My husband & I both married young but not to each other. Both of us worked for many years in Civil Service (me) & local government (husband). Both ended our working lives in the private sector. My husband retired at 60 & I retired early. For many years we dreamed of retiring to the sun & having an adventure- after looking at various places in France, we came to Brittany & fell in love with it. We now live on the Brittany, Loire Atlantique border.
We bought a beautiful house with 2 hectares of land. We have spent a lot of time & money making the house comfortable, to suit us, thinking we would be here until one or both of us become infirm.
Because we have the land we have 4 dogs, 3 cats, 6 ducks, 5 goats & 5 chickens. We both speak passable French & have joined a local association- La Petite Idée who offer a range of activities. My husband exhibits photos at their expo, I am to do a Brit cake making session. My husband also belongs to another photographic club & I do yoga. Because of my interest in dogs I have made many French friends & some very good Brit friends.
We enjoy visits from friends & family from the UK.
This is very much our home & we both love & respect our host country.
The last year has been extremely difficult for me. My husband is much more relaxed about the whole thing & takes the line that until we know that we have to worry, he won’t worry. Me? Anxiety levels high! I don’t really think France will deport us but until I know for sure, I am anxious. I also worry about the terms/conditions that may apply to us.
My biggest anxiety is the animals–if we did have to leave–there is no way we could afford a similar set up in the UK & couldn’t house all the animals. If May crashes out–as I suspect–what happens with the pet passport scheme. No way will I put my animals in quarantine.
I plan to apply, initially for a Carte de Séjour, followed by citizenship. I have absolutely no wish to return to the UK.
Because of the animals & my commitment to them, we are pretty much tied to here but I like to think that we may yet get chance to travel around Europe- border free travel is such an amazing privilege.
Disclaimer: As with all of the information supplied through the citizens’ panel and presented in our Conversations with the #britishinEurope feature, the views, information, or opinions of individual study participants presented above are solely those of the individual author. They do not necessarily represent those of the project team, Goldsmiths or our funders.