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 Welcome from the banana republic

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David Grantham



Location : Midlands, England

PostSubject: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 8:28 am

Good morning everyone from the only democracy in the world elected by a hoody in Sheffield and controlled by an unelected one eyed Scottish gentlemen with a party whose most seats are in another country.

Anyway, to the point.

Seriously how does one decide which part of France to emigrate to and what are the main reasons for CGT members being so widely dispersed.
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 9:01 am

David Grantham wrote:


Seriously how does one decide which part of France to emigrate to and what are the main reasons for CGT members being so widely dispersed.

Without wishing to get involved in British politics too much - I gave up interest after 1982.

I emigrated to France because of my French wife and due to her job we had to be within commuting distance of Paris, which we are still, but only just!

We are so widely dispersed because France is 5 times larger than England and the forests are still growing at 3% per year.
There's a bit more room to move and feel free here.

Some people like the warmer south but that too is spread over great distances. Even Paris is about 2° warmer than London on average.

It's not difficult in my opinion to live here at all, language is a help but not a pre-requisite. Working presents problems for immigrants, especially old'uns.

If you need any more specific advice let us know.

I have no plans to return to the UK to live... or to die.

BTW The hospitals are a lot less stressed here from where I've just come back and I can now start to resume 'normal' activities.... gently.
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 9:34 am

David, you should consider northern Spain, it already has the railways you love. We found it to remind us of Ireland except it was warmer when it rained. Everything is green, it smells of cow s**t cos they are too poor to use chemicals on the fields. The beaches are empty (except July - August). Supposedly the best health service in Europe ( if you can get into it) and you can get on the boat to go back and get essentials if you need. We also have a huge International Airport at Santander. Bureaucracy is a nightmare but Leroy Merlin is good. Petrol is about €1.20 a litre. What else, mmm , proper chorizo, fabada, fish and shellfish - there is a very nice house for sale next to us - about €500,000 but there are cheaper ones in the village, it's more expensive than the sunny south but soooooooooooo relaxed - if you can manage the paperwork. There ain't no work tho' - hey but who needs that ?

And in Spain they are actually pouring money into the rail network bigtime.

Patrick

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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Bearcastle



Location : Brie

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 10:53 am

France is vast as Carl said, if you have the project to come here.

Think of what life you want, but always think for a big town not too far,as public services are now concentrating in bigger town.

There's a lot of different type of climate and countryside a place with higher ground change things as well (winter for exemple, even in the south).

If you want a big garden, country side is the best or with some distances from big town.

The coast line is always expensive and busy in summer.

But, it's true there's a lot of choice.

So start thinking of what life you want in France and I am sure everyone will help you to find some nice region and places to look at.
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 11:44 am

We had holidayed in France for thirty years, but always in the Brittany area. We decided to retire here yonks ago. When my mother in law developed alzheimers my wife had to stop work to look after her and we couldnt afford the mortgage on one income so we decided to come here straight away. Some friends had moved to the Dordogne so we spent a holiday with them and fell in love with the place. We sold our house, settled our mortgage and still had enough for a 6 bed house, 5850 sq metres of land and a swimming pool. Been here ten years and although we had a nasty experience with a belgian who conned us out of 30 grand we still love it. never been back to UK since. Space, hardly any crime, mild climate (43 in summer). Prices are about the same as UK now (except the property, though that is rising)

mikey
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 2:30 pm

I think were it not for the fact I have a disabled son to look after (and will always have to look after) I would have been there some time ago. Best of luck to you David.

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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GWhizz



Location : Charente, France

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 7:27 pm

David

Your post seems to imply not whether you should, but where in France to settle!

As others have said, the sheer size of the country is often not appreciated! There are significant regional differences in climate, culture, housing costs and transport options!

I guess budget will always be the number one determinant. If you are looking to buy a few hectares of land with a sea view on the Cote d'Azur you need to have won Euromillions.

On the other hand a very reasonable and sizeable property can be purchased in the Charente for 150k euros.

If you plan to travel back to the UK at all? Proximity to an Airport or TGV is essential.

Through this forum you have a number of contacts, so why not plan a tour, you'll be most welcome here for example. You're no stranger to France, I remember you at Geoff's last summer!

We are four years and counting and have absolutely no regrets and couldn't face the prospect of returning to the UK. But don't do we as we did, took a flight to LImoges for an exploratory weekend, and ended up buying a property on a whim on that first visit, we were just lucky!

BTW if you want to immerse yourself in French culture avoid the Dordogne and Charente they're full of expat Brits.

Clive, you should seriously look at France re your disabled son, schooling and medical facilities here are excellent!

bon chance

_________________
Brian
Brian
also blogging at
www.frenchgardenrailways.com
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 7:58 pm

GWhizz wrote:
David

Through this forum you have a number of contacts, so why not plan a tour, you'll be most welcome here for example. You're no stranger to France, I remember you at Geoff's last summer!

To anyone touring.....we can accomodate 4 people easily and comofortably.
............

GWhizz wrote:

BTW if you want to immerse yourself in French culture avoid the Dordogne and Charente they're full of expat Brits.

Not many around here.....only me!

GWhizz wrote:

Clive, you should seriously look at France re your disabled son, schooling and medical facilities here are excellent!

bon chance

I would endorse that wholeheartedly. The health service is private and operates through a system of reimbursement by insurance.
Even if you pay cash a visit to the GP costs about 25 euros...And that is a proper visit in that your buttocks do actually touch the chair before you get a prescription.

I don't exactly know what care would be required or could be provided for Steven but if you do ever think about it and would like to find out we could make some enquiries if you wish. Valérie (my wife) is good at making enquiries!

I came back from a very relaxed, unstressed hospital where people have the time and are genuinely interested in your health.
Only I didn't entirely understand the language/pronunciation fully.

"Monsieur ribzz avez vous des selles....."

I said "Mais pourquoi vous me demandez du sel ?"

"Non Monsieur ribzz...pas du sel.....DES SELLES !!!!"

I said "Il y a des sels differents ?"

"Non Monsieur ribzz.....DES SELLES qui sortent de l'anus......"

I said "Ah......d'accord...... Je comprends......Err non....pas encore......" Embarassed
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 8:08 pm

Well schooling is no longer applicable in my son's case as he leaves at the end of this term. Thereafter, he is in the tender care of various government agencies for his 'working week' - not that he will ever work. It has taken us the best part of 2 years to get funding for that. It was bad enough doing so where we are speaking English, i wouldn't even know where to begin if i was having to do the same thing in France! It's possible that such provisions don't exist over there anyway. Even so, in all honesty it wouldn't take much to convince me to go there - my wife, on the other hand, is an entirely different proposition!

But, it takes no effort or risk to dream, and indeed i can enjoy the many tales from friends on here...

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Fri May 07, 2010 8:26 pm

The big difference here is that there is still a government that provides assistance and help for people without it first being controlled by accountants and profiteers.

It is not so difficult to ask for things and get things sorted in French. When I came here I spoke next to nothing.....now look, 140 teenage nutters to keep under control.
Anything is possible.

BTW, in response to the outcome of the election, one of my students asked me today.

"Monsieur ribbies.....why av zay 'ung ze parliament ?" Shocked

Maybe they should have!
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philkelly



Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Sun May 09, 2010 9:30 pm

We first started touring and staying in France 30 years ago, introduced by a French-speaking English friend. It was a revelation that even with a small child you could drive from town to town and without booking, provided you stopped early enough, find a hotel and a restaurant in most medium sized towns. We stayed in gites, mostly in the South and took three or four days each way, making it part of the holday. We never used the autoroutes. On one return journey we stopped in Confolens in Charente. Matthew (then 6, now 30!) asked if we could get home by tomorrow - we would normally have made one more overnight stop. So we looked at the map, decided we were near enough to the A10 started early and took 13 hours to get home, long but acceptable. So we knew that that area was a day's drive from London, even in a small car. Then we started talking about buying a holiday home - a very cheap one. We saw an ad in the Sunday Times from an agency working with various notaires - for the station cafe in Civray - 50,000 francs (less than £5000 then). The cafe was a wash-out - not even a garden - but we looked at other places and took the plunge on the place we have now in 1989 - because the neighbours were very welcoming. It certainly doesn't seem 21 years ago. We went three or four times a year. Friends said that it would tie us down, but we still take holidays elsewhere too. We've done it up gradually over the years. Poitiers is the nearest town, and there were notices in the station about the imminent inauguration of the TGV Atlantique service. "One day soon," I told Dorothy, " we will be able to get a train from here to Paris in two hours - and in ten years or so, there will be trains from Paris to London under the Channel." We were the first Brits - as Brian says, there are lots more now, but France is still mostly French - charm, anarchy and the three hour lunch alternating with rigid bureaucracy; surly supermarket staff and those with welcoming smiles (especially if you converse in Fench) who can't do enough; tradesmen like plumbers who arrive on time, do the work, don't have tea breaks and almost apologise for taking your money. Our hamlet is little changed. As to moving permanently - probably not. But Dorothy has retired and now pops down for long weekends to water the plants. Three week summer holidays have become two months for both of us, and both our boys have used it with their friends...Best investment we ever made. Vive la France!
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David Grantham



Location : Midlands, England

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Mon May 10, 2010 9:55 am

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments and reflections.

It may be that this autumn/winter we should lease a place for a month or two in the Normandy/Brittany area and see how we get on.

Many thanks,
David
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French Chuffed



Location : Droitwich UK

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Mon May 10, 2010 4:12 pm

Hi David,
Having just returned from a short trip to the ‘Banana Republic’ to remind ourselves as to why we came here.
We toured France for many years using gites and towing a caravan
We moved here just before I retired officially, so don’t need to earn any money in this laid back economy. We didn’t go so far south as many do, for convenience of trips back to see the remaining family, just 1 ½ hours south of St Malo the weather is slightly better than the UK and the quality of life 10 times better (provided your not looking for night life and discos) when you talk to the local French and you tell them you moved here for the space they have no concept of what you are on about as they have grown up with it and just accept it as the norm. But being back to the UK with its traffic chaos and housing estate’s on what would be the size of my garden, the closeness and pressure of people is very apparent.
I just tell people we slowly moved house along the south coast of the UK going ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ until we fell of the end and ended up in Brittany just like the Celts.
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Mon May 10, 2010 5:02 pm

Just to put a balance on the discussion I did write this article (of several) about 6 years ago for the BBC which is still published on their website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/yoursay/changing_places/france/life_in_france_no_holiday.shtml.

I still feel the same about the 'Banlieue'
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Mon May 10, 2010 6:02 pm

An advantage to being in Spain is that you don't have to learn French . Laughing

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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French Chuffed



Location : Droitwich UK

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Mon May 10, 2010 8:17 pm

But you have to learn B.... Spanish!!! Exclamation
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Tue May 11, 2010 3:09 pm

"France is 5 times larger than England " - which means it's almost as big as Texas! Very Happy

"France is vast " - does that imply England is half-vast? lol!

"mild climate (43 in summer) - 43 is mild? either in celsius of farentheit I wouldn't classify it as mild. Razz


I'm no expert on the topic of living in France, but as one who has many many brief visits to France, it ranks high on my list as a great place to retire to. Not that I could ever convince my xenophobic wife of that.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Tue May 11, 2010 3:27 pm

So whats the odd 59,000 square miles between friends Bill?

Mikey
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Knotty Ash



Location : North Wales

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Tue May 11, 2010 3:49 pm

mikeyh wrote:
So whats the odd 59,000 square miles between friends Bill?

Mikey

You think you have problems my wife lives in Wales and very very ever leaves our town!! Les
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Tue May 11, 2010 3:55 pm

In that case i wish my wife lived in Texas!! Very Happy

mikey
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Mike B



Location : Just outside Marbella, Spain

PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:15 pm

pjti wrote:
An advantage to being in Spain is that you don't have to learn French . Laughing

¡Exactamente! Laughing

Actually having learnt French at school proved to be a slight hindrance when we first moved here as I always found French words popping into my head instead of the Spanish! Interesting conversations!

¡Hasta luego!

Miguel

_________________
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http://www.grsuk.com
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome from the banana republic   Today at 12:43 pm

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