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How I Came To Be In France (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

I moved to France exactly two years ago. 2010 saw the end of a long marriage and by 2017 the houses in England were sold. It was time to start a new venture and a new life.

France had always called. I could get by with the language, had spent lots of time there either with my eccentric uncle, staying with my cousin, living aboard a boat or working in the south. I loved nearly everything French (at that time I hadn’t come across the bureaucracy or the taxes!).

I visited my cousin a few times and fell in love with a tiny cottage on a river that had an unattached mediaeval tower…. ideal for letting. I could teach English and have rental income. Perfect. Nothing was moving house-wise in France and so I wasn’t too worried about it selling before the sale on my place completed. I went out about three times to see it whilst my sale was going through. I called on the neighbours. I found out about the village. I made all the plans for the renovations.

Then one day I got a message to say it was sold. I was devastated. Through the following winter I planned to buy a place in England to renovate, but the owner pontificated and dragged his heals and then reneged on the deal. I was so annoyed that the first French email I opened after the disappointment had me on the phone faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’!

It was about the first house for sale I had seen advertised six months previously. At that time it had been way too expensive, but now it was within my means. I immediately organised to go out and see it; the estate agent promised not to show anyone else in the meantime. I got the tickets booked and made the arrangements. By the end of the visit, I had signed the papers and arranged to live in the gite in one of the gardens until the sale went through.

The Tower terrace before it was cleaned up

Tomorrow’s post was written four days after I arrived…


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