Print Posted By Lost in France on 24 Sep 2011 in Real France - Expat Interviews

From Derbyshire to Gascony

Sue moved from Derbyshire to France in 2011 and now lives in the beautiful Gers countryside.

GersWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
We put our beautiful barn conversion in Derbyshire on the market in May 2010 and sold it 3 days later. We were looking for another challenge in a warmer drier climate - so into store we went August 2010 and came searching in Tarn et Garonne September 2010. We found our new challenge and bought le Moulin and we have been living here in the Gers for 6 months.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
We are in the Gers, formerly Gascony it is beautiful with big blue skies and sunflowers, south of Agen and west of Toulouse. We live just outside the village which is full of arts and music and amazing friendly helpful neighbours - who speak not a word of English although many speak Spanish and German.

Food is simple, local and very healthy. We feel safe and welcomed in our new home and although there is much work - we have taken advice from our Maire - a little at a time, take it slowly and enjoy.

Do you have children, if so how easy was it for them to adjust to a French school?
Although we have 2 children they are long grown up and one lives in Japan with their 2 children but have visited and will be very happy to take sanctuary here if and when necessary - the education system here will be absolutely fine for them if needed.

The other lives in Derbyshire and they have visited twice they are hoping to leave the UK a.s.a.p. as their son has just started school and the French education provided here may be more suitable for him too.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Food is simple, local and very healthy... Close quote

What is your age?
I'm 63.

Where were you born?
I was born in Birmingham.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
I am a retired government education consultant and as such do not need to find work - there is more than enough to do here on the land and the buildings.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Our French was not quite good enough and our eyesight maybe not sharp enough to notice that when the inspection on Le Moulin was done before the first signing - the electricity was declared safe because there was a power cut at the time!! Had there been power probably the gentleman concerned would not be alive to have written the report!!

Cost to us in Euros - for missing that sentence 2249 € ...

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Live here for a while - renting as we did, a gite and preferably not isolated so you get to know an area and can have a little help from people who speak your language.

Don't rely too much on Anglo - Info - although a brilliant help you must be prepared to integrate and speak French.

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
TRY, however weak or out of practice your French is - people will respond and help you with the language. Attend every social event in your area/village.

What's the best thing about living in France?
Feel secure, healthy climate and food, excellent roads, wonderful health system, broad and varied education opportunities. The positive outlook of many of the French people we meet on a daily basis.

And the worst?
Paperwork - paper mountains for everything.

What do you think?

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