Canadian Expats Exciting Move to Capestang in Southern France

move from Canada to France
Moved from Canada to France
126 Rue Louis Aragon Capestang
Les Platanes, Our New House

With move in day slowly approaching, we haven’t spent time exploring the south of France sites. Instead we explore wholesale stores looking for the necessities to set up our house.

France has a legislated sale time, allotted for all merchants twice a year called ‘Solde’. January 11-February 18 and June/July for 5 weeks, not certain of the dates for summer, are just in time for our move. Lucky us!

The living room is the most important. Here we do the most of our living. We look for a pullout couch, in case we have extra company, a dining room a table and chairs that seats 4 and a larger table for the terrace that seats 10+, where I plan to have large parties.

Up stairs we just need a few things, mainly a bed for ourselves, and desks for the kids. The lady we bought the house from has generously left a number of beds, chairs and linens for the kids as well as the spare room to get us going.

She also set up our kitchen with dishes and cups, a few household items and cutlery. I will need a crock-pot, a large pan, a Dutch oven, and maybe a corning ware serving plate with lid. Been reducing for almost a year now, and we don’t want to bog down our new life here with too many things.

We want to be able to rent out our house, and pack up a van and go travel around with the kids for the summer. Keeping it light is our adopted new motto.

The list is long for setting up the household bills too; house, medical and school insurance, transferring motorbike and van to French plates, electrical bill, internet, phone and cable.

Then we get to the media items. We are looking for a 46-inch and a 32-inch TV. Plus one for the rental after it is complete. We will need 3 DVD players, and a business laptop. Those will be the killer expensive items no matter where you live in the world. Ugh! With the sale we will be saving a thousand just on them alone.

I was expecting boxing day sales like back home in Canada, where you hunt around and find bargains, 90% off for the first few customers, giveaways, that sort of thing. What I found was most places were very close to each other. Maybe 20 Euros apart on their sale items.

I almost forgot, we need an 8 kg washing machine. Having a B&B in our home, we decided to get a bigger unit that I can wash comforters and duvets in. In France they say, ‘You don’t need a dryer! We have wind and we have sun!’

I plan to have loads of company from Hungary and Canada, and want to make it easier on myself. Here they do not use dryers, so I will make sure I have spare linens to trade out each week. The linens, I will probably get from IKEA. I love IKEA, I am sure I have mentioned a hundred times before. Outside we will need a line dryer.

Once we move in, we will start on the house renovations.  A small apartment conversion, we need a small kitchen and bath installed, plus put in a bunk and a pull out bed under it. The TV mounts on the wall, for a cozy, comfy little Southern rental. That is what I envision. The entire Budapest rental is IKEA products and even after 3 years it looks brand new. It has held its value well.

Upstairs we decided to make an ensuite for ourselves. An easy part of the renovations, as there is already a shower in place. Just need to add a little sink and toilette.

Then comes the big one. Part of the deal moving to France, where it gets 40* degrees in the summer, was to have a swimming pool, one that is heated to stretch the season out from April-October. Although our property is small, we have been hunting around for the best price. And we can save money if we dig the hole ourselves. We plan a corner pool, using as much of the yard as we can, and will tile from the front door to poolside. I have a palm tree in my vision with a few deck chairs and floats in the pool. Oh look there I am floating around with my gin and tonic. Just kidding, this picture is from a local realtor, but the size is similar to what we want.

Today we headed to a slightly flawed discount furniture place and chose a sofa-bed and after went to; Fly, Comforama, BUT, Carrefour, and Electric Depot to compare sale prices on more items.

Tomorrow we continue the hunt for the best price. For some people it sounds like fun, for us it is time we could be adventuring. We are sure to get the job done.

With every important venture, comes work. It feels like work, and being in the car for 3 days is not fun. Looking forward to the weekend, and venture towards Narbonne to check out the Abbey, a small village on the outskirts of town, and pretend we are tourists for the day with our soon-to-be new neighbours.

This feels like a very good beginning to our new life in Capestang France.

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  1. Unfortunately he can’t get over this spring – we are hoping he and his family may be able to get in the autumn half term.

    There’s Richard, my little boy, Lisa, his wife, Grace aged 9 years at the moment and Daniel aged 6 years.

    These two had the benefit of a couple of years at an international school near Athens for a couple of years when one of Grace’s teachers offered to be her agent when she grew up because she was writing so well – unfortunately they are back in the state system in the UK now, which is so good.

    Then there’s also Emma, our daughter, with her daughter, Charlotte aged 16 years who is developing into quite an accomplished artist.

    Not sure when they will be over either, Charlotte has just entered an intense 2 years at school – well until the summer of 2013 and has to devote most of her spare time to ‘devoirs’ – homework.
    Then she will have the summer off before going to another school to take her ‘A’ levels for another two years.

    In fact all three of the grandchildren are showing great promise.

    I would love to have them all over for a time with barbies and wine on the terrace. Hopefully this will come to fruition one day.

  2. Still trying to get a decision on dates from the management; Mave has a friend, Dee, who is doing charity work in Uganda and has arranged for her to give a talk to the Inner Wheel about it on 01.03.2012:
    So it looks most likely we should be arriving on 04.03.2012.
    Give us a shout on 05.03.2012 (my little boy’s 42nd birthday) at rue Franklin.

    Hoping to get Dee over – you would enjoy meeting with her – she is the blonde woman you see in the clip – she is quite mad, being an English reared ‘Paddy’ but a generous kind hearted soul – they used to have a house near Montpellier but sold that but she still wishes to keep up connections with France. Unfortunately her husband is not well and don’t know if she will make it this spring but autumn should be a good bet & hope to stay over a little longer then to make up for the time lost this spring.

  3. I like the staff at Darty, and we plan to go back for a few smaller things like the MAC adapter for HDMI cable, so we can watch some of our North American favourites from my computer on the big screen. Our home will be equipped!
    How much longer until you are here?
    Alfonz could use a night out from me 😉

  4. We went to Darty at Narbonne for a lot of our electricals and if you are buying a few items you should be able to get a little off and sometimes throw in a few goodies – not only that if something is wrong they are quite good at coming out to fix it, or simply to advise you how to work it as in the case with our DVD recorder.

    The French word for discount is “Remise” like je veux un remise SVP”

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