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By Boris on December 24, 2011
In these troubled times any talk of selling up and moving to France has reduced quite a lot. Apart from anything else it is now impossible to buy a studio flat in England for £50k, sell it a month later for £250k, and hope to live for ever on the profits in some quiet part [...]
By Boris on December 18, 2011
How I miss the pleasures of having small children around at Christmas – the squabbling and bickering, one taunting the other, the other making rude gestures… So in the absence of small children I have taken to watching the news instead, to see the latest instalment in the childish behaviour of French and British politicians. [...]
By Boris on December 15, 2011
We just had one of our (exceptionally rare) trips to England, for a couple of days of self-indulgence, and stayed in a hotel in central London.
By Boris on December 8, 2011
A long time ago I wrote a post about the kind of jobs that expats in France do or might consider doing to help make ends meet (see expat work in France). But times and ideas move on and recessions turn up unexpectedly so I thought I’d suggest a different idea. This is something I [...]
By Boris on December 3, 2011
The countdown to Christmas has begun so after years of grumbling about the absence of a Christmas pudding at our French Christmas dinners (sorry, a Christmas log just isn’t the same) I thought this year I’d turn my attention to turkeys. Having a turkey for Christmas dinner is less of a longstanding tradition in France [...]
By Boris on November 25, 2011
Sometimes we have to ignore the ‘big picture’ (global catastrophes and so on) and worry about the little problems instead. For example, how is it possible that every week I need to change lightbulbs when each one comes with a ‘two year guarantee’ and cost many times what an ‘old-fashioned’ lightbulb cost? Certainly electrical and [...]
By Boris on November 17, 2011
Running a business isn’t easy at the moment, in France or elsewhere, and everyone would welcome some good advice about how to cope with the difficult conditions. So despite having challenges of our own (don’t get me started on those) I though it would be useful if I went round to all the local French [...]
By Boris on November 11, 2011
Ok it doesn’t sound like a particularly sensible question in the middle of November with a recession setting in (again) but our website statistics show that lots of people are asking that exact question. Perhaps it is winter setting in that reminds people that they quite like the sunshine? Perhaps the recent TV programmes about [...]
By Boris on November 4, 2011
What do you think of when people talk about art in France? The Louvre or the Orsay perhaps? Monet and the impressionists or the cave paintings at Lascaux?
By Boris on October 29, 2011
It is now only a couple of weeks until the 10 year anniversary of our move to France – perhaps the decision we planned to make after two years about whether to stay in France is slightly overdue! Of course we didn’t really know what to expect out of the move – or at least [...]
By Boris on October 23, 2011
Nobody has called me yet to ask if I would like to contribute my share of the next 100 billion euro bailout fund, must be a problem with the answering machine perhaps. Still, just in case M. Sarkozy et Mme Merkel are reading this in a tea break at the ‘Hey, lets save the euro [...]
By Boris on October 15, 2011
We get plenty of scam enquiries for our gites, although I’m pleased to say we have never yet been caught out. But we have come close so I thought I’d post details of a recent scam in case it helps someone else avoid being tricked. The general idea of these scams is that the person [...]
By Boris on October 14, 2011
Each summer week when people arrive in the gites we have a few things we try and remember to point out to them – where to park the car, how to use the pool alarm, where we have hidden the towels and so on. We also have a piece of paper which answers lots of [...]
By Boris on October 8, 2011
I just managed to squeeze in a few days of exploring before the summer ended – just in time as it turned out, because after endless months of sunshine today has been a wee bit chilly. One of the great things about exploring France is that it is big enough that there is always something [...]
By Boris on October 2, 2011
I was pleased to come across two articles in French newspapers this week that touched on the relationship between France and England, and the French and the English. The first was celebrating the fact that the ‘entente-cordiale’ between the two countries, already long-established, had developed in recent times in an ‘indestructible fashion’.