Finally starting to work on the book: Living in France without a TV crew

We’ve been meaning to settle down to write our book for years now but have only just gotten going properly on the initial stages of it over the last week or so.

Our working title is that of the original incarnation of this blog: Living in France without a TV crew. We figured that we needed at least a working title to focus our attention on what material would go into the book and what wasn’t really that relevant.

We’ve even got a very broad provisional structure:

  1. Choosing a place in France, of which we’ve nothing formally written yet;
  2. Moving in which’ll likely draw mainly on the articles here from 2004-2005;
  3. Some chapters looking in more detail at various aspects eg learning the language, education, etc.;
  4. Moving back, which raised more issues than you’d expect.

To see what we’d already written, I’ve been pulling together the relevant posts from 2004 through to 2009 which, even after loads of deleting, amounts to 322 pages and 180,000 words ie we’ve loads to work with.


Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Changes in the traffic flow over the summer

In the midst of school terms, you can depend on traffic jams each day at 9am and from before 3pm through to around 4pm followed by a minor lull before the next traffic jam gets going around 5pm.

It’s radically different over the summer. Gone is that 9am traffic jam and, around here anyway, the jam kicks in around 30 minutes earlier and presumably is a bit worse as you’ve got the normal work traffic plus the people who’d have been on the road after dropping off the kids. Thankfully, the 3pm-4pm peak is gone though the latter jam also seems to be that much worse as the school pickup people are also on the road in the latter slot.

The plus point for me is that my earlier start means that the flexi time clocks up quite a bit over the summer which in turn means that I can take an extra couple of days off over that period. That’s if I stick to my normal school-run wake-up time and don’t start lying in, of course.


Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Aren’t school uniforms expensive?

With James leaving primary school, his school uniform has changed from a relatively simple affair to something considerably more complex and expensive.

In its place there’s:

  • a Blazer (badged)
  • Black trousers (OK, no big change there)
  • White Shirt
  • House tie (new addition)
  • Black socks
  • Black shoes (by which they mean “proper” shoes)
  • An overcoat or raincoat of formal style (gone is the anorak)

The PE kit has gone from a really simple t-shirt, shorts and gutties to the somewhat more involved:

  • Canterbury games shirt (badged)*
  • Canterbury games shorts (badged)*
  • Canterbury games socks (badged)*
  • Canterbury tracksuit (badged)*
  • Canterbury PE t-shirt (badged)*
  • Canterbury PE shorts (badged)*
  • Plain white socks
  • Trainers (non marking)
  • Rugby boots

And the price has gone from something like £50 or so to £273 which doesn’t even include the shoes, trainers, rugby boots or overcoat. That said, supposedly many of the items will last him a few years so it’s not an annual expensive, though neither was the £50. We suspect that at least part of that price rise is down to the significant reduction in the number of outlets offering the uniform as compared to the primary school but there is a whole lot more stuff that he needs too.

We’ve decided to leave purchase of the trousers until August as he generally grows out of those every year so we’ll likely end up getting a size larger than we would if we’d bought it now.


Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.