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How long do you keep paperwork for ?

How long do you keep paperwork for ?

As you might have found out in France, we love paperwork! Well, French people do not like it, but it would seem that our government and civil servants do…. And maybe insurance companies, banks, etc do as well! But fear no more! If you are fed up with filing, you can...

La chandeleur

La chandeleur

After the “galette des rois” in January, we have the “crêpes” (pancakes) of February!! Needless to say that if you have taken a New year resolution such as losing weight, January and February in France are not helping!! The Chandeleur which means the candle feast is...

La Galette des rois

La Galette des rois

In January, you will see a lot of pastry cakes called “galette des rois” in bakeries and supermarket. It is a pastry dessert eaten on the 6th of Jnauary to celebrate the visit of the 3 wise men (3 kings in French) to the divine enfant “Jesus” (Epithany). But as French...

La Toussaint

La Toussaint

The 1st November is All Saints day, and it’s a bank holiday. The 2nd of November is the day of the dead. To celebrate all Saints day, French people put Chrysanthéme flowers (Chrysanthemum flower) on the tomb of their loved ones that have passed away. This tradition...

French regions

French regions

It might not come to you as a surprise but this was first set up in 1789 after the Revolution by the parliament created by revolutionists. There are 101 departements in France grouped inside 18 regions in France and abroad. Funny enough, they pretty much have kept the...

Pâques – Easter and Poisson d’avril (april fool)

Pâques – Easter and Poisson d’avril (april fool)

Yes, we also celebrate Easter and it is the most important celebration of Christianism. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the 21st of March. It celebrates the resurection of Jesus. Le Lundi de Paques which is Easter Monday is bank...

Wild rubbishes

Wild rubbishes

In 2018, it is estimated that 520 000 tons of rubbish have been deposited in the wild, the equivalent to 52 Eiffel towers!! And this is on the increase!! It represents 21kg of rubbishes per inhabitant per year. This is highly uncivilised when you consider all the...

Road traffic Accident: What to do!

Road traffic Accident: What to do!

Although it is not the funniest thing to talk about, you must know what to do in case of a car accident. It is better to look at it when you are calm and composed instead than finding out what to do after an accident when you stressed out and shocked. If you have an...

Bank holidays

Bank holidays

The Month of May in France is famous for bank holidays!! So what a good oportunity for me to enumerate them all and how they work compare to Great Britain. First of all, we have more than you BUT if it falls on a Sunday, tough luck!! We don’t have “in lieu”. And in...

Le Panthéon

Le Panthéon

ne of the news of this Month is the entry of Josephine Baker in the Panthéon, which gives me the opportunity to explain what is the Panthéon. It is a monument  based in the 5th arondissement of Paris which was originally built as a church in the 18...

Sport Tourism in the Charente

Sport Tourism in the Charente

s it is July and the weather is great, why not make the most of our wonderful department and try some rambling, climbing, archery, horse riding, sailing, paddle, mountain biking or canoeing!! There is a special site...

Respecting your neighbours

Respecting your neighbours

am sure it does not come as a surprise to you that we have laws in France to help maintain peace in villages between neigbours. And it won’t surprise you either that most French people do not respect it!! Or choose to ignore it!! For instance,...

Pineau des Charentes

Pineau des Charentes

his is a aperitif wine which has been invented by mistake in 1589 (according to the legend!). A vineyard worker had poured some grape juice inside a barrel that already contained some eau de vie (the liquid to make Cognac).  When they opened the...

List of documents for applying for french residency

List of documents for applying for french residency

ou have been living in France for more than 5 years: Your situation: Documents you need : You already have or had a carte or titre de séjour (even expired) Your carte or titre de séjour even if expired I never had a carte or titre de séjour Your...

Les Soldes

Les Soldes

he Soldes happens twice a year in France and the dates are decided by the prefet( chief of police) of each department after consulting with shop owners. The only product allowed to be sold at reduce price (even below cost) are the ones that have...

Road traffic accident – What to do !

Road traffic accident – What to do !

lthough it is not the funniest thing to talk about, you must know what to do in case of a car accident. It is better to look at it when you are calm and composed instead than finding out what to do after an accident when you stressed out and...

Help in preparing your death

Help in preparing your death

n case of your death, your family will need to know what property you have and where it is. Having the following information will help them and save worry and uncertainty. So, feel free to print this page and fill in the relevant information and...

Cannelés

Cannelés

he Canelé is a mini cake that originated from Bordeaux and is now the official specialty of Bordeaux (with red wine of course!!). Nobody knows when it was first created and by who!! It was very fashoinable in the 1930ies but almost disappeared...

Be vigilant with Fraud

Be vigilant with Fraud

llianz like many other compagnys is victim of Fraud. So we are asking you to help us fight it. Criminals can try to use our logo to get access to informations in oder to steal money!! If you think you have been victim of a fraud which involved a...

Rule of urbanisme

Rule of urbanisme

ow most of you are renovating your houses in France but are you fully aware of the rules and yes, paperwork that goes along with it!! Those forms are to make sure that the work you do is OK and conformed to the rules of your commune (town or...

Why you need to change your UK car registration to French

Why you need to change your UK car registration to French

ell, the answer is straight forward really: because It is illegal for you, if you live in France, to drive a UK Registered car. Why: Because using a foreign registered car enables you to avoid parking and speeding tickets!! And the French...

What to do if you breakdown on a French motorway

What to do if you breakdown on a French motorway

OTORWAY BREAKDOWN SERVICE IS EXCLUSIVELY DEALT BY APPROVED OPERATORS, FOR SAFETY REASONS Minor problems are fixed by the road side For more serious problems, the breakdown service operator will tow the vehicle to     the garage Breakdown call-out...

What to do when you need a windscreen replacement or repairing:

What to do when you need a windscreen replacement or repairing:

irst of all, you need to check that you are covered for it!! If your policy is fully comprehensive, it’s covered. If it is third party, it depends as there are 3 types of third party (One includes Windscreen cover so check first). Option 1: Call...

Using equity release to purchase a home back in the UK

Using equity release to purchase a home back in the UK

fter almost 12 years of ‘living our dream’ retirement in France, we took the decision to return to the UK, to once again be closer to family. Although aware that it would be near impossible to buy a comparable property for the sale price of our...

Social help in France

Social help in France

here are so many different sorts of social help in France that it is impossible to know them all. Some of them are a direct financial help towards bills (money or vouchers) or some others are material help like someone helping you at home or even a...

Registering an UK car in France

Registering an UK car in France

large number of UK citizens moving to France prefer to bring their car with them, while others already living here buy cars in the UK. Registering your UK vehicle in France is not as traumatic as some may have you believe – providing you have all...

Mandat de protection future

Mandat de protection future

his is a document that you can draft with your Notaire that basically lets you name someone to look after you and/or your assets in case your mental health diminishes. This document does not take away your rights or legal capacities. It just allows...

Road traffic Accident: What to do!

Road traffic Accident: What to do!

lthough it is not the funniest thing to talk about, you must know what to do in case of a car accident. It is better to look at it when you are calm and composed instead than finding out what to do after an accident when you stressed out and...

House fire, the story of Jim and Jan Pearson

House fire, the story of Jim and Jan Pearson

ow do I Start, can I say that my wife and I brought a house in France and took out the required insurance with BH-Assurances Allianz. I am very glad we did. We moved into our dream house in March in a village in the Limousin in 2016. We are both...