Print Posted By Lost in France on 28 Jun 2010 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Renovating in the Charente

Bob and his partner moved to the Charente to renovate an old farmhouse and to escape the stresses of modern day living in the UK.

The Charente countrysideWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
We were looking for somewhere to recharge our batteries and reassess where we wanted to be without the pressures of living in the south east of the U.K. We have been her on and off for about 5 years while we renovate our very old farmhouse and barns. I am a carer and doing the work to renovate the property myself is a wonderful break from day to day stresses.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
We are currently in the Charente and love the similarity to the west country without the constant wet weather. The laid back way of life suits us admirably.

Do you have children, if so how easy was it for them to adjust to a French school?
All of our children have left home and are in the U.K. with our grandchildren.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips The quality of life here is head and shoulders above our previous homes Close quote

What is your age?
I am 59

Where were you born?

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Trying to look at too many properties in too short a time scale. We should have kept a more leisurely schedule.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Be aware of the stress you can place on yourself and take life as it comes. Nothing is achieved at the rush unless it is growing ulcers.

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 experienced no particular problems and made sure we spent some time getting to know our village and its inhabitants. Making more than an effort to speak French helps as all here are willing to assist someone trying to help themselves.

What's the best thing about living in France?
The quality of life here is head and shoulders above our previous homes.

And the worst?
Bureaucracy both French and English. We came here to avoid it. My experiences as a local councillor and working in local government and the judicial system help here.

What do you think?

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