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Exiled Scot living in France

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  • Exiled Scot living in France

    Hi Everyone
    I came across the site by accident whilst looking for a gaelic translation for a French friend. I have lived in France for a year now and find that the French are nuts about Scotland. My husband wore his kilt to a New Year celebration and caused quite a stir. They ask me about Scottish music as they are not sure what it is like except for the bagpipes. They love Irish music and many of them have visited Ireland but never Scotland. I wonder why? Perhaps it has something to do with Scotland not having the euro? They even hold Irish evenings locally and like to learn Irish dancing. I've nothing against that but it seem a pity that Scotland misses out all the time. The French in the South think we live in Scotland but are really English.(I quickly put them right on that score). Unfortunately there is very little marketing of Scotland here which is a bit of a shame. I think the Scottish Tourist Board should rethink its marketing strategy. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Welcome, Lecroquemadame, to this great site. I found it in a similar fashion to the way you found it, and I'm so grateful that I did. I try to check in at least once a day to see what is happening, and to see whether anyone is looking for help in an area of knowledge where I might help.
    Re marketing Scotland in France - perhaps you should call yourself an Auld Alliance diplomat and send a monthly invoice to the Scottish tourism Board for your services?
    Look forward to meeting you around the boards, and hearing of your progress.
    What part of France are you in, and what do you and your husband do? Yes, we are a bit nosey here, but very friendly.


    • #3
      Hello Maggies Boy

      Thank you for your reply. We live in the Alpes de Haute Provence, in the Durance Valley about 40 minutes north of Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. We are about 1.5 hours from the mountains where we can walk, ski etc and 1.5 hours from the coast and all the beaches, 1 hour from Marseille airport. The best of both worlds really.
      We are originally from Edinburgh where my husband was a teacher and I was a primary school administrator. We bought a little village house 2 years ago and used it for holidays but when he retired last year (when he was 60), we decided to move permanently to France. Apart from the obvious reasons of life style etc. it is cheaper to live here, especially on a pension. We also find local services and amenities excellent and there are many inexpensive activites for people our age. It has been a good move and we don't regret it. We do miss family and I particularly miss my wee grandson who is 20 months old. But hey, he is arriving this Wednesday with his Mum and Dad for 2 weeks holiday so I am really excited!!


      • #4
        I used to live in Savoie during the school holidays - in a little village near Megeve. I really loved France - but the altitude where we lived was not too good for my husband's health so we live permanently in Spain now. Same age as you are - retired and finding cost of living a lot cheaper than in the UK so fairly happy with the move here. Miss my family as you do though.


        • #5
          Hi Ptarmigan
          I have never visited the Savoie but I have been told (by a French person of course) that the food is really good there. Which part of Spain do you live? We recently returned from a 8 day trip to Spain and I was very impressed with the South. Andalusia was amazing! Cordoba and Granada in particular. We particularly liked the culture in Spain which is a little more like the Scottish. Unfortunately much as I love the French and France they are not gregarious in any way, and in Provence they know nothing of what it is like to meet friends in a pub for a drink and talk for hours. When they meet it always revolves around food. We also noticed that the economy in Spain was really thriving and there was new building everywhere.
          Retirement is great, isn't it?


          • #6
            I live in Piles (!) a little village near Gandia on the Costa Azahar - equidistant between Valencia and Alicante. The weather here does not get so hot in the summer nor so cold in the winter as does the south of Spain.
            Provence sounds a bit more cultured than Savoie. The life of the little village we lived in revolved round the local bar/shop. Lots of fun and laughter - folk arriving unexpectedly at our house for a chat. Humour a bit infantile - like mine!!! I don't ski by the way but am very good at the old apres ski! All the inhabitants (apart from me and my husband) French or part Italian/French. I do miss it a lot.