Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

No one in England can escape the economic crisis.

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

However, in France, I get the impression that the government is ‘protecting’ the French population. The financial problems in Greece could directly affect France but the French, generally, seem blissfully unaware.

People regularly commiserate with me: “Oh, the problems in England are so, so bad, the financial situation is very, very serious and then there are the riots ALL over Britain.”

Politics is not a taboo subject and views are regularly aired, quite heatedly !!

Yesterday, I had just dropped Iona and Joe off at school, the school gates closed and as they did, cigarette packets appeared all around me. At least 75% of the mothers at the school smoke. I wonder if that represents a national average or if it is just a rural anominaly ?

One woman starts the conversation: her sister has just become unemployed, but she is not desperate to start looking for a new job, as her unemployment benefit is 80% of her old salary, and she will continue to receive this for 6 months.

This is quite normal. Another woman replies: “The unemployment benefits are too generous, they don’t encourage people to work.”

“She has paid her cotisations (National Insurance), she is entitled to unemployment benefit.”

Now it gets heated. Voices are raised, the teacher looks out of the classroom window, and things quieten down.

Then the conversation turns to the retirement age. The general opinion is that the retirement age should be reduced, NOT increased to enable the young people to work.

“But who will pay for the retirement of the population over 55?” I say without really thinking.

Everyone looks at me. Help, I should have kept quiet…..

“Mais, Nicole, we all pay cotisations (National Insurance) all our working lives, we are OWED a good retirement” one woman says, and the rest nod in agreement.

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