ability to travel on easy flights at good prices. Island life can be restrictive.

I'm sure we'll embrace the weather....and once the pets are gone we will be looking to spend a few months abroad if it all pans out.

Mousie
x


Probably as well as retireing to Ibiza club scene might just have finished you off Shocked Shocked We were there for a weekend in August and it nearly did me Very Happy You must feel realy cut off in winter as I was looking at flights recently and like most med island destinations they just stop !!

I wish you all the best for your return to Lancashire, have lived there as well and if you do your homework you can have the beauty of Yorkshire for less Mind you every where's expensive property wise in the UK Sad

Bon chance
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4659
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jensen wrote:
You must feel realy cut off in winter as I was looking at flights recently and like most med island destinations they just stop !! . . .
Mind you every where's expensive property wise in the UK Sad


I don't think property's really going to be a problem, have you seen the prices in Ibiza?

I do agree about being cut off though. I hate islands. I once spent a week on Majorca and I was going insane because I felt marooned there and couldn't go anywhere else. Really bad holiday.
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SPJ



Joined: 28 Dec 2015
Posts: 177
Location: Aquitaine

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a book, but some more thoughts on what to bear in mind when moving here:
Make friends with your local mayor and mayor's office, especially if you are in a small commune. They have real power and can help enormously if they are on your side. In fact it's worth finding out beforehand if the mayor is pro "incomers" and be cautious of buying in a commune that does not welcome "foreigners".
Where possible use local tradespeople and beware of using English "on the black" all the time. You will be respected and more welcomed if you use local resource.
Think about local infrastructure - lovely to be miles from anywhere, but are you going to have to drive 40 minutes each way to choose lampshades, door handles, buy a new ladder? And will there be somewhere for you to pop out to and have a meal in deepest, darkest winter? Or does your village completely shut down between seasons? House hunt in winter and then you'll learn how vibrant your local economy is. It's still possible to be deep in the country and only 10 minutes from a town that has DIY shops and supermarkets - we are!
Make friends with everyone you come across. Take every opportunity to chat - your postman, the local shopkeeper, your doctor, your neighbours (especially. Like the mayor you want them on your side). And forget "integration". You won't have time. You'll be working, either preparing your gite or running your gite. If possible make a few good English friends, you'll need them! Winter in fact is not the time to hibernate but the time to join a club - photography, painting, ramblers, creative writing, book club, bridge - and to invite those few close friends around for meals and catch up on the gossip after not having seen them all summer. Doesn't matter how strong your relationship with your other half is, you need some space from each other and other friendships in your lives.
Be disciplined with offering invites to friends / relations, especially in high season. That week they take up is worth 1,000 euros to you! And they will take up your time wanting to be "entertained" when you are working / running a business.
When your gite is ready, have an "open day". Invite the mayor, neighbours and any local builders who you've used. Put a sign on the gate. Offer aperos and lots of nibbles - the French always welcome a chance to eat! The local community may well be a source of business - weddings, etc where relations come from far and wide and need somewhere to stay.
Buy your major capital equipment at the beginning while you still have money in the bank. 10,000 euros for a John Deere mower is much easier to spend while you still have capital than when you are trying to find the money out of income.
Bear in mind the jobs that you will be doing almost daily - like mowing, hoovering - and take a strategic decision: buy cheaply and throw away frequently or buy expensively and know the machine will be up to the task. We initially bought Lidl hoovers, we now have two Miele.
Think long and hard about the amount of storage space you will need (and then double it!). Linen cupboards for stacks of bedding, somewhere to store (weather proof) sun loungers, cushions, large umbrellas, outside tables and chairs during winter, pots with plants that are not frost hardy (if you can overwinter your geraniums etc you'll save yourself a fortune)
I'm sure there's loads of other stuff to bear in mind. Hope this helps. Sue


Last edited by SPJ on Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7213
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moliere wrote:
Jensen wrote:
You must feel realy cut off in winter as I was looking at flights recently and like most med island destinations they just stop !! . . .
Mind you every where's expensive property wise in the UK Sad


I don't think property's really going to be a problem, have you seen the prices in Ibiza?

I do agree about being cut off though. I hate islands. I once spent a week on Majorca and I was going insane because I felt marooned there and couldn't go anywhere else. Really bad holiday.


Laughing Laughing luckily there is another 'non clubbing' side to the island, but Mols is right....you have to have a certain mentality for small island living. The traits are documented.

I may pm you Jensen when we're at the stage of buying as I don't know the area very well so will need to do research.

Mousie (apologising for the TC)
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Le roi de Prusse



Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPJ wrote:
Not a book, but some more thoughts on what to bear in mind when moving here... I'm sure there's loads of other stuff to bear in mind. Hope this helps. Sue


Thank you for taking the time to write this Sue, so helpful. Very Happy
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4659
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I've just remembered some enjoyable books which I think are set in the area you're looking at - vicinity of Poitiers possibly?

They are the "Tout Sweet" series by Karen Wheeler. There are 5 of them and give a pretty hands-on account of getting to grips with the everyday realities, but told in a very determined and charming manner. Rather good.

Mols
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petitbois



Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 338

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so agree with SPJ...now retiring & closing our B&B/gite business after 15yrs & may reopen gites to regulars only in 2020 (need to change our tax regime or find a buyer) Anyone want to take over a 5bed manoir + Gitefor2, Giitefor5, tennis court, huge pool, 11acres of grounds near busy village in Charente??? Ranked in top3 in region on TA...good income stream for 15yrs.....
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Pendragon



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 151
Location: Live in Brittany, flat in Nice

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might like to try "Culture shock France" it was written for the American market but has some very useful tips.

I was born and raised in London but spent 24 years in California, we bought a holiday home in France and decided we would prefer to retire there. As Mouse says the sun is over rated. In the 17 years we have had the house and the 12 we have lived here permanently we have seen many Britons buy houses with land and just as many leave, actually the same people. Land is attractive as a concept the reality is as Jenson says a lot of hard work and expense. Even after a two week stay away they come back to mowing and whatever other things people do on land. My OH wanted land but we bought on the edge of a village. The countryside is all around us but we don't have to work it, there are woods for walking the dog. We have clubs for painting, Judo, Breton dancing, a music school, a fitness class, a swimming pool in the summer and a gym. Bars and restaurants. There are often things happening in the village hall. Best of all we can walk to all of them, even the Supermarket. Having to drive even ten minutes to buy a loaf or a bottle of milk can be too much in the middle of winter. Pick you location carefully and good luck in finding the perfect place.
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Le roi de Prusse



Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pendragon.

I think having land will be a secondary consideration to finding the right house. However, we'd like enough to have a decent garden to sit in, to accommodate a swimming pool and a play area for children close enough to the house to be safe but far enough away so that visitors who want to relax aren't disturbed by other people's kids.

We'd also like to be able to grow fruit, vegetables and fresh flowers for the house and keep some chickens, a goat or two and La Reine de Prusse's latest obsession - three or four Alpacas! Also we have two Bassets so we'd need room for them too.

So, just four or five acres then Confused
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