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Live in France? Join us for a gentil thread

(657 Posts)
TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 19:39:59

So how about a lovely supportive, information sharing thread for us mumsnetters living in France?
I've been here for two years, this is my second time living here so 4 years in total.
I have my moans about France, the paperwork, the driving but other than that I love it smile

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 19:45:37

Forgot to say, I'm in 31 Haute Garonne.

PetiteRaleuse Tue 01-Oct-13 19:49:20

Clocking in. Am in Moselle, 57

Herisson Tue 01-Oct-13 19:52:49

I am watching quietly, not living in France at the moment but contemplating a temporary or maybe permanent move in the nearish future. We already spend a lot of time in France (32, Gers).

bunnyfrance Tue 01-Oct-13 19:54:28

Hi everyone,
I'm in Alsace, 67, have been in France almost 20 years but sometimes feel like it's only been 20 minutes. I have two small DC, 2 and 4 - we're in the throes of discovering maternelle....

Greythorne Tue 01-Oct-13 19:54:44

Western suburbs here.
Been here since 2005.

Feeling a bit low tonight as have just come back from la rentrée meeting with the CE1 teacher which as expected was 2 hours if negativity and backwards teaching practice. Ho hum.

tb Tue 01-Oct-13 20:06:18


I'm in the Corrèze, been here 7 years next month. Have 1 DD who's just started première at lycée in the Creuse.

DH is retired early, and I've been looking for work for a few years, but haven't found anything yet.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 20:07:56

Welcome PetiteRaleuse I've seen you about a lot on MN.
Hi bunnyfrance 20 years? mon dieu that's a long time. You may become the go to person for information!
Hi Greythorne sorry you've had a rough rentrée. My son is in an international school, not as good as an English education but it appears to be more open to positive thinking than French schools. Have a wine

Hello Herrison there are some serious lifers here! I'm sure there is lots of collective advice on offer.

AuldAlliance Tue 01-Oct-13 20:12:51

I'm in Provence.
Been here for 8 yrs but was in a DOM before that for a good while, so have been living on French territory for 19 years.
DS1 is in CE2, DS2 in MS.
Little chance of me returning to the UK, I think.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 20:14:26

Bonsoir tb
Work is tricky isn't it?
I was able to bring my profession with me but unfortunately I've become ill this year with lupus - although I've developed a tremor in the last couple of days so now being investigated for MS too. It means I'm not able to work. If I have to be ill anywhere, I'm happy to be ill here.

tb how old is your DD then?

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 20:18:33

I'm going to profess total ignorance here, what is DOM AuldAlliance? and most importantly, do we pronounce your NN as alli-ance? In the French way..

BriocheBriocheBrioche Tue 01-Oct-13 20:21:13

Im here too, in PACA 06!
Been here two and half years andhave a 9 month old baby girl. There are things I like and things I dont like but overall I really enjoy my little life here smile

Herisson Tue 01-Oct-13 20:21:26

Oh dear, lupus is a horrible thing. Hope yours is being managed effectively.

hattymattie Tue 01-Oct-13 20:26:30

Another Western Suburbs here (78). Also a lifer exhausted after the rentree. I have one in Terminale, one in 2nde and one in 6eme. (waves at Greythorne). Sometimes I feel it would be much easier in dear old Blighty. People would just get me!

tb Tue 01-Oct-13 20:31:16

Sorry to hear you're poorly, Accidental.

DD is 16 next week, so she is one of the youngest in her year. When we came to France, she was just 9, and had just gone into year4. Left year 4 on the Tuesday night, and started on Thursday morning in CM1. She's done very well to go straight to college, but has been under threat of redoublement a couple of times.

ImpOfDarkness Tue 01-Oct-13 20:37:56

Hello, I'm in the neuf-cube (northern suburbs of Paris). Been here sixteen years. Having my first baby in three weeks smile

AuldAlliance Tue 01-Oct-13 20:38:18

A DOM is a département d'outre-mer.

It's a very Scottishly pronounced Alliance ;)

I left just after my degree, when I was 21, and though I love going home to Scotland and find that there are many things I can only share with other British people (a specific type of irony, for instance, or some cultural references), I don't feel entirely at home there any more, somehow. Nor do I feel French, though a British friend told me this weekend I'd gone over to the other side because I made some typically French remark.
It's odd to feel you're apatride.

hattymattie Tue 01-Oct-13 20:47:09

Auld I know exactly how you feel - the irony and banter are exactly what I miss and I can be flippant without it being misinterpreted or having to explain myself.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 20:54:19

I've been fortunate enough to find a group of sweary dog walkers - like mobile mumsnetters except none of them are on here. It has made such a difference having a banter.

AuldAlliance Tue 01-Oct-13 20:56:26

Yes, Hatty, that's it exactly.

And when French friends are ironic, I'm always taken aback and muff the response, because I just don't expect it.

It's as if I have two personalities, the French one and the Scottish one. And the latter is far more spontaneous and, well, funny (if I do say so myself), even after all these years.

I'm lucky enough to work with several French people who have spent extended periods in the UK and they do banter in English. But we only banter in English. Or in a weird franglais, where the truly bantery bits have to be done in English.

Herisson Tue 01-Oct-13 20:59:12

>> It's as if I have two personalities, the French one and the Scottish one.

I am only intermittently in France, but I definitely have a French and an English way of being. It's not the same. I think I actually even laugh differently in French.

SDhopeful Tue 01-Oct-13 21:04:40

Herisson me too! Travelled a lot to France on the Eurostar, and 'became' the other person on the journey. Was very annoyed when I met a colleague once on the train when I was half-transformed -spoiled the journey!

AuldAlliance Tue 01-Oct-13 21:09:08

I speak differently in the two languages.
I mean the pitch of my voice changes: in French, it is higher; when I speak English it is deeper, more self-deprecating, more knowing, somehow.

I can do a wicked imitation of Jane Birkin speaking "French." I hate that childish, breathy femme-enfant thing she adopts, but at the same time I can kind of see why she speaks French the way she does, because the language leaves you limited options.
I find it really telling that there are French women who, even at the age of 50, speak like little girls.
That doesn't happen in English, does it?

Kikibee Tue 01-Oct-13 21:18:00

Oh how I miss living in France sad

I lived in the Var 83 for rather a lot of years, I would love to return

clearsommespace Tue 01-Oct-13 21:32:22

Hello all
I've been here 12 years, have lived in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and now in Picardy so gradually moving south. May make it to sunny PACA for my retirement. grin

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