Aux Quatre Vents
34340 Marseillan, Occitanie, France - Relax, Unwind, Enjoy!

Moving to France

Removals Companies

Back in June, when it had looked as if we would be purchasing the dodgy property, I had contacted five moving companies seeking quotes for the movement of all our belongings to France. The quotes ranged from £1,250 to £4,464 (VAT included). We chose to go with the mid-range company Anglio French Euro Removals Ltd to store our belongings in Kent and then move them to France once we had found a property. The service we received from them was exemplary.

Moving out of London – September 2014

The packers arrived at 8.00 am on the morning of Thursday 17 September. Looking around that flat at that time, I was wondering “how the hell are they going to get all this lot packed up in a short space of time”. Well, it was all done and dusted by midday, with speed, efficiency and a cheerful disposition. All we had left between us as was six bags, which we hauled to the DoubleTree Hotel, Islington. We then relaxed in the evening by going to the Royal Festival Hall to see Joan Baez – we needed a bit of kum by yah at that point.

The next day, we fled London and went to stay at Jean and Laurent’s guest-house Villa Littoral for just over a week. On 29 September we moved into the apartment in Montpellier, which Steve renamed Monty. It was the same day a major storm hit the area and Monty experienced its worst flooding in years. We got totally soaked just getting out of the taxi with our bags, crossing the road, which looked like a river, and getting in to the apartment building.

Time to relax and adjust to living in France – October 2014

Phill was fine, me, not so much – it was all rather overwhelming and after such a hectic pace since April, I found the slower pace of life difficult to adjust to, along with not understanding the language or the names of things in the shops. It was hell for Phill for a while as I lashed out in frustration at him – even though it just was not his fault at all. I was mentally teetering all over the place – rather a roller coaster time for us both – but we made it through!

Cleethorpes, Bristol and Paris – November 2014

Phill secured a contract with the UK Government which meant that he would be spending at least two weeks each month back in the UK! First up, Phill departed for Leeds on Saturday, 1 November for two weeks. We then joined up a trip to Cleethorpes to see Phill’s Mum, with work in Bristol for Phill and then catching up with Mitch & Tom from San Francisco at a Wine Festival in Paris. On Sunday, 30 November Steve then headed back to Monty whilst Phill turned around and headed back to Leeds for three weeks.

Leeds, Xmas and Cape Town – December 2014

With Phill in Leeds, I went and visited David & Ian in Sitges for three nights from 4-7 December – taking in the ambiance of both Sitges and Barcelona. I them came back to change underwear and flew to meet up with Phill in Leeds on 9 December – the day of the arrival of the “Weather Bomb” in the UK – good timing on my part! We got back to Monty on 20 December to relax and enjoy the pre-Xmas preparations for a feast of Canard à l’Orange and roast veges, with lashings of champagne. Then, on Tuesday, 30 December we flew to Cape Town to enjoy some much needed sun, for two weeks.

Newcastle – January 2015

Got back to Monty on Thursday, 15 January, and I was full of a cold I had caught in the second week whilst in Cape Town. Flying back was rather torturous with ears and sinuses blocked. I hoped that I would get much better before we departed for Newcastle on Tuesday, 20 January, but I actually just got worse – it had moved to my chest area, with me hacking up my lungs on a regular basis. So I doped myself up on drugs and endured the journey. Dormouse Crawford was very much a happening thing.

Before departing Monty, I had contacted my doctor in London and arranged for a prescription of anti-b’s to be sent to the hotel. I have had chest infections a few time over the last five years and I knew that I needed to get on to the anti-b’s pretty darn quick. I got the prescription filled and threw one down my throat immediately.

On Thursday, 22 January I dragged myself to the local NHS Walk-in Clinic to get my extremely scratchy and sore throat looked at (I had looked up throat cancer on the web and, naturally, when one does this, I had all the relevant symptoms!). The service and efficiency at the clinic was simply amazing – hats off to the NHS. I was seen by an absolutely lovely and fun female nurse. The diagnosis was... acute sinusitis with an engorged uvula (yep, I blinked at that one), which was making it extremely difficult to eat or drink anything. It was confirmed that I was on the right anti-b’s and that I should start taking aspirin three times a day as well. After four days of this regime I actually started to feel human gain and actually have some energy to do thing – but at a much slower pace than usual.

We were supposed to have been in Newcastle for three and a half weeks; but it in fact it only turned out to be for one and a half week, as Phill’s contract was terminated with only two days’ notice! So, we packed up and headed back to Monty on Friday, 31 January.