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Living in France

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013 08:35
I hope you enjoy my continuing series on how it came about that we moved to France.  On Facebook I have 1521 people following this story, and a similar amount on Twitter - so I do hope you enjoy it and will share!
Sunday, 15 September 2013 11:13

At the begining, 1989.

Well, to be blunt, we were broke. We had been hit by the UK property crash in 1989 and we lost everything almost overnight. And that is why we moved to France.  No other reason.

IIf you enjoy this series, do please share it.  Thanks - much appreciated.

- See more at:
Friday, 21 June 2013 07:52
Several people have asked me to illustrate the people in my books, so I have started with "A Call from France" which - clearly - is set in France.  It is a true story and any mothers who have re-located to France should read it, young or old.
Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:18

Hussein was not bad.  He was not good, but it would be wrong to say he was bad.  He was ignorant, is more to the point.  He had been raised in a household where fists and shouting were the solutions to most problems.  Men always had the upper hand, and were generally right ... simply because they were men.

There is no denying that what he did was wrong, but on the other hand who can blame him ?  The rich kid from the Chateau ... he thought he was on to a good thing.  He genuinely loved Debbie at first, and certainly loved his children.

Not that one should defend him in any way, but he lived in a confused world between Algerian Muslim culture and values, and France with all its advantages.  Sometimes he was fiercely Muslim and at other times he was far more like an ordinary Frenchman.  He wanted to please but felt that being "nice" somehow belittled him, as though he needed to prove his supposed superiority when there was really no need to.

He was good-looking in an obvious sort of way, and very muscular.  He went to the gym several times a week for la musculation. However, he never walked - let alone ran - anywhere and ate stunning quantities of junk food.  He didn't smoke or touch alcohol.  He had vastly more testosterone than brain ...

Classified as a must-read for mothers both young and old, and especially for mothers of teens, "A Call from France" by Catherine Broughton is a true story.  Available from Amazon & Kindle, as an e-book on this site, or can be ordered from most leading book stores and libraries.

More about Catherine Broughton, to include her sketches and blogs from all over the world, on

Click here for grand'mere, Hussein's grandmother

French Property

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013 08:45
John West looks at the current trends in the property market in SW France
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 00:00

We were all sitting there in late October last year, staring at our TV and Computer screens and seeing report after report of bad news coming out of the International Banking and Property sectors. The sub-prime mortgage balloon had burst and brought major chaos in the financial markets, firstly in the US, and then rapidly followed by similar collapses in the UK, Germany and the Far East.  Bad news seems to breed bad news, even if there is little linkage between each reported event, and the mainstream popular media in particular feeds and thrives on it.

Moving to France

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Saturday, 15 December 2012 11:26

Crucial differences the British need to understand before they move to France ! These are some of the shocks. I hasten to add that I love France and have lots of French friends. Tomorrow some of the good points !

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:59

This is the story of an ageing Mercedes Sprinter which started out life as a commercial vehicle in Germany, became a motor caravan and moved to England, then to France. Please don't try this at home, children.

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 07:24
Just over six years ago, on 13th December 2005, I arrived in France to do some final checks on Les Fragnes before we went ahead and signed the Compromis de Vente.

Sunday, 27 March 2011 14:12
It's easy to fall blindly in love with a building - or in our case, lakes - when you're property hunting abroad, without looking beyond it. Here are a few things to think about, especially if you're coming over with a family.

Wildlife and Nature

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Friday, 21 September 2012 09:44

Snails for your supper. Catherine Broughton is a novelist, poet and artist living in the Charente maritime.

When the weather is damp (and earlier this year we had a lot of damp) my cleaning lady, Josie, comes round to pick up snails.  She lives in a flat, you see, and the grounds around the blocks of flats are already covered by other tenants picking up snails whereas she, being the cleaning lady for the Chateau, has large snail-gathering grounds at her disposal.

Saturday, 19 November 2011 18:52
Gigi, the cat, has just brought another mulot into the house, and been quickly chased out. Mulot is the colloquial term round here for any sort of small country rodent.

Friday, 19 November 2010 10:58

The cranes (grus) are back. We last saw them in spring as they were flying north to their breeding grounds in northern Europe (Sweden, the Baltic sea and northern Germany). That was a welcome sight as it meant that good weather was coming.

Today we saw them heading back south to Spain where they overwinter. Some go to Algeria and Tunisia. Although a fantastic sight, and wonderful sound, it does mean it's about to get very cold. Winter follows the cranes as sure as night follows day!

Friday, 10 November 2006 00:00
This is my new house guest Wart. Wart used to live outside in the garden but he has recently decided that he doesn't want to live outside with all the other toads, no Wart has decided that he'd rather enjoy the comforts of home.
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