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Anyone relocated back?

(167 Posts)
CountessFosco Sun 24-Sep-23 17:28:46

After 44 years' absence, we recently relocated back to England.
We regret the move as it was a terrible shock. Has anyone else been through the same painful process? We cannot return post Brexit and my OH having had a significant "round" birthday.
Be gentle with replies please - feeling miserable and vulnerable.

SporeRB Tue 26-Sep-23 14:25:03

I really do not think it is a good idea to relocate from abroad to an area you are not happy with just to be near to your AC. Especially when your AC are too busy with their own lives and don’t spend time with you. This may be the reason why you are unhappy or unsettled.

In my case, I spent the first half of my life in my home country in South East Asia and the rest in the UK. I never felt settled in either country.

When I am here, I start missing my siblings, even wanted to retire there for good to be close to them.

When I am there, I realised that my siblings are too busy with their own grandchildren and families and I will not be seeing them that often if I were to live there. The same goes with friends.

For that reason, I made the decision to remain in Old Blighty much to my daughter’s relief.

BlueBelle Tue 26-Sep-23 15:30:59

So did you son live with you for all your 44 years overseas or did he return for uni or something ?
I guess that’s relevant to know how long you’ve been apart ?

BlueBelle Tue 26-Sep-23 15:33:59

I can relate to that a little bit sporeRB I was young when I lived overseas (East Asia) and couldn’t wait to get back to Uk once I was back and seen everyone I wished I was back in Asia but you can’t keep dashing back and forth through the world when you have 3 young children so I stayed here and I m not sorry I did

M0nica Tue 26-Sep-23 16:50:49

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
― L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

Yesterday we came over to France, where we have a holiday home and thinking about this thread we were discussing some of the changes we have seen in the 32 years we have hoad our house here.

When we moved here the outside environment was scruffy, people didnt care what the outside of their houses or gardens looked like, nor did government; local or national care for the wider environement. Now all that has changed, houses and gardens are decorated regularly and look spic and span. Today we drove down roads, both national and rural with no potholes and signs of regular repair.

Supermarkets now have lots of ready meals and preprepared food, but the range of fresh fruit and veg in shops has shrunk. Everyone seems much more environmentally aware

And, most of all - little or no smoking!

Mollygo Tue 26-Sep-23 17:15:30

M0nica we must go to different parts of France from you. There still seems to be so much more smoking there than where we live, and it’s the locals, not the visitors.

Joseann Tue 26-Sep-23 17:30:34

I agree Mollygo, I went out for coffee today outside at the port with my French friend of 45 years and her DD. The minute we were seated the daughter left the table to go and buy some cigarettes from the nearby tabac.

Joseann Tue 26-Sep-23 17:33:57

12 million smokers in France according to ouest- france, and the figure shows no drop.

BlueBelle Tue 26-Sep-23 17:38:36

I hosted some young French students a few years back I couldn’t believe how much they smoked they even got down from the table between courses to go and have a smoke

Dinahmo Tue 26-Sep-23 18:33:58


Sorchame 'No family around to help day to day, surrounded by other ageing neighbours, or empty holiday homes, with no safety net of social services to support the vulnerable, it's common for people to head back to their country of birth. '

this may well apply to those who move to expat communities where there are so many other expats. Dordogne comes to mind, and Costa del Sol, etc. Many however moved a long time ago, and are totally integrated in their local communities, have little 'expat' contact and speak the language very well.

I live in the Dordogne. In my commune there are 644 residents of whom around 20 are Brits. Not many Brit owned holiday homes either. Eymet and Riberac have lots of Brits - 9% and 4.3% of the population respectively.

According to INSEE (statistics organisation) in 2020 the total population of the Dordogne was 412,807 of which 7198 were Brits - ie 1.74%. Not a huge number.

Callistemon21 Tue 26-Sep-23 19:46:27

No family around to help day to day

That is not something we should ever expect.

Foxygloves Tue 26-Sep-23 20:37:29

Supermarkets now have lots of ready meals and preprepared food, but the range of fresh fruit and veg in shops has shrunk

That really is a retrograde step M0nica - another illusion perdue .

Sorchame Tue 26-Sep-23 20:59:55

I didn't say anyone expected it, it was a statement of fact.
I imagine anyone who has family living close by receives help, not expected, but usually offered freely.
That's not often the case for those who have emigrated.

Joseann Tue 26-Sep-23 21:25:39


^Supermarkets now have lots of ready meals and preprepared food, but the range of fresh fruit and veg in shops has shrunk^

That really is a retrograde step M0nica - another illusion perdue .

But in the real world, French markets still exist everywhere and are as popular as ever, 3 a week here where I am and busy with shoppers queueing for local produce. I've never seen such huge artichokes and choufleurs. The difference is that the French don't exclusively do a supermarket shop. Which self respecting French person buys their daily baguette there?

Foxygloves Tue 26-Sep-23 21:35:34

I felt the observation was being offered as a positive , as progress.
To me it said the opposite!

Jaxjacky Tue 26-Sep-23 22:20:31

France now has more McDonalds than the UK, a statistic I found quite disappointing.

Joseann Tue 26-Sep-23 22:34:48

But the ingredients are all French, including croissants, and macarons! When McDo opened in France this was one of the stipulations.
Customers can get free WiFi which is quite a rarity across the country.
I think you can even order a beer too.

Mamie Wed 27-Sep-23 06:14:07

Fruit and vegetables have been difficult this year, mostly because of a series of weather events across France. We are also noticing that the more expensive brands are missing from our local supermarkets as shoppers deal with the increased cost of living. There are quite a few TV reports about diminishing footfall in supermarkets and many organic shops are closing. Aldi and Lidl are thriving. We still shop at the market and also in bakers, greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers in our local town.

M0nica Wed 27-Sep-23 07:22:14

Our holiday home is in Normandy. We see very little smoking here. 12 million smokers is less than 25% of the adult population.and falling, so much lower than it was

Joseann the size of the bread department in our local supermarkets suggests lots of people buy their bread at the supermarket. What is more, most local bakers have their bread dough delivered in tanks and buy in most of their cakes and specialist goods. So much, that an association has been formed of bakers who make their own bread from scratch.

Local markets are still busy, but a fraction of the size they were 30 years ago, and less and less of what they sell is food. The local small holders who would turn up with a couple of bunches of rhubarb, some eggs and a jars of home made jam have completely disappeared.

Foxy I was making neither positive nor negative judgements on the changes, although it is nice to drive on pothole free roads past well kept houses, as for changes in eating habits, I merely observe.

Restaurants like McDonalds are definitely making inroads but there are still many independent restaurants and here we have seen the numbers go down and up. A lot when we arrived in the early 1990s, then many closed down and choice was restricted, then over the last 15 years numbers have grown again, but since COVID menu choices have been limited.

Joseann Wed 27-Sep-23 07:50:30

I beg to differ M0nica.
Plus de trois personnes sur dix, 31.8%, déclarent fumer.
Le nombre de fumeurs se maintient à un niveau élevé en France.
For those who understand French you will see the % is 31.8 and not less than 25%. This is taken from santé publique française. Also it says, the figure is worryingly high and has not dropped year on year, though there might have been more smokers 30 years ago.
Strangely, my differing observations are in Brittany, next door to Normandie. The Tues, Thurs, Sat. market here has 150 stalls, mainly food - fruit, veg, cheese, fish, breads, cakes, hot food etc. In summer this figure rises to 280 stalls. In the supermarkets there is never a queue at the checkouts and the bread section is piffly.

Joseann Wed 27-Sep-23 08:00:48

My own photo of the south Breton market I used in June and a random TripAdvisor one of the market where my appartement is in Northern Bretagne. Both these don't include the indoor, les Halles.
All local produce and still busy out of season when I visit. I see little difference 45 years ago which is part of the charm.

Aveline Wed 27-Sep-23 09:07:09

So lovely Joseann. I can understand why you live there.

DaisyAnneReturns Wed 27-Sep-23 09:10:31


^No family around to help day to day^

That is not something we should ever expect.

I have to agree.

The most precious commodity our mid-life children have is time. I am grateful for every minute my children give me and remember well how difficult it was seeing my mother and father in my 40s and 50s, even though I would have loved to.

Sorchame Wed 27-Sep-23 09:39:25

Who mentioned children?

nanna8 Wed 27-Sep-23 09:49:44

Not many smoke in Australia now but a lot of kids are vaping apparently. You are not allowed to smoke even outside cafes and restaurants now.

Callistemon21 Wed 27-Sep-23 09:55:32


Who mentioned children?

CountessFosco mentioned moving back to be near her DS and DIL, so I presumed she was referring to that part of the family.

She could, of course, have meant very elderly parents who would be there to help them on a day-to-day basis, although they could be well over 100, I would think.

Never presume anything.