Print Posted By Lost in France on 13 Apr 2009 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Life in Mayenne

Andrew and Margaret moved to France in 2003 after taking early retirement, they now live in a cottage near Mayenne in the Pays de la Loire region.

Mayenne CountrysideWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
We had holidayed in most parts of France for the last 25 years and we always said that when we were able we would move here. in 2003 my wife who teaches French was given early retirement and as our children had left home for university we decided to sell up and buy a place in the French countryside. That was nearly six years ago.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
We live in the Mayenne, somewhere we had never even heard of let alone been to before, it is department 53 and is in the Pays de la Loire.
We live a couple of kilometres outside a very small village, effectively on the edge of an organic dairy farm. We are a commune of about 220 people about 15 are English. We bought the cottage as soon as we saw it, when we discovered we also had a lake and a trout river running through our land it was the icing on the cake.

Our lives could not be more different to before, we buy milk, organic and raw of course from our nearest neighbours, we very rarely run out of eggs as all our neighbours give us eggs. We have also had rabbits, a pike, crayfish, pheasants, geese, guinea foul and more given to us by our wonderful French and English neighbours.

We live a couple of hours drive to Caen and the same to Mont St Michel. The roads are empty and long, we have Le Mans about 45 minutes drive away where we shop now and again

We would not want to live anywhere else.

Do you have children, if so how easy was it for them to adjust to a French school?
Our children are grown up and live in Dubai and London but we see them here regularly, they love it here.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Learn the language and get involved in whatever is happening in the community. Close quote

What is your age?

Where were you born?

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
I have started a computer assistance service under the new auto entrepeneur system that began this year.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
We lost 10k due to a change in the exchange rate when we paid the final amount for the house but that was something we could do nothing about.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Learn the language and get involved in whatever is happening in the community.

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
We were determined that we did not want to be like so many English here who do not learn the language, and basically have English enclaves with no contact with the locals. The French were so pleased that we were living here all the time and had made the effort in learning the language. The support and friendship we received was unbelievable compared to what we had experienced in the UK.

What's the best thing about living in France?
When the trestle tables are put out in the field opposite and the wine flows and we all get together for a long lazy lunch by the river.

And the worst?
Cannot think of anything.

What do you think?

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