I have lived in the center of france since Dec2004, I live with my son Charles in a caravan whilst we are trying to renovate our very old property, we have 2 hectares of land and a small vinyard (don't get excited it needs a lot of work, established in 1928 and doesnt look like its been cut since then) we have our own veggys and animals well too many thats for sure, Sheep, goats, one Pig Wendy named after my dear sister, Barbury Ducks, Dorking Chickens and others, Dog, Cat and plenty of those furey things called rats.
We don't speak an enormus amount of french but we manage to get along. We don't have electric until Limoges decides to give us a certificate of compliance etc etc and all that entails.
I have looked at this site a number of times, but today I was given a newspaper and in it was the articul about Bonjour Ca Va so was interested in the ladies antics.
So I will read the with interest the antics of Scarcrow and hope to throw a penny here and there, also my son who likes to cook is very interested in the reciepies etc. see you all soon.
Our children reap what we sow
Hi Robert and a very warm welcome. There are one or two from France on this Forum. I am sure you will both enjoy it and find it useful. I love the sound of all your animals. They must keep you and your son very busy.
So Madame Scarecrow's antics are in a newspaper. Why does that not surprise me? She is some adventurous and brave lady with bags of energy. Wish I had half of it. I think it must be all that cake!!
Old teachers never die, they just lose their class
Hello Robert welcome to the forum ,sounds like you have more of a task than scarecrow ,at least she has electric (sort of ) how do you manage at the moment are you on a genny or are you peddling a bike as you type with a dynamo buzzing away ,best of luck with the vines having seen how hard they cut them back in the south you have your work cut out ,tell us more we are just sponges for a good struggle MOS .
sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside
Hi Robert, and welcome. If you keep checking this thread you will find all sorts of interesting critters to add to your already extensive menagerie. Many of us are completely bats - especially the fellas. WARNING - this site is addictive. Got up at 6.30 am and at 10.20 I'm still in my jimjams - only logged on to look for some advice on labelling preserves. How did I end up here?? (Well, that's wot 'appens to Forumites - start off somewhere and 2 hours later ......)
Gone crazy. Back soon.
Welcome Robert from another expat but I live in Latvia. My Latvian isn't too great either but I manage because I have a few good friends around and so we manage.
I am only on here this late as hubby is chatting to son on Skype about wedding plans
Thank you all for your welcome and to answer a question yes we use a generator as we have not had much luck with our small solar panel. I dont know about the six o'clock deal I am still cuddled up with my aged cat and she would be most indignant to be woken that early as she has had a hard night running about doing god knows what.
Our children reap what we sow
one Pig Wendy named after my dear sister
Robert, I can tell immediately that you will be very comfortable with the company on this forum
Is your sister still on speaking terms?
It sounds like you have a Grand Challenge of your very own to make over your two hectares and house. Hopefully you will be able to post up some pics in due course. We would love to see what you place looks like. Any target date for moving back into the house?
Never knowingly underfed
Welcome Robert from the Bulgarian arm of the forum. I'm also an escapee of Britain's fair shores and enjoying (more or less) every minute of it. I'm up in these hills away from television, large water and electric bills, with only the internet and neighbours sheep, goats, donkeys, cows, chicken, dogs and cats for company (apart from the odd guest that makes it this far south).
As for the language....stick with it......select a few words, use them regularly with a smile in your voice and on your face.....especially when you have to show your documents for the forth time that day to the traffic police.... saves getting arrested for GBH.
Good to have you with us. What sort of old property is it? How old is your son? Where did you move there from? How cold is it living in a caravan for 6 years?
These and other important questions must be answered!
I hope this place doesn't take over your life too much, many of us find out time just disappearing...
Intolerance will not be tolerated.
I have got the use of electric again tonight because my son who is 39 so he says's is playing on his yes PlayStation which I am not that fond of, but then living with your dad all the time he has to have some escape.
Well Rae, first it's not so bad in a caravan as one may think, although scarecrow has yet to find out the winter's here are long and can be very cold indeed the lowest in this area was -46, but on average it's not much lower than -14, which is pretty cold, at night we snuggle up in our oversize quilts and balaclava's, long johns of course, I have the cat and Charles has the smelly old dog. Funny but got to tell you that we got our dog from a rescue home before we came and his name, well guess it's Raymond. When we arrived at out home the asked about his name because our dear neighbour is also called Raymond. Well if you know about the French the was not so keen on this as they never call animals by human names.
So after a long while they have got to understand that his name was given at the center, as of course my french is crap and still is not so good.
Our last resting place was Plymouth Devon in 3 bedroom semi which I hated, but to make things worse I had a young teenager 16 at the time who took great delight in playing his Garage music all day long whilst his mother was other wise engaged. After two years of this the council did step in and warn him that he faced a fine to continue. But luck was in as the mother found a new boyfriend that could not stand it either and threw away his hi fi system.
But I still have sort of panic attacks if I hear the Boom Boom in a car I just cannot stand it.
I am divorced now and have four Children, well you know what I mean we always call them that, three boys and one girl. Charles is my baby and we get on well I shout and he ignores me.
I only have two experiances in Bulgaria both of which were not pleasant, workers were under guard in the fields and we were not allowed to stop and look around, but were forced to drive to a point dictated by the police, there we were given our evening meal, Fetta, tomatoes and cold potatoes, a gritty coffee. at the border we had to give back any money we exchanged for fuel with no refund.
I am sure that it has changed a great deal I would love to read about your living experiance out there.
I hope these sums don't get too complicated
Our children reap what we sow
Our electric saga
We arrived in France to a fermette that had no running water and no electric, after spending the winter going down to the town each day for fresh water, at this stage there was no help from our hamlet, partly due to the fact that there were two males, I feel sure if there had been a female present it may have been different. Anyway come march we asked an electrician to install electric to our house, no problems there, so for three double points and one electric light and 2200â‚¬ later we had the beginnings of electric. Now for those that are not sure about fermetts in the Berry region, they normal consist of one main room and an animal room at the back. The main room was used for everything, toilet outside, maybe in a special place or just in the field.
It was clear that electric had been fitted to this place, but the now disconnected line was a mystery to us and the electrician. Now he fills all the paper in, it is then sent to the Consul at Limoges near Scarecrow, they then send a rep around to make sure that all is fitted correctly.
Now the bombshell, we are sorry but your house does not conform to the norm, what a joke it™s only been there since 1790. Well they said as you are improving your property (i.e. insulation of electric) you need to follow the new regulations that are in force, which are as follows; you must have a kitchen, a toilet, a bathroom, a front room and a bedroom. So I wrote in my best French where they would like me to put the toilet next to the cooker or next to the bed.
No no not amused at all, you have to divide the room up into small rooms so that the toilet/bathroom does not have an exit that goes into another habitable room. Well if you can imagine a nice large room with oak ceilings what it would have looked like after all that work was done, just crap.
So I set about making the animal room into a toilet/bathroom which would open into to be storeroom. Now because the British banks decided to make our life a living misery by crashing the interest rate and to top it all the crash in the pound/euro fiasco we lost all our income from interest, which was not a great deal anyway, but coupled with my due pension we would live in style and giving us a annual income of about £7600.00 for the two of us. But that was not to be we have had to use our savings to live and of course it ran out last year.
So to do all that was needed was just too much for our small budget and so no electric. My pension has now arrived and though not vast is enough to continue to try and renovate the property. The big laugh and owe by the way it™s as you know EDF out here too, if you seen some of the electric installations out here you would be terrified to switch the lights on, my friend did not even have an earth to his system and it was like the 1950 plug in adapter after adapter and then sort of in the two prong system. The rub is that these were done before the new so called regulations came into force to protect the consumer and to generate more money for yet another department.
Today Monday son decided to light our wood stove for cooking and to burn a few dead chicks etc (too small to eat) he heard a strange noise and thought just better look in the fire, no, no chicks flapping there, so he opens the cinder box to find miss mouse busy making her home in amongst the ashes, she has now vacated where in the house we now not where. Not with the door mouse as they have gone to heaven, poisoned by mistake I™m afraid and they are a protected species as well, was meant for the rats.
Our children reap what we sow
Crikey, Robert, what a palaver with the bureaucracy. Is it not daft that you must have a toilet/bathroom just to get connected to the mains? For goodness sake. Absolute nonsense.
Thanks for your great descriptions.
I can see that you and Madame Scarecrow are on parallel paths to a similar end. The very best of good luck to you.
Never knowingly underfed
Don't you just love it.....pleased to say that my eletricity was installed by locals in the local way and so long as you don't go over the original foundations, no planning permission is needed. Did enlarge a bit widthwise and went up and extra storey but so far nobody rapping on my door.
What a sad tale you tell of France....as for Bulgaria then and now....don't think there is any comparison....and no, I was not one of those underguard in the field...but who knows what the future holds ..... yes there are documents but since it is an emerging nation, even the locals aren't sure so we're all in the same boat. Know what you mean about invested money not drawing any income....I had to move mine to BG to get 9% initially but unfortunately that has now gone down to 7% but it does supplement the pension..... and only for a 6 month term.
Good luck with your project.....I do feel for you....there but for the grace of God...
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