Monday, 4 January 2010

Heading home

Neil is in the next room to me trying to get his father to take his medication. You would think we were trying to poison, not help him and I have no idea how his mother is going to manage when we have gone home tomorrow. It is so sad to see how their relationship has gone from a normal loving to a frustrated difficult angry one.

Talking of angry we got a rollicking yesterday for coming in late for dinner, on the one afternoon we had actually had for ourselves visiting old friends. We have not been accepting any offers of dinner or drinks as Neil felt while we were here we needed to be on hand as much as possible for his parents, so it felt a tad unfair to be on the receiving end when we had been told it was a casserole that wouldn't spoil and to go and enjoy ourselves. A symptom of the situation I guess.

The van is full of the usual supplies for our friends in France. Baked beans,tea, cheddar and the Sunday Times all feature quite highly - as well as chappati flour, ghee and garlic powder. A sign of our modern times in Britain and now France!

I am just about to order the slate floor we have chosen for the hall and the barn when it becomes a lounge. We went shopping in Limoges to try and find something equivalent to what we had seen in the UK and found that the nearest we could get (which was far inferior quality) was over 100 euros per square metre, whereas in the UK it is 19 pounds and in the sale there is an extra 10% off that. No contest really.
Even with shipping we are going to get something special for a lot less than we would have to pay in France. It makes no sense at all.


  1. Frsnce is primitive when it comes to commerce. I could have onyx shipped from Turkey for less than the rubbish on sale in France when we renovated the house and that's years ago.
    The problem is that the French consumer has no idea at all of what they could have...just led by the nose by greedy artisans and wholesalers.

  2. We are finding the same in regards to pricing, but we were glad to leave behind the consumer-driven UK economy, with its accent on money: the earning of it and the spending of it. As I said to our French neighbour the other day: What price can you put on a way of life. And if that means that everything is more expensive, then so be it. It is a small price to pay.

  3. Can't agree with Vera. Prices are much higher in France because of lack of competition. Even if my budget were unlimited I would not be happy paying French prices for building materials and the like. I know a rip off when I see it.
    I usually buy from the big 'Brico' stores, but, one day, needing more white cement, and not feeling like the drive, went to the builder's merchant chain in the nearest town. The cement cost double the price of the 'Brico' store. It was the same brand. The same...in every respect.
    I asked the guy at the counter to explain the difference, and he had the insolence to reply that his chain sold 'professional' cement, while the 'Brico' stores sold stuff for amateurs.
    There wouldn't have been room for the sack where I felt like putting it, but it stayed on his counter and I waited until my next trip to the metropolis for my cement.


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