CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Ian Moore: don’t ask me for advice on living in France!

PUBLISHED: 11:44 18 January 2017

Ian Moore at The France Show © Rita Evans

Ian Moore at The France Show © Rita Evans

Archant

After living in France for several years, Ian Moore finds that people are turning to him for advice but he doesn’t know the answers!

It is one of the benefits of adulthood that one can garner a number of responsibilities; take credit and acclaim for one’s achievements up to that point, be admired even, have one’s wisdom sought out.

It is also one of the benefits of adulthood to leave such glory-making to those that deserve it and though nominally, and certainly according to French law, I am ‘head of the household’, this over-achiever – and I use the term lightly – can usually be found working away from home and shuffling around his hotel room in his pyjamas trying to work out where to plug the kettle in.

I have been very lucky.

At The France Show, held every January at London Olympia, I met a great number of experts: financial, moving, house buying and selling, cycling, winemaking, cheese making, left-hand drive car suppliers and truffle seekers, linguists, hoteliers, mountaineers and satellite dish installers, to name a few.

If you were at The France Show and came armed with questions, you almost certainly left with answers.

____________________________________________________________________

Related articles

Ian Moore: how many times should you kiss in France?

Ian Moore: English food I miss in France

____________________________________________________________________

On the other hand, if you read my books on living in France and look for any insider tips or knowing shortcuts I’m afraid you’ll be sorely disappointed as I stumble from one ignorance-inspired ineptitude to the next, be it goat husbandry or delicate medical matters, never learning my lessons, never seeking the advice of others and buffeted about by French bureaucracy like a pinball.

It has come as something of a shock then, and certainly contrary to all the evidence, to discover that I am now considered something of an expert in all things ‘expat in France’. The responsibility is frankly tarrying, and not just because the idea of responsibility brings me out in a cold sweat, but because of the potential havoc that could be wrought.

In the days before barcodes, I was once sacked from a job as a cashier at a large supermarket chain because I was in the habit of just guessing the price of things. Some people would have been over-charged certainly, and by the same token some would have got lucky, but either way my attempts to “game show things up a bit”, and enliven a dull Saturday job were considered anarchic and “not in everyone’s best interests”.

My point is, I haven’t really moved on. ‘Making things up as I go along’ is something of a lifelong habit so when people ask me serious questions relating to, say, taxe d’habitation or conjugating the imperfect tense of the verb méconnaître, I will almost certainly look knowledgeable.

My answer may even sound authoritative but inside my head there are probably alarm bells going off, or the opening bars to Daffy Duck’s theme tune and the brain node equivalent to mass hysterics. As that supermarket found out, I am not to be trusted.

____________________________________________________________________

Related articles

How has Brexit affected this expat family in France?

Bizarre French superstitions you should know about

____________________________________________________________________

A friend recently asked for my counsel on the safest way to transfer money abroad and when the deafening laughter of my bank, parents and wife had died down in response to me being asked any sort of financial advice, I could think of nothing more sensible than swallowing bundles of cash and then swimming the Channel. It seemed like a much more exciting prospect than using a respected trustworthy currency house which the so-called ‘experts’ are wont to recommend.

Another friend asked me about the best way to approach the labyrinthine Kafkaesque nightmare that is French bureaucracy, and when my response was to prepare for the kind of rope torture that James Bond endured in Casino Royale, I was onl partly joking. I’m not sure anyone should proffer advice on how to deal with les fonctionnaires.

Happily though within the pages of magazines like Living France and French Property News and at events like The France Show, there are genuine experts; qualified, sensible individuals and organisations there to help.

But seriously, if you want my advice, don’t ask me.

Don’t miss The France Show at Olympia! See the latest ticket offer

Article by Living France Living France

More from Living in France

Yesterday, 13:44

French cheese doesn’t just have to be saved for the cheeseboard, why not experiment with canapés too?

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How does a jewellery designer, filmmaker and restaurateur who was born in Israel and grew up in New York come to turn a French château into an artists’ retreat? Ziggy Attias shares his life in Champagne-Ardenne

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

France has helped launch a satellite to study the effects of global warming; but how do French attitudes towards climate change compare to those of other Europeans?

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

France has historically been on the leading edge of eco-friendly projects and regulations. While many argue that much more needs to be done to meet environmental goals in France and globally, here are 11 ways that French government, companies and people are striving to be green.

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Seen a French property that would make fabulous food business but unsure of the paperwork and process? Read Tracy Leonetti’s at-a-glance guide to opening a restaurant or cafe in France

Read more
Running a business
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Thinking of setting up a campsite in France? Here’s what you’ll need to consider when it comes to planning permission.

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

With its unbeatable wine and cheese and laissez-faire attitude, there’s nowhere better to retire than France. But which cities are best for growing old in? Here’s the top 10

Read more
Pays de la Loire
Thursday, January 25, 2018

If you are buying in or moving to France you will need a French bank account but before you open one make sure you read these 11 things you need to know to avoid making a costly mistake

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

France might be experiencing a shortage of general practitioners but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a GP willing to take on new patients. Here’s what you need to know about finding and registering with a doctor when you move to France

Read more
Expats in France
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The French pharmacy is so much more tham a place to pick up your prescriptions. Here are 11 things you might not know about pharmacies in France.

Read more
Healthcare in France
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now