Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I read other peoples blogs and I find them interesting and inspiring.

My blog is about me and my little life in my little part of France.

Not a lot happens here apart from my husband and his health, the children, the grandchildren, the dog, the cats, the garden and the local wildlife. I have a couple of neighbours. A really nice divorced French guy and English couple who keep themselves to themselves. I am also a member of an association for ladies who meet up maybe once a month or whenever for lunch and a chat. I may make some comments about some of them but not many…

We do not live in the village or on the edge of the village. We are out in the countryside and it is too far for us to walk into the village, which is very, very quiet except when the children go to and return from school.

There is the Mairie of course. We have two doctors and a nurse. There is a Pharmacy and a Boulangerie. The Boucherie has shut and he now just does the local markets. There is the Coiffeuse and a Garage, a nice little 4 roomed hotel with restaurant and also a restaurant under new ownership that now has 3 B&B rooms.

And we must not forget the Bar which also doubles as newsagent and post office. The Tabac/Presse closed their doors around 4 years ago and La Poste 3 years ago.

Our village is one of 4 that make up a commune of 4 villages that ‘fused’ in 1973 – there are a total of around 2500 inhabitants in the 4 villages. The mayor of our village is the ‘head honcho’ of the 4 villages, the others having their own ‘minor’ mayors who ‘bow’ to ‘M. le Maire’. M. le Maire was elected 3 years ago, he was a reluctant candidate who came into play at the very last minute and was voted in. The alternatives, well – best not said.

Since 2008, there have been subtle changes in the commune. It seems that M. le Maire is being progressive and is working well for the commune. There seems to be more happening, not a lot, but more. The staff in the Mairie’s office seem to be happier; there is an ‘air’ about them. Hard to put a finger on it but something is changing.

Shame that I want to move, will probably hear about changes second hand.

I want to be in a town, not on the edge of a village that is trying to grow up. I want to be in a town where I can take my shopping trolley (heaven forbid but it is looming in my mind), walk into a mini-market and buy some potatoes, carrots and a newspaper, get to know the Boulanger, the Boucher and the Poissonier instead of asking my husband to drive me into town. I want to be in a town where I know I have some English friends and where I can also make some new French friends. I want to be in a town that I know has a doctor, nurse and good social centre and also where they have events throughout the year. I know which town it is. It is not too far from here and everything a woman needs, well maybe, is all in one street.

Hopefully I will have a couple of nice neighbours to chat over coffee with. I have been told that in this particular town that the locals are nosy. It seems that they like to know who they are dealing with. Information about family, health etc seem to be required by them. I don’t mind as I could always conceal or bend the truth.

I must admit that I do miss having a good natter be it either in English or French. If I am not sure of many French expressions I am sure I can learn whilst having a good natter.

And I am talking about a good ‘natter’ not ‘gossip’.

I think that when we came here and opened up our Chambres d’hote we forgot about truly integrating with our French neighbours. We got on with opening up and taking in business, looking after the garden, growing and preserving fruit/veg etc. etc. Yes, we had a couple of neighbours but then when one died and his wife sold up to English then things changed, the French (language) came second. I did get a lot of input from our French guests and it was absolute fun but now that we have retired and closed the Chambres d’hote things have changed. I need to communicate more and being in the middle of, almost, nowhere then that proves difficult.

I don’t want a lot do I?

I think it is going to be a long haul to sell this property.

Now that the French government are in the process of introducing a new tax on non-resident home owners it seems that maybe a lot of properties will be coming on the market. Maybe people will ‘panic’ sell – if they do then there just won’t be the buyers. It is all still in the pipeline and if and when it is all decided and the law is passed then it won’t come into force for another year or so. From what I have read it will be a minimum amount of tax anyway.

It will be interesting as I am sure that there are those in the U.K. that have their nice little holiday homes out here who pay their fonciere etc. declare the minimum but don’t declare on the private lettings that they make to their friends, friends of friends etc. it is not only the French taxman that is being diddled but the English taxman as well.

We will wait and see.


  1. Good luck with the house sale if that's what you really want to do, Trisha. We'll be stumping up for the new tax when it arrives. It will take more than that to stop me having my summers in Normandy!

  2. I can understand the desire to be nearer a town. The same problems can arise here in rural Devon and Cornwall. The need to natter is a basic human instinct - my husband says its a female thing - but I think he props up the gate post, while talking with neighbours, longer than I do.

  3. It seems Perpetua that this 'tax' has been shelved for the time being. I think something needs to be sorted that is fair to all that have another home in another country. Oh, and, Thecurateswife, the need to natter is essential for ones sanity. Do men natter or just chew the fat?