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In looking forward to the end of the French holidays?

(36 Posts)
Greatnan Sat 17-Aug-13 13:56:38

There are only about a dozen permanent residents in the four blocks of flats- 24 flats in each block. The other flats are either holiday homes or commercial lettings. I rarely see anybody and it is very quiet. I miss much of the ski-season period because I am in New Zealand, but in August the summer visitors come. There is a yapping dog in the flat below, and my parking place right outside the rear entrance is often taken. I know how the residents of Cornwall or the Lake District feel - go home, visitors! And on the mountain roads, we have the dreaded yellow (Netherlands) and red (Belgium) number plates. The drivers will hug every bend and slow down to about 10 kph if there is a sheer drop on their side even if they are on a perfectly safe two lane highway. Then there are the caravans.....................
Write out 100 times - 'I must be more tolerant'..............

tanith Sat 17-Aug-13 14:29:04

Can't say I blame you in the circumstances, my sister lives near a small coastal town in West Wales and once the Summer comes she hardly goes into the village , you can't park or walk without bumping into people and the shops are all overcrowded, she loves it when Autumn comes and things return to normal and she can walk the beaches alone again.

bluebell Sat 17-Aug-13 15:00:12

Oh meanies........

merlotgran Sat 17-Aug-13 15:22:00

Tourists don't contribute to the local economy then?

tanith Sat 17-Aug-13 15:27:06

No one said they didn't merlotgran but it doesn't mean everyone has to enjoy having their peace and quiet disturbed.

Stansgran Sat 17-Aug-13 15:39:32

I live in a tourist town and we have park and ride and a reasonable number of parking spaces. If every tourist spent as much in Durham as I've just done in the Lakes then the economy here should be booming. We had pub lunches between walks at about £50 a time and fed ourselves each evening at about £30 a time in local shops. We were on holiday so not stinting. Accommodation for two adults and two GCs was £1500 and I haven't included petrol. We also bought walking shoes for the GCs so we helped the economy of the Lakes. We did some house visiting but we kept to NT properties as we are members and paid for local pony trekking and health club pool. The Lakes locals did well out of us and if they don't like the tourists then how blinkered they are. We talked to a dry stone Waller who was happily moving a gate as the number of cars in the Three Shires pub meant the farmer couldn't get the tractor through the existing gate. But all happy to do it. I hate the expression but they all knew which side their bread is buttered on.

bluebell Sat 17-Aug-13 15:49:12

No one has a right to absolute peace and quiet - if you live in a lovey area that people want to visit, you should be grateful. People from lovely areas expect other people to live near busy roads, train stations, supermarkets , factories, hospitals so that all their ( people in lovely areas that is) needs can be met when necessary.

vegasmags Sat 17-Aug-13 16:46:09

When my DD was a student at King's College Cambridge, she and her fellow students sometimes felt they were living in a theme park. This didn't stop them from posing for photos with foreign tourists - for a fee, of course wink

nanaej Sat 17-Aug-13 16:46:26

I agree with all Bluebell says but....
when I lived in Wimbledon I used to get really annoyed during tennis fortnight!

Whilst my head could tell me it was good for local business/economy etc my heart kept saying 'I want my town back' ..and that was just a 2 week invasion!

Greatnan Sat 17-Aug-13 17:10:43

Oh, for goodness sake - couldn't anybody tell my post was tongue-in-cheek? Of course I am glad for the local tourist industry, but as my income comes from my UK pensions I don't stand to gain anything from the visitors. Except the dog dirt in the car park and on the landing.
I am not sure why I should be grateful for living in a beautiful place -nobody gave me my flat!

Divawithattitude Sat 17-Aug-13 17:33:22

I feel your pain Greatnan, we are in Cornwall and for most of the year it is glorious, but July and August are a nightmare, the price we have to pay I suppose!!

bluebell Sat 17-Aug-13 18:04:06

Oh GN - yes I saw it was tongue in cheek which is why I used the term meanies- but as with most threads it then changed tone and I do get fed up with people who live in nice areas who do moan and mean it about the tourists - I have friends in the Lakes and Pembs and I am bored with their moaning! They both made choices to live in beautiful places and what do they expect? That barriers should be erected to keep the rest of us out?

bluebell Sat 17-Aug-13 18:07:15

There are some beautiful villages outside the town where I live and the residents whinge like mad about us oiks going there on Sundays - meanwhile, they come into MY town to shop, go to hospital, hairdressers, school, dine.....

Greatnan Sat 17-Aug-13 18:19:15

Well, following the debacle about my thread on the Stupid Footballer, I should have learnt my lesson about trying to post anything light-hearted!
I will stick to politics - it seems to create less angst! grin
I am, of course, unfailingly polite and helpful to visitors, apart from the dog owners who don't clean up - I have been known to glare and mutter.

whenim64 Sat 17-Aug-13 18:47:27

I live by the back lane that leads into the park and woods, and people park on my tiny road rather than drive round to the car park, as they can walk through lovely surroundings into the park. It happens every time the sun shines. It's nice to know that visitors enjoy where you live, as long as they don't leave a mess that they wouldn't want by their house.

Greatnan Sat 17-Aug-13 19:16:24

May I point out that I did not use any derogatory terms about our visitors - they are mainly very pleasant French families. I am an 'oik' myself, and I rather resent the term being used in this discussion, as it implies that I think of them in that light. I am not responsible for the way people in English beauty spots view their visitors. I don't grudge anybody their holidays but I will just be glad when peace returns.

Deedaa Sat 17-Aug-13 22:59:56

When we lived in Cornwall there would always be one day in August when Truro was in total gridlock. Never did find out what made one day worse than another.

On the plus side we could go down to the beach in the evening and all the holidaymakers would have gone off for supper. We did find that many of the people who came in caravans and camper vans brought all their supplies with them and contributed very little to the local economy.

Sel Sat 17-Aug-13 23:37:43

I love weaving my way around tourists in London - they bring lots of money. I grew up in a 'seaside town' the holidaymakers who clogged everything up were actually loved, they were the life blood of the town. When the go away, that's the time to worry.

seasider Sun 18-Aug-13 00:07:28

I may mutter about the tourists when they leave their litter and I can't drive anywhere but without them this area would have very little employment. Do like Winter though when I can drive down the prom. [Smile]

Greatnan Sun 18-Aug-13 00:58:56

The Dutch are resented here because they bring everything they need in their camper vans - the only thing they buy is petrol.

laidback Sun 18-Aug-13 01:04:52

Greatnan how did you find your little piece of paradise, were you on holiday? grin

Greatnan Sun 18-Aug-13 08:28:11

Laidback, I had worked for several years in Monaco and a year in Brussels, and had visited and holidayed in many areas of France. When I retired at 59 I knew I wanted to live in France, preferably in mountains. I had spent a wonderful walking holiday in the Pyrenees, near Lourdes, so I flew to Toulouse, having given myself two weeks to find a property. I took a wrong turn out of the airport and found myself heading West instead of East. I had lunch in the pretty town of Mirepoix and booked into a hotel there. I spent the next few days visiting estate agents and looking at small houses and exploring the area. One day, I parked in the little town of Quillan, about 50 kms from Perpignan, and there was an estate agent facing the car park. I went in and the Scottish lady who worked there offered to show me some properties in more remote places. It was a cold, rainy November day and she drove me up...and up...and up through ravines and gorges, beside a tumbling river, until we emerged in a large, sunlit valley. The little chalet was in a terrible state, with fungus growing in the shower, but it had a nice garden and was on a marked walking route into the mountains. I fell in love at first sight. I put in an offer, had it accepted, then asked at the local hotel in Axat if they could recommend a workman to renovate it. They gave me the number of the electrician who had rewired the hotel, and he agreed to meet me at the house and bring his friend the plumber. We decided what needed to be done and he let me have estimates within two days. I visited the local bank and was granted a mortgage for the renovations.

I then had six days before my flight home, which I spent driving from the Mediterranean coast across the Spanish Pyrenees, crossing back into France near Pau, at 9 pm, in a blizzard! It was a Saturday night and the town was full, but I found a tiny room in the Hotel Bristol. I was too tired to go out to eat, but the receptionist brought me a huge ham baguette and a jug of hot chocolate - it was one of the best meals I have ever had.

Once the buying process was completed, which took about four months, I went back to Quillan and rented a studio for a month, so I could nag Roger and Francois every day until the work was done. They were very good workmen, but rather too fond of the red wine which meant they were not up to working some days! My daughter and her family came to visit in August and Roger was just painting the last bit of the pine cladding the day before they arrived.

I lived there very happily for three years and my large family came out (in batches) several times. Then my daughter was disabled by an incompetent surgeon, lost her business and was about to lose her home, so I had to sell the house and lend her all the proceeds. I am a great believer in finding something positive in anything that life throws at me, so I decided to use the opportunity to rent in several different regions of France, until her medical negligence case was settled (it took seven years). I lived near Limoges in the Dordogne, near Cahors in Lot, in St. Cyprien Plage, near Perpignan, and in Haute Garonne near Toulouse. I used my rented properites as bases to explore the areas for about 200 kms around.

Once she was able to repay me, I decided to look at the Alps but by then, 2010, I was able to do my research on the internet. The Pyrenees are equally beautiful but I wanted to be more central to explore the rest of Europe. I set up appointments to view lots of flats before I flew to Geneva. I no longer wanted a garden or pool, because they need maintaining and the family that would have visited me had emigrated to New Zealand. Once again, I knew as soon as I saw this flat that it was the one for me. It is on the second floor of a chalet-style four-storey block, with a south facing balcony. The altitude is about that of Snowdon and the scenery around is stunning. I visit NZ for about seven weeks each year, in the depths of the Alpine winter, and I can just turn off the electricity and water, close the shutters and lock the door.

I had no intention of ever leaving here, but my daughter wants me to emigrate so she can 'keep an eye on me'. I have about three years to visit as much of Europe as I can!

dustyangel Sun 18-Aug-13 12:37:41

That was really interesting Greatnan,and I admire your positive attitude to life.

I don't think you are being at all unreasonable in looking forward to the end of the French holidays. But that is because we think that all the French come to the Algarve for their holidays. grin
Because of lack of employment there has been mass emigration in the past, much of it to France. Because of the Napoleonic heredity laws many of these emigres have a claim on the family home and in August they return along with their bigger, newer cars, their smarter more fashionable clothes, their large families and their little yappy dogs!
Supermarket leaflets are full of ads for inflatable and folding beds, cheap pillows and camping gear. Then the French and their extended families take over the beaches and bars. You can almost hear the sigh of relief on the last Thursday in August when the long drive home starts.

And of course I'm being tongue in cheek too. smile

whenim64 Sun 18-Aug-13 12:58:13

Very interesting, Greatnan. You are a stoic Salford lass through and through! smile One of my daughters has your qualities - she's a really hard worker who has a knack of turning obstacles into opportunties. If someone says it can't be done, she gets that glint in her eye grin She can find an electrician or plumber who will turn up within the hour, a builder who will do a conversion next week, and she got a bank to expedite her remortgage so that her two-storey extension was started within a month of her having confirmation that she was having twins. She's like a whirlwind when an idea sparks!

Greatnan Sun 18-Aug-13 14:05:57

I got chatting to a very pleasant French couple on my walk this morning - it helps to improve my French. We walked up a steep , rocky path for about an hour, then they decided they couldn't go any further - they live in the Loire valley so they were not used to the mountains. There were a few other parties of families and couples, but after another few miles they all dropped back and once again I was left in splendid isolation. I continued for another couple of hours without seeing a soul. The weather has been perfect now for several weeks, but it is a tad too hot for walking in the afternoon, so I try to get out early.

When - my daughter in NZ is the same as yours - she gets things done and all six of her children are hard workers - they know they can't expect their parents to provide everything for them.