Hello my lovelies,
I hope you’re all well. I’ve been a little distant on here, wondering whether to continue with the blog or not. But lately I’ve received a few emails and messages on social media which have made me realise that even if my posts help inspire or advise just a few of you out there into living a beautiful life, then that makes me really happy. A few of my biggest decisions in life were made after someone helpfully answered a lot of my questions about something they knew or had done, so, I know first-hand what impact passing on any knowledge can have.
Seven Months in France
This month, we’re celebrating our first seven months in France. Seven months! How did that happen!? It’s easy to feel as though not much has happened, that we’ve floated around a lot, waiting for things to happen… But a few people have told me lately that we’ve achieved a fair amount since we’ve arrived, which prompted me to stop and think about what we had in fact achieved.
We’ve managed to obtain our Cartes Vitales, which is no mean feat. Working in a shop whilst staying at my parents, made this easier for me, and the children are included in my card. I will write more on Carte Vitale specifically in a separate post. These are essential when living in France, as you will need it when you go for any medical appointment, in order to get reimbursed later on.
Even though I used to have one, having been abroad for so long meant my file had been closed and had to be dealt with as a new file. Barry has a temporary number and hopefully it won’t be too long before he gets his official number and card.
The children have started in their new schools. They are currently in different schools, but as of next year Hugo will be in the same school as Siena.
I will write a separate post on the French system and schools. For now, I would say that the kids have done so well, considering they have been to four different schools in under a year… definitely not what we had planned for them but life took its course!
Hugo was showing some signs of anxiety, namely by chewing his tongue, but seems otherwise happy in school. But he seems better now, and hearing him sing French songs rolling his Rs or saying “boulangerie” never fails to make my heart melt…
Siena has been having problems in her school as she seems to be picked on by some of the kids… there being only 19 students in the school makes it a little tricky to handle but I’ve spoken to the teacher and to Siena about it. Any advice on how to handle bullies would be greatly appreciated!
Bought a house… or two
So the biggest news over the last six months I guess is that we bought a house, and we’ve now moved into it!
Since then, we may have also bought the house next door…. As you do!
In our defence, it was fairly cheap and we were able to get a good rate on a mortgage now that I’m working and also as we’re buying the first house as cash buyers. As such, we’re going to own our main home, a separate two bedroomed gite/guest house (friends are already booking themselves in!), a two bedroomed house with its separate garden, and its’ garage and workshop space.
Thanks to this incredible opportunity, workshops and retreats are back in the business plan!
I’ve been lucky in finding a job I’m really enjoying, just over 10 minutes away from our new house. I get to speak English and French, put to use my skills learnt in the law firm in terms of case management as well as my skills learnt from being self-employed in helping to improve the admin side of the business. My colleagues are lovely. I work Saturday mornings which I’m used to doing from when I worked in the wedding industry but get Wednesdays off to spend with the kids. I’ve been there almost two months and I’m really enjoying it.
It feels lovely being part of a team again and earning a regular salary, although I look forward to getting creative again now we have our house!
Le Jardin Contemporain
Barry has been busy setting up his new business: Le Jardin Contemporain. He has the t-shirts, the business cards and more recently Babs the van. He also looked into setting his business, as it’s very different in France. But he made it and signed up and is now legally able to trade, woohoo! He has his website set up in English and French and now just needs to find some work. I’m very proud of him!
Setting into French Life
We finally feel as though we’ve been settling into French life. Having moved into our home, means we’re getting to know the neighbours and the kids can have playdates once more. Barry is getting to know the football dads at Hugo’s club and even signed on to the dad’s team. Without realising it, he’s speaking loads of French and is well on his way to speaking fluently. I’m really proud of him.
We’ve had to get familiar with the French system for the healthcare, legislation, paperwork etc… we’re still learning on the go but feel as though we’re starting to know our way round it all.
Most of all, we keep having random moments during our days where we realise that we are now living in France, and it makes us really happy.
We really miss our friends in Bristol, this had undoubtedly been the hardest thing, not having our friends around to socialise. But having now moved in, we have plenty of room to welcome everyone and indeed friends and family are already making arrangements to come over and see us which makes us incredibly happy! (so book yourselves in quick! 😉 )
So there we are… Thoughts on August and September combined. It now feels as though the countdown to Christmas is on but first, looking forward to autumn and all the goodness it brings!
How has your month been? What are you looking the most forward to in October? Let us know…