Janie's France diary

How easy is it to settle down in France? Janie Arnold from London has written a diary of her experiences in the South of France where she and her partner have bought a farmhouse with potential. Click on a title below and read her story.

Jan 2008

  • Lydia

    Life is good

    Almost four years after her last entry, Janie is sending her greetings from France where she is still living with her husband and twins.

June 03 - May 04

  • Janie with friend

    Dinner parties

    Janie finds that in France you invite people over for a dinner party. All you need is a simple meal served on a pretty table and the right mix of people.
  • Janie, Ashley, parrots

    Great achievements

    Janie and Ashley are celebrating their first year in France with a great party with 60 guests, three parrots and a magician.
  • house

    Our village is under threat

    The Government has plans to forcibly purchase the houses in the village. Not speaking fluent French Janie was unaware of the problem.
  • Janie and Ashley

    It's twins!

    Janie has some wonderful news to share: she is pregnant and is expecting twins.
  • baby

    Un garçon et une fille

    Janie writes about what it's like to be pregnant in France. Also she and Ashley made a difficult decision: they want to go back to England.
  • Janie

    Health matters

    Janie is going through all the health checks. This involves a lot of communication with doctors and her French is more than challenged.
  • Janie and Ashley

    Hard to get back home!

    Janie and Ashley find out what it's like to sell a house in France. The house is on the market with an estate agent based in the UK.
  • Janie

    The benefits of French health care

    Janie is 30 weeks pregnant and is being very well looked after by French health care. She and Ashley are not ready to leave France just yet!
  • Janie with babies

    Happy arrival

    On Easter Monday Janie gave birth to two healthy babies. They were very impatient to come out before their time.

Oct 02 - Jan 03

  • house

    A dream come true

    Janie and her husband Ashley have bought a large farmhouse in the South of France built in 1837. The want to run a B&B and rent out two apartments.
  • dog

    French for neighbours, builders and dogs

    Janie speaks French to her dog. And to her neighbours and builders as well of course! Find out how she copes.
  • Ashley and tractor

    The honeymoon is over

    After the excitment of the first months, Janie realises that the house is creating an awful lot of work.
  • BBQ

    Socialising over food

    Janie can manage a BBQ, but how will she handle a French five course meal? Read about French etiquette.
  • Janie

    We're now legal

    Janie has received her
  • builders

    Christmas in France

    Janie and Ashley are days away from their first Christmas in France and the building and decoration work is far from being finished.
  • phone

    Challenging phone calls

    Janie needs to make an appointment at the doctor and explain her symptoms to him. She gets her phrase book out to prepare the call.

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