France

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Shrimp64, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Shrimp64

    Shrimp64 Funster

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    Its a lovely place but the more I see of it the more I think 'one day there is going to be the sound of crumbling stone & mortar, the creak of timbers giving way and a mighty dust cloud rising into the air as France disintegrates into an untidy pile'!
    It is a fantastic to see the buildings & streets as they have probably been seen for (maybe) centuries but surely one day rotten timber & mortar have to give in?
    Hope I'm not standing admiring it all when it happens!
     
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  2. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    You could say the same about any place if you only visit the picturesque, historical, pretty bits. There are thousands of lovely French villages and towns that aren't ancient. Loads of working communities that have thriving markets, bars and restaurants but aren't on the tourist trail.

    Look for villages that are " en fete", getting a bit late in the year but some are through Septmeber. There'll be a few banners and posters advertising it. Usually a vide Grenier along with a few other events and that's the way to really see French communities.
     
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  3. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    I expect they will stay standing for a few more centuries with the odd little bit of help here and there. One of the things I love about many French villages is the they don't pull things down and put up sone cheap crap in its place, I also like the older houses, even small ones are often very elegant and stylish and build to look that way and to last.
     
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  4. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    Many of the old looking wrecks (from the outside) are often stunningly well kept on the inside. I don't know if the local authorities have twigged the downside to this yet but for a long time if you renovated the outside of your property there was more tax to pay. Hence all those unfinished block walls (which have only been finished on the inside). Mostly, if you see a finished renovation it's probably owned by an expat.
     
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  5. KeithChesterfield

    KeithChesterfield Funster

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    Book early to avoid disappointment ......

    RUIN.4.jpg

     
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  6. Mack100

    Mack100 Funster

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    Hope they don't get this chap to do the work for them image.jpeg
     
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  7. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Nowhere near as bad as in Britain when all the Victorian built back to back houses, underground railway tunnels and brick sewers all come to the end of their lives - all more or less at the same time.
     
  8. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    It's actually a cultural thing. Many older generation people in France think it extremely poor taste to make an ostentatious display of wealth so they are very careful not to make houses, particularly older ones, look " done up". Another cultural thing is that older people tend to say good morning /evening when they enter a shop or cafe to everyone whether they know them or not. It's just a politeness I certainly appreciate.
     
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  9. maison

    maison Funster

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    We are always amused that the older French houses usually have at least one large crack running up the wall.

    So much so that we decided that French Building Regs. must contain a requirement for the "statutory" crack to be included in all building applications.:rolleyes:

    In UK such a crack would make it impossible to obtain a mortgage on the property. Another good example of the more laid back, non-materialistic, attitude displayed in rural France that makes us love it so much.:)
     
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  10. Steve and Kat

    Steve and Kat Funster

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    Couldn't agree more
     
  11. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Seen in a old village today an old butchers shop still got the old shop front and faded sign over the door mustn't have been used for probably fifty years, house's both sides been done up but this looked as if you opened the door it would fall down, wish I'd took a photo now.:(
     
  12. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    You are possibly correct with the ostentatious thing but the house rates/tax tip was suggested to me by more than one French neighbour so I'm happy to think that it is correct.
     
  13. Mack100

    Mack100 Funster

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    :)@maison with your username and location I nominate you as forum advisor on all matters regarding buildings in France
     
  14. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    I am happy to think we are both correct
     
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  15. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    :)

    Sounds like a plan

    :)
     
  16. burtonbird

    burtonbird Funster

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    But then again.....passed this today. A brand new road being built alongside a perfectly good one with nothing on it. Be interesting if jobs like this carry on when we've Brexited! IMG_20160911_120100471.jpg
     
  17. maison

    maison Funster

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    Sounds like a recipe for disaster!

    We love the place, as you can see, but we still find find daily life a (pleasant) challenge from time to time.

    Like all Brits who relocate, part or full time, to another Country it's a steeeee-eep learning curve, but well worth the effort.:):france:
     
  18. bladerunner

    bladerunner Funster

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    I love France and have toured there for the past 35 years - presently probably go 5 or 6 times a year either in MH or motorcycle, so spend maybe 3 months a year plus in various places all over.

    My thoughts:

    They have lost the plot and can't work out where France needs to go for the future. Many want to hold on to old ways (farmers/traditions etc) but they are stymied because the youth migrates to the towns and cities.
    The villages are dying - especially in the North. It is amazing now you can visit France and it is shut! Village after village is shuttered up with barely a soul walking through (at any time, any day of the week). It used to be a pleasure to come into town and have a choice of restaurants/cafes with sun umbrellas out. Now, leading a tour, I ride though literally dozens of villages looking for somewhere to have coffee - this is not just out of season. This situation improves South of around Clermont Ferrand when the cafes suddenly appear and the mood lightens.
    I understand that there are now fewer French than there were before the 1st WW, so they don't need to build anymore houses in the countryside at least.

    The town and city centres at night are increasingly scary with yoofs and souped up loud hatchbacks. I don't like Paris any more and would hesitate to visit any of its suburbs.
    Many towns have allowed development to stretch out into the country so there are endless M Bricolage or 'orrible Buffalo Grill seemingly merging with the same coming out of the next town.

    Restaurant food has definitely declined in quality and I would honestly say UK food is generally better. It is harder to find a decent interesting French restaurant now ( oh how I remember an awesome 6 course meal in Normandy that came in at under £35 each). Much food appears lazy with chicken or faux steak and fries and rubbish veggies. - (without sounding priggish, I can speak french and do seek out local rather than "costa del" food).

    The French themselves appear a friendly as ever and have a slightly haunted look of fear in that they are clearly worried about the direction their country in heading. They can be delightful courteous and interesting.

    Somehow they need to embrace the future trends whilst maintaining "frenchness" - Central London seems to have worked it out for now - it is undeniably cosmopolitan but essentially works and is still "British - ish".

    As I say, these are my personal views based on a LOT of experience and a true love of the people and country.

    None of this applies to the South of France or big tourist spots where the vibe is a good as ever - if as expensive as ever.
     
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  19. Shrimp64

    Shrimp64 Funster

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    I'm not critising French house nor France-I love the place specially the old Villes with their old houses/buildings.
    I also know that a lot of the older houses, even tho they look as tho they're falling down are lived in-with all mod cons, also families have 'collected' houses over the generations and are loath to sell them even if they could get the money they are worth!
    As I said I love France and wouldn't have it any other way!
    Vive la France!
    Bravo Bladerunner-just what I was trying to get over!
     
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