-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
Puy D'Arnac, Corrèze
-Are you living alone or with your family?
With my wife Bridget & our collection of animals
-How long have you been living in France?
In France since the start of 2001. Originally in the Poitou Charentes, about an hour inland from La Rochelle, but we bought our Corrèze house in 2007, and move this month.
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in France?
1999, mainly due to work stress and a total lack of quality of life in the UK. We initially looked at Scotland & Ireland, but discounted them because of the weather. We then looked at Portugal, where we had a timeshare, but found that too expensive, and then decided on France.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
No, but the French are famous for their bureaucracy, and the reputation is well earned!
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
No, we used our E106 cover tostart with and then took out a French "Top-Up" policy which has been absolutely great.
-How do you make your living in France? Do you have any type of income generated?
I work as an Agent Commercial, selling houses, principally to ex-Pats, running my own business Allez-Français, which was started at the end of 2001. We have a highly acclaimed website www.allez-francais.com and around 300 houses for sale currently.
-Do you speak French and do you think it's important to speak the local language? Please add your thoughts on local customs and whether it's important for expats to respect/observe local customs.
My French gets me by. I would love to be fluent, but the most important thing is to make the effort to speak the language. We try to participate in village events and have integrated well into the community, and we even got married here in 2003.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Not really, we get depressed watching the UK news on the TV at times !
-Do you have other plans for the future?
To start to explore France a bit more - there is just so much to see. We have new business partners in the Poitou Charentes, and we want them to run the business to its full potential.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
You can still buy a lot of house for your money in France. Small 2 bed houses are available for around 100,000 Euros, whilst a grand house with 4-5 bedrooms will cost more like 300,000. For the seriously rich a château will set you back in excess of a million.
-What is the cost of living in France?
Dearer now than when we first moved here in 2001.
-What do you think about the French?
Really great. No hostility, just curiosity !
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in France?
+ the quality of life, medical services etc.
- undoubtedly, the bureaucracy
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in France?
Do your reasearch first. Use a good estate agent. Budget for no income for at least a year.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about France?