I have always said, we, at UnFrench welcome those 'still dreaming France' with open arms and why not? I do have a wreck in France myself, so half way there, I guess. I totally get the France is your happy ending, I do!
My reality is that I do now live in Canada. There's no escaping this fact. So, it would seem, I am also 'still dreaming of a life in France'. Just like you. I am a displaced soul. Park your dreams here with me you lovely folks, grab a cuppa and come along for the ride, eh? Thats what UnFrench is about. The dreamers, the already there and those that are still looking.
I totally understand the living between two countries thing. One in person and one in our hearts, hopes and dreams. We connect with a country such as France, like never before and we sleep walk through the rest of our days until the dream is achieved. I hear you!
Keep the dream alive! Don't give up, please, I beg you. I personally could well be due a medal, for the wandering I've had to do to find my way home. Trailing endlessly behind my husband and his career, but I will happily settle for a 'one day soon' manor house in the French countryside, I'm not greedy....just impatient!
Not being one to wait forever, I have set a time limit for this irritating globe trotting situation and it absolutely ends in November 2022, no matter what, come what may, dead or alive......and any another pointless sayings I can think of to ram my point home. We cash in our chips and find a way to make it all happen, no excuses.
This weekend, my husband, who is still trying to get me to connect to my new life here in Ontario, took me back out to the Canada I could certainly love, if I wanted to. The Canada we opted not to live in because we really didn't want a hideous commute. The traffic here eats you up and sells your leftovers to to devil! Yuck!
Personally, it's sheer Yorkshire grit and gumption not to fail, that has kept me here so far. I've had Sundays when I promised myself a flight home by the Monday. I promise you it's taken everything I have got and a bit more, to stay put, but that canister of nerves is about empty!
The shock was that we will stay longer and to cope, I'm considering it a year at a time thing. I find I cope better in 12 month lumps......! Might have to break that down into seasons from here.
So it comes to pass, that this suburban experiment is deeply flawed. Thankfully, the lease on this modern edifice runs out in January, and we have the ideal opportunity to have another go at finding something that will suit us better, living wise.
We need to fix this.
On the WANTED list is:
A pool, maybe?
A good sized safe and secure garden for the pups and the growing of veggies!
No traffic noise of course.
A better quality of life.
So we escaped the city limits at weekend and after walking the dogs a good long way, we drove the rest in search of peace, sanity and to jump start our ambition to move early in 2020, into something more like 'us'.
Initially, we were in search of a decent rental and we found one. We just now have to find another cut throat agent to show us round and soon, but whilst looking, we came across a life style that might suit us longer term? This was a surprise!
Driving around the stunning neighbourhoods surrounding Lake Simcoe, we saw a few older properties with lake views that got us wondering.......could we buy, should we buy....do we want to? Up until this weekend we were very happy with working towards an escape back to France. Might there be the possibility of a plan B?
There was one older property, we instantly loved, as seems to be our issue in life. If it's broken we love it and want to fix it. Thats our collective achilles heel! We are lovers of the 'wrack and ruin'. Later we found out that the Canadian lake wreck inquisition is condemned and the land is nearly 2 million dollars. Thats us running away as fast as we can! Phew!
Shame on us!
Our thoughts quickly turned to the renting trap and what an awful waste of money it is, paying someone else mortgage! Here in Ontario though, the rent trap is real. The housing market is stupid buoyant still and migration is at an all time high. Housing stock is low, prices are eye watering and lets face it, historical buildings are still pretty new by our European standards.
It was really worth us considering the question I guess, even if just for a few hours. At 51 I do not personally fancy a mortgage of millions of dollars. I'm not sure he's put off yet though but all I can think of is, what I could buy in France for that amount of money! A heck of a lot more bricks, mortar, land and wine!
I feel like Canada would be robbing me of choice and my retirement somewhere down the line. Yeah I know it's about investing! I know we could do up and sell later. Pocketing the profits to make a better life in France, down the long and winding road........frankly, I'm not convinced.
I have zero wish to be landed with a mortgage that big EVER, even if it comes with gently lapping waves from a crystal blue lake. Tempted for the quality of writing life but it's a no thank you from me. Also, I'm scared that I would be trapped here. Here, being somewhere that was supposed to be a temporary situation.
One year only!
Anyway, back at the house, we wrapped ourselves up and caught up on the new series of Escape to the Chateau DIY. I really like the format and also the fact that Chateau De La Ruche features heavily, seemed more real, more doable, more of the real push and pull of expat chateau life. There has been a lot of focus on chateaux owners that in my opinion aren't on a tight DIY budget really, so it was good for the program to return to the 'warts n all', 'through the looking glass' owner adventures and disasters. I do like to see a bit of a tantrum, a 'for fucks sake, why did we do this to ourselves moment', we can all relate to the despair! Tears and turrets and broken tiara's please Dick and Angel. None of this 'oh look now, I've inherited a pile and I need to play pauper and crayon in some sheets'! Keep it real and we will keep coming back to watch. The one thing that had us hooked int he first place was Dick and Angels 'make do and mend' mentality.
One thing I would love to hear about is how the French banking/tourism systems are investing in these businesses. I suspect not, but I could be wrong? I hear that most expats in fledgling businesses aren't receiving the support they could expect in other countries? I'm also told time and time again that the French are not risk takers or entrepreneurs really. They see Brits, especially as massive risks at the moment. Not sure why as we are no different to an Australian or South African really. Money is money!
It would be fascinating for the program to focus on just how close these intrepid folks come to loosing it all? What they do to solve it and how they manage to finance the growth of their businesses?. More about the bureaucracy in France which is very convoluted!
Anyway, for now its renting in Canada for us and investing in France. All being well BREXIT will become something that never happened and will just be a story we tell our grandchildren one day!
We can live in hope, eh!