Expat Voices: Clare Gallaway on living in France
Five years ago, artist Clare Gallaway swapped the UK for France and clearly, like Edith Piaf, has no regrets.
Name: Clare Gallaway
City of residence: near Perpgignan
Date of birth: 20/4/49
Civil status: married
Reason for moving to France: like it better than England
Lived in France for: 5 years.
What was your first impression of France?
Here in the south: sun, scenery, welcoming neighbours, nice wine, charming old buildings.
What do you think of the food?
What do you think of the shopping in France?
Great veg, wine, meat, etc from local sources - (peaches from the orchards, local wine, wild boar from the village hunters...) We avoid large supermarket chains and use a combination Internet and local suppliers.
What do you appreciate about living in France?
Way of life, sun, food, wine, neighbours, 'le patrimoine', the train service, being surrounded by French language. As an artist I'm inspired by the marvellous light and colours here - as in my painting (opposite) of a village nearby
What do you find most frustrating about living in France?
Nothing much. Local politics sometimes get in the way of progress.
What puzzles you about France and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
Nothing much. And nothing!
How does the quality of life in France compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
Brilliant (compared to still-cold- war Vienna, Franco's Spain, and revolutionary Iran, it's paradise.)
If you could change anything about France, what would it be?
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Make sure you work at speaking French, get to know the local geography and history well, get your neighbours to recommend local workmen on your house, read the local newspapers and live on the same types of food as your neighbours.
If you would like to share your perspective about life in France and contribute to Expat Voices, send an email to editorFR@expatica.com with 'Please send me an Expat Voices questionnaire' in the subject line.
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.