The original purpose of my site was to inform and entertain anyone who was thinking of making or had recently made the decision to relocate from the UK to Spain. It was a steep learning curve with new challenges, new frustrations, new delights every week.
However, after 10 months I had had enough of Spain, sold my property and moved to La Creuse, a department of the Limousin in France. Why? This will become clear as I pick up my blog after a 7 month break from writing.
I hope that my experiences, both good and bad, will continue to entertain and advise!
Having a broken arm for seven weeks had hampered my progress with regard to decorating and furnishing my new home but, as soon as the pins (les broches) were surgically removed I was keen to make up for lost time. My house is quite a focal point on Rue ******* so I set about filling all the... Read more
Do not listen to anyone who tells you that the French are stand-offish, unfriendly, unwelcoming. I have heard, on a number of occasions, Brits at airports complaining that the French 'don't want us in their country' (to paraphrase). Perhaps it is true that those miserable-faced, moaning individuals... Read more
Why Aubusson? There are thousands of properties for sale in the Limousin (trois departements: La Creuse, Haute-Vienne, Correze) so why did I choose this particular departement in the region du Limousin? I had visited La Creuse a few times from 2013, visiting my old friend, Bob. I loved its... Read more
It took 4 days to get me and my 5 cats into my new home. On the second day all my stuff which had been in storage in Arboleas, Spain, for 6 months also arrived. Fortunately, this is a big house so the large room on the ground floor was perfect for all the boxes to be stored. I had no intention of... Read more
Well, here I am in my new home! I was due to move in on 11th March 2016 but, typical of me, I did it the hard way by breaking my right arm three days before I was due to sign the contract on the 8th with the notaire in Ahun! Catastrophe! I couldn't drive, lift anything or even get dressed... Read more
My last entry was 'Heatwave' on 28th June: a lot has happened since then, especially my dramatic departure from Spain. The house, the sunshine and the region are beautiful but I began to long for hedgerows, deciduous trees, rivers; greenery, in general: I couldn't settle. My rescued cat, Phoebe,... Read more
The weather this week has been both gentle and elemental. Around dawn, Thursday morning, could be heard a distant rumbling of thunder in the mountains across the valley; an exciting herald of storm. The lightning was spectacular: every crack a thrilling shock; nature exerting her inexhaustible... Read more
Coming from the lush, verdant landscape of North Wales I imagined that Almeria, renowned for its sunshine and arid conditions, would be somewhat devoid of flora and fauna. How wrong I was! Despite the dry soil there are magnificent, colourful plants and trees, both wild and lovingly tended in... Read more
It is a 20 minute drive down from the mountains to Arboleas (los arboles - trees). The Almanzora valley with its rich red-brown soil is very fertile, planted with patchworks of lemon, olive and almond trees. The mountains, still a velvety green, rise like giant waves from the valley below. My black... Read more
Friday, 22nd May, 2015 The weather continues to be pleasantly balmy rather than baking hot. I went to the Chinese 'Merca' shop in Arboleas this morning: these stores are wonderful (like being a child in a sweet shop!), packed with everything you need, and stuff you don't, for really low prices. I... Read more
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'We're having a heatwave.....A tropical heatwave!' Yes, throughout Andalucia, we are officially having 'a tropical heatwave'. Incredible that, in a regon already noted for its sunshine, it should get even hotter. According to the news, temperatures this week-end and for the next few days will... Read more
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I love France, particularly La Creuse with its relaxed, laid-back lifestyle but it can be frustrating when one needs work doing urgently. I moved into my house in March 2016; ensured that the oil tank which feeds 'la chaudiere' was filled to its maximum of 1,000 litres during the summer, when... Read more
I'd like to consider the nature of coincidence. The 'Oxford English Dictionary' describes it as 'remarkable concurrence of events without apparent causal connection'. The key word here is 'apparent' and this is what I would like to explore in light of recent events in my life. It has... Read more
It was my second visit to Carcassonne, a magical Mediaeval city, still full of life, culture, work, fun: not just a museum. It is as alive today as it was 2,500 years ago as a Gallo-Roman settlement but is probably best known for its vibrancy during the 12th -13th centuries. I will add some photos... Read more
'Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring!' from the two doorbells, one electric, one 18th century brass bell........It's 19.00 hours, dark outside except for the Christmas illuminations along the street......Philippa and I look at one another, bewildered.....'Who can it be, ringing so incessantly?' It... Read more
Ma Carte Vitale est arrivee apres neuf mois! Je suis contente! Read more
When I left my home in North Wales in January 2015 I had just one cat, my beautiful, male Ragdoll, Gabriel; after my three daughters, the love of my life. I had had cats , many cats, all my life so was glad not to have to pay the phenominal cost of having more than one flown by an elite pet carrier... Read more
30th October: the skies are bright blue, the days continue to be warm and and the sun shines giving a magical radiance to the early autumn colours. It is the most beautiful time of the year here in La Creuse. Back in the UK it is, apparently, cold, grey and cheerless. No doubt there will soon be... Read more
Quel surpris! I found this in the post today! It says: 'Pour obtenir une carte Vitale, c'est simple!' All I need to do now, it says, is to stick on a passport sized photo and to include another proof of identity:... Read more
I started my application for a Carte Vitale on 30th March 2016. As of today, 24th October, there is still no sign of it! As a resident in France it is vital to have a Carte Vitale. It is a plastic card, embedded with a microchip containing one's social security insurance details. It allows... Read more
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