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Drawn to compare GB/FR
by beetle • Fri 11 Nov 2011 17:25

What a difference just one hour can make to the quality of life. We have a house in the Creuse yes, but find ourselves spending a lot of time outdoors, watching the suns rays at the birth of a new day,whilst drinking coffee or sipping an apperatif as they disapear with onset of night. There is time for alfresco cooking, eating and observation of nature at its finest. We can hear the birds arguing over who gets the highest perch, a donkey braying and a dog barking way off in the distance. Few cars will pass by to disturb us. Mistletoe hangs in profusion; the air is so clean. :up:
A frenchman we know described the english way of living as "INTENSE" and not for him.
In England for most of us it is life in a box; car-office/factory-car-home-eat-sleep and do it all over again. This is conforming; necessary to pay for your box. Too busy to live no time to die. But one day they pop you into a tailord box and someone opens all your little box's to get there share of your carefully boxed money. They know where it is and anyway you will not be able to use it where your going!
Is this the real point of UK living? :down:

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Leighngrae • Fri 11 Nov 2011 17:56

That just about sums it up. Je suis d'accord. xxx

Leighngrae
90
Apr 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Annik • Fri 11 Nov 2011 20:05

Yes, but if you were working in France you'd have the same problems; it's the fact that you aren't working there that gives you the time to stand and stare.

We are lucky enough to be retired and we can live that kind of life in both countries. Sadly our kids have very intense lives, but I think their French counterparts would be the same.

That is not to say that I don't relish every non-intense moment in the Creuse.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Jeanne • Sat 12 Nov 2011 14:50

So agree Annik. For those, like us, that work here life is just the same. Same pressures, same long hours. Same crisis, same high bills.

The difference: Somehow despite long hours we have lots of friends and social life.

Have no idea how it works out like that but it does :)

Jeanne
232
Jun 2010
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by beetle • Sun 13 Nov 2011 13:02

Moving countries does allow you to ditch all the work/bill related issues that's true and in reality it add's a lot of fresh challenges, puzzles to solve and overcome, I'm sure. When you have climbed those mountains just reflect for a second, we did not know it was possible at the start but just look at the view take a deap breath of fresh air you earned it.
We have just returned to the UK, gone are the quiet roads it's the M...,we are in the 70/80mph traffic jam, little atoms streaming along hoping fusion does not occur. Motorcyclists are playing chicken with the car door mirrors "why live life at half throttle, go all the way, last one dead is a sissy!" SPLAT. A Chelsea tractor zig-zags across the lanes, undertakes, overtakes, exits left. We're back! Its the everyday octane rich commute.

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Annik • Sun 13 Nov 2011 21:05

I agree that it's the traffic that is the worst thing. We loathe the journey back from the Chunnel to rural Cheshire. If you are going back to a city, then I quite understand your revulsion.

When we are in France it takes us exactly five minutes to get to the nearest "town" (800 population!), which is two miles away. We leave that much time when we need to go because we know it will never take any longer.

If I have to drive from our English village to the nearest town (16,000 population), 2 miles away on urban roads, it might take 15 minutes or it could take half an hour if there are road works, a river swing bridge is closed or everyone is going Christmas shopping. I hate it!

We have been visiting my 94-yr-old aunty in hospital at Chester 15 miles away and the traffic congestion to get there and back, using ordinary roads and an outer ring road is unbelievable.

But by the same token, if we lived in our twin village of Mornant, near Lyon, and worked in Lyon like most of the inhabitants, the traffic there and back would be utterly terrifying. Imagine a French macho man driving a Chelsea tractor!!!!!

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by beetle • Tue 22 Nov 2011 21:10

The sky at night is orange, shooting stars replaced with navigation lights. A morning sky is usually grey, distant views obscured behind a traffic induced haze.
CCTV cameras once a feature of high security prisons, stand sentinel on all entry and exit roads, plus the village centre. Make certain you keep everything locked up at all times, thieves and arsonists operate here. Police helicopter displays, dawn raids, cannabis factories, topped off with two murders.
Free range and feral kids, cause problems - parents blame the schools! Litter, litter everywhere.
This is not an inner city area, just an ever expanding village on the edge of an ever expanding town. Greenery is being replaced by ‘Pack em in, stack em high’ three story housing estates, coupled with more cars pouring in to fill the roads.
Charity shops, and ‘any time any place-stuff yourself silly’ fast food shops, proliferate.
We live here because we work here, I wish it was different but it is not. It feels like a society
teetering on the edge.
Are you tempted to return to the UK or driven to leave?

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by thetransporter • Wed 23 Nov 2011 08:39

Oh Beetle, stop it...you're making me homesick.... :)

thetransporter
94
Jan 2008
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by beetle • Sun 04 Dec 2011 23:19

We wish it could be possible to ignore a lot of things around us in the UK, but as daylight is just fading away we are taking the dog for her walk and see the police have caught a monkey driving a small souped-up car! A monkey here, is a youth (sometimes referred to as a hoodie ) when viewed from behind they have a rounded head ,close cut hair, with big stickie-out ears.
Driving licence, road tax, insurance, MOT (vehicle road worthiness test certificate) Why bother!
Silly things make them laugh, only this one was hiding in his hood, as the police provided a lift to their station and his car was given a lift to the crusher.

Attended a company seminar the other day it was delivered in the style of a time share pitch (it is enough to make your blood boil) anyway their vision of the future, a seamless interface between man and machine.

A musical journey via youtube to sum up all the comparisons

Enjoy Yourself
Little boxes
Bonzo do dah band Jollity Farm (Avoid this)
1984 Annie Lennox
Metropolis
Joyeaux Noel (Home is where the heart is)

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Jeanne • Mon 05 Dec 2011 07:34

LOL Beetle. That made me realise why we love it here, altho TBH where we lived, very close to Leicester, it was not that bad. My recent visit to UK, first in several years, the thing I noticed was the increase in traffic and also how villages are becoming more like towns. Your description fitted our time when we lived near Basildon perfectly. The lack of noise, no light pollution, countryside that spreads for many kilometres instead of a couple makes us appreciate living here :)

Jeanne
232
Jun 2010
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Annik • Mon 05 Dec 2011 10:42

In England we live in a very nice large village of 5000 people with an educational campus of 9 schools. Traffic in the mornings is dreadful. Now that the government is going to relax the planning laws, three developers have come out of the woodwork and want to build 1000 more houses on the only three blocks of farmland land left in the village!

In France we live in a village of 17 houses and a population of 40...

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by virtdave • Mon 05 Dec 2011 15:56

It's been interesting watching this thread....we lived in the UK a couple of times--3 months in a dreary part of London (near Paddington) and 6 months in a pleasant part of Edinburgh (Bruntsfield). It sounds like things are deteriorating in the UK. We bought our place in Creuse about 25 years ago, and I was a bit concerned that the things we appreciate there would not survive. But they have done so. It's not totally clear why rural France has remained unspoiled....at least in Limousin.

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virtdave
1129
Sep 2008
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by beetle • Mon 05 Dec 2011 21:03

The first link in the musical journey, as you are aware did not work. I came across the link over a year ago and in passing he mentions the video was composed whilst considering what they should play at his funeral. That sort of comment makes you think he is far sighted,always prepared, but as it no longer exsits, he must have been serious (approx age late 50's).
As we draw near to our house in the Creuse we say "Aah home at last" perhaps we should not dally here in the UK too much longer

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by Siptea • Tue 06 Dec 2011 13:14

I'm from Los Angeles, and traffic there is a way of life. It's very stressful. We are only in our 40's and still have to work long hours here in France. But when we're not working, it's so awesome to look out the window and see no cars, no houses, just green fields. The French do seem to be in a hurry on the bigger freeways and even our little winding roads and often they are tailgating us, but other than that, seems to be a pretty laid-back lifestyle here and it's very relaxing. And the space is amazing!

Siptea
87
Jul 2010
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by lestroisours • Tue 06 Dec 2011 13:48

When I quit work in 2003 at 49, we ran away to south west Scotland from Hampshire, where we had lived in the M27 corridor/car park.
Anne's mother, now sadly departed, was from Midlothian, and the countryside there was to us unexplored. Why we decided to cut our ties with England, we are not really sure. It wasn't a wrong move, as it seemed right at the time. To continue in the county where we had lived and worked just seemed wrong, and taking thirty minutes to drive five miles was just crass. Car density was such, certainly in our household of three, that a car for each occupants was the norm.

Strangely we sought what we have now in France, but in Scotland didn't find it, buying instead a new house on the outskirts of Dumfries, just along the road from Queen of the South Nil. Instead of the crush of traffic, it was five minutes from Tesco and twenty minutes from the countryside of the Galloway hills. We spent four lovely years there, and even had a caravan near the Ayrshire coast and made innumerable friends; until that is, we decided to move here in Creuse. Despite our surroundings in Dumfries, we were still reliant on jobs, and I had had to learn Scotish and plumbing, which to me was a bit like learning occitan. There was a slight feeling of politicization of the north, and with the increasing council taxes, France was becoming a draw. We were not held back by family, as our parents and children have always enjoyed the seperation, and subsequent holidays with us, so it mattered not to some extent where we lived. An extended stay in Australia tested us, but the distance involved was altogether too great for permanency there.

It was all about perception, lifestyle expectation and positive attitude. If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy? We didn't want to stay in the crab bucket with the other crabs, but it is amazing how many crabs try to prevent the one crab trying to escape by hanging on to its legs. The pervasive question of "why do you want to move there for?" rang in our ears.
We knew the risks, and having holidayed in France many times, we knew what to expect. I had French connections and French friends, and we had sampled a miniscule part of life there. What we needed to know was could we afford it?

Thanks to the boyant housing market on our move from England to Scotland in 2003 and then from Scotland to France in 2007, we knew our limits. Taking a little advice on location such as value for money, climate, and position was all we sought, and by chance we found it in our little corner of "la petite Ecosse". So it's not the Jura/Swiss border with lakes and trees, for which that part of France is famed, but it comes pretty close to the Galloway forest in part.

We have the reasonable climate, the solitude, and the countryside that we enjoy. We have no mortgage and the bills are paid, and we live a life as near perfect as our continuing good health can make it.

Having now moved from the land of deep-fried Mars Bars, to rural Creuse, where the people have not yet fallen into the habit of fast food, and the old traditional ways still abound. It is only when we visit the conglomerations of Limoges and Guéret, that people can be seen to have caught on to McDonalds and the like. Proportionally the countryfolk are less morbidly obese, but certainly live well. Keep the shop closed on Sundays and Mondays, enjoy the two-hour lunch, leave the twenty four/seven mentality for others, and the stress? What stress!

We do not look forward to our visits to the UK, as the traffic there is always at high density, patience is rare and tempers are fractious. We land on British soil reluctantly, to pay our respects, yearning for the return to come as quickly as possible, however much we love our family. We breath a sigh of relief when we return home.

We have now been in France for four years and regret not a bit our decision. pas de tout.

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lestroisours
527
Oct 2007
Re: Drawn to compare GB/FR
by The_Melting_Snowman • Tue 20 Mar 2012 11:27

For retitred people, I think France has the edge.

For those of working age I don't think there's much in it.

Of course it will depend on what part of the UK you came from. Living in the SE would be a fate worse than death for me.

Surprising the number of people who do return to the UK though, particularly when they've run out of money. Strange that...

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