Mov­ing di­ary

In the fi­nal chap­ter of her di­ary, Fiona Flint re­flects on her first year in France and she couldn’t be hap­pier that she made the move

Living France - - Contents - Fiona Flint moved to a small ham­let in Haute-Garonne with her hus­band An­drew in 2017

Fiona Flint re­flects on her fam­ily’s first year in France

Well, the time has come. This is my last ‘Di­ary of a Move’ col­umn! We have been in France for over a year now, and we are start­ing to feel like part of the fur­ni­ture.

It has been a rather hec­tic year for us with the pur­chase of two prop­er­ties, the new ad­di­tion to our fam­ily, nav­i­gat­ing the bu­reau­cracy and lan­guage and set­tling in to our new com­mu­nity. I thought it would be nice to end on a high, and sum­marise some of the as­pects of our new life that we are en­joy­ing the most.

COM­MU­NITY SPIRIT

There is no doubt that I feel more a part of the com­mu­nity in our ham­let in France than I have any­where else that I have lived pre­vi­ously. We have been made to feel so wel­come, and not a week goes by with­out a neigh­bour pop­ping by to say hello. There are end­less com­mu­nity events, and there is al­ways a rea­son for an apéri­tif or two! I have no doubt that my neigh­bours would come to my aid if ever needed, and that is quite a com­fort­ing thought when my hus­band works away so of­ten.

HEALTH­CARE

While hav­ing to make use of health­care isn’t nec­es­sar­ily en­joy­able, it is cer­tainly some­thing that I have been in­cred­i­bly im­pressed with since mov­ing to France. I have never had a baby in the UK, but I can­not praise the health­care I re­ceived dur­ing and af­ter my preg­nancy in France enough. I found it to be in­cred­i­bly thor­ough and staffing and re­sources to be abun­dant. Any con­cerns I or the med­i­cal staff had have been ad­dressed im­me­di­ately and I have never had to wait for any­thing. My ex­pe­ri­ences with the French health­care sys­tem have filled me with con­fi­dence should we ever have to ad­dress any se­ri­ous health is­sues in France in the fu­ture.

LIFE­STYLE

Our main rea­son for mov­ing to France was to en­joy a more out­door life­style, with fewer of the stresses and strains as­so­ci­ated with the UK life we had come from. I am pleased to con­firm that we have def­i­nitely achieved that!

The cli­mate in the area that we are now lo­cated in is per­fect for us pale Scots, with the sum­mer heat tem­pered by prox­im­ity to the Pyrénées moun­tains. The sum­mer ex­tends into beau­ti­ful, warm au­tumns and there is enough snow in the win­ter to sat­isfy our ski legs.

There is a huge ar­ray of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and we are out walk­ing and ex­plor­ing con­stantly. With so much to do in our area it is easy to for­get that France is a huge coun­try, and we are very much look­ing for­ward to ex­plor­ing the other beau­ti­ful ar­eas that are on our doorstep in the fu­ture.

It has been a plea­sure to share our jour­ney with you and I hope that my col­umn has been in­ter­est­ing and en­joy­able. If you would like to see what we get up to in the fu­ture, please do con­tinue to fol­low us on In­sta­gram – you can find us un­der @notre_vie_en_france.

Bonne chance to those of you soon to make the move – you won’t re­gret it!

Ex­plor­ing the lo­cal area

to the fam­ily The new ad­di­tion

The first week in our new home

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