This evening while zapping for something to watch on the Freebox Replay I happened upon an episode of “66 minutes inside” on M6. Last Sundays episode was of interest as it covered a report of “Les anglaises abandonées”. The mini-documentary featured the cases of 3 women who had moved from the UK after selling up everything, house the lot, with the idea of starting up a gite or B&B in France. In all the cases their husbands/partners found the going too hard, after a few months, buggering off back to England and leaving wives/girlfriends family in France usually in a non renovated farmhouse with little money or resources. Dreams in tatters In all the cases the local French neighbours stepped in to help, with one of the women even having to use the restos de coeur to survive. In short none could come back to the UK even if they wanted to as there was nowhere for them to go.
You can see the report here —> http://goo.gl/49mUQ on the M6 site.
Although I’m not an abandoned English woman myself (or I wasn’t when I last looked at least) the idea of being stranded in France has always been the scary side of living here. Speaking for myself I upped-sticks from the UK taking everything I could with me and I confess that I moved in with Thumpah (it is her house) without a penny to my name. This, in the main due to my precarious circumstances “back home”.
But to some extent you suddenly find that standing on your own two feet is very hard when effectively your French partner becomes your “sponsor” to stay in France. At first I was a bit scared of having to go back to the UK if things didn’t work out, seeing as I really didn’t have a lot there anymore and know that today I definately won’t be going back now. I am lucky in that we are a stable family and even though we do not have an awful lot financially we are happy. Like in any family things can go wrong and I know that should something happen we could be thrown into that precarious situation. But isn’t that the same for most people living over here?
I really cannot imagine what these women have had to go through and I personally, as someone who has lived in France for 14 years, find it pretty disgusting that the blokes of the house have abandoned their loved ones. Not even a consideration for how they will survive in a country that isn’t big on hand-outs to those who find themselves in a very precarious situation though no fault of their own.