Episode 82-In which we lay our cards on the table and realise that we are way short of a full pack

collinerenovation, restoration, desperation

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is..”

That’s a line from a Donovan song (showing my age now) and is currently highly relevant to our situation re moving to France.

When we bought the village house, we could see this mini-mountain from the tulip bedroom, then the trees grew and now we can only see it in winter.

This whole project has been defined by stages of dangerous naivety, smug achievement, financial fluctuations, unexpected critical illnesses, complete confusion, potentially fatal misunderstandings, stress-witch tendencies (me), job redundancies, enforced changes of plans….etc etc

Are we mad?  what will it be next?

Thanks to Mr Cameron I now have to work for another seven years to claim my UK pension pittance (reduced of course to reflect my years at home looking after my children)  Trevor’s company chopped employer pensions contributions years ago, and though now obliged to reinstate these it is way too late for him  to catch up now.

We both have tiny pensions from years back ( lump sums already gone, spent on plumbing and electrics!) which will not support us in France, even though fresh food, logs, wine & diesel all way cheaper here.

Having put all our eggs in French property basket we no longer have a UK house to rent out or sell.

Most of our fellow expats of our age group have good pensions/savings/property investments/lucrative businesses. We have none of those. We have just found out that Trevor’s employer insurance package was chopped years ago too and nobody told him.

Excuse me while I scream



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Episode 82-In which we lay our cards on the table and realise that we are way short of a full pack

  1. Lynda says:

    I appreciate your candid posts. They help me to feel better about our flop. I feel good when I cheer you on, You have a good head on your shoulders and whatever comes you seem to bounce back more determined and grow with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Please be very careful with the financial side of life. I moved to Portugal 20 years ago and have seen so many folk without sufficient funds think they will be able to make a living in another country. Fail and then go home in confusion and tears. If you have not sufficient funds and pensions, then just treat it as a holiday home and holiday let. Holiday let,s produce some money, but not a living. I have had three lets and a Villa and seen the market become overcrowded and the season become shorter. It is also very difficult to get winter let’s when the hotels give their accommodation away in the winter. Having given up letting, far to much hassle, we have sold some of the property, more to go and have purchased a loverly Motorhome, called Bessy and will be wintering for the third time in Morocco. Lovely country, cheap living and super winter climate. Down-sized big time and loving it.


    • Thanks for your comment Francis, it is precisely because we DON’T assume that we can make a living in another country that I intend to keep my UK business ongoing and that is also why we have chosen modest and easily maintained property in France, which is a serious downsize both space wise and running costs wise from our former UK house with big gardens and big bills!
      Have fun in Morocco.


    • Have followed your blog for years, glad you are taking the financial side with some caution. Maybe the blog has been a tad over dramatic on this subject. Good luck anyway. Sorry about the extra years before pension. I retired at 75.!


      • Hi Francis
        This blog was always intended to be an honest diary, charting the ups and the downs, the achievements and the obstacles. There are so may rose-tinted “we moved to France” stories out there; I felt that telling it like it is from the point of view of two regular folk with a lifetime of baggage between them was a fresh perspective.
        Maybe I am a tad confessional at times, but my readers seem to like the style and content.


  3. Oh no. This seems like a series of disasters but hopefully you will find some way through the maze of issues to achieve your ultimate goal … living in your bijou french house 🙂


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