How could the Earth, Gaia, with all her beauty and perfect conditions for us and for so many other forms of life to flourish, be anything but a living being … an angel? To come face to face with the … Read More

A Box of Memories

Guest post by Fruitcake @barjan Josie wandered tentatively down to the stream and sat down on the bank, shielding her eyes from the strong July sun, as it’s rays sent fingers of light through the trees on the other side. … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure – Part 14

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan February brought the promise of Spring, days were getting longer and we were able to work longer outside. Besides our usual chores of loo emptying, lifting water from the well, soaking washing, rinsing and putting … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure Part 13 – Early Days.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan Eleven days after our arrival we finally managed to go to Saumur to organise the connection of a phone. It was bitterly cold and the heater in the van didn’t work because it was frozen! … Read More

New Beginnings – A short story

By Fruitcake @barjan The bright yellow taxi pulled up outside Patsy’s flat and sounded the horn, she was rushing around grabbing her coat and baggage and then remembered that she hadn’t left her flatmate the note about the plumber coming … Read More

Tizzler’s Tale – The Journey So Far…

Guest blog by @tizzler Hi, my name is Chris, Tizzler on the UiB forum, Christopher to my mum when I’m in trouble, various other names have been used, none of which spring to mind or are not suitable for such … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure – Part 12

Guest Blog by Fruitcake @barjan On the 11th December it was all systems go after hearing the news that we would complete on 13th. We had got the dog’s export certificates & sedatives for the journey from the vet’s, next … Read More

Is there a Cure?

Guest Blog by @cheekiweeki Driving in the car this morning and listened to 5Live. Very interesting. You can play it and listenat this link . Emma interviewed a lady in the studio who was diagnosed with cancer in May … Read More

Dixie & Davies – A Mystery Story – Part 3

A story by Fruitcake @barjan (7) “I shall never get used to that part of the job” Josie said to Rob “It’s awful seeing the painful recognition on their faces” Rob suppressed his own dislike and said “Yup it’s no … Read More

Dixie & Davies – A Mystery Story – Part 2

A story by Fruitcake @barjan Part 2 -4-   Sarah got back at about 2.30pm, “Hi darling, I’m back!” she called out to Tom, he came out of the darkroom, “Hi honey, did you have a good lunch?” he said, … Read More

Dixie & Davies – A Mystery Story – Part 1

A story by Fruitcake @barjan  Tom Dexter loaded his photographic material into his car, he’d had a busy week, but was pleased with today’s work, he thought he’d got some really good shots for the nature calendar that he’d been … Read More

Fruitcakes French Adventure – Part 11.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan I was awake at 4am on our first morning back! I rang the agent for Paula, they assumed we’d sold to the Association so nothing had been done. I rang the agent for the Association … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure – Part 10

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan When there was no news from either the agents or the buyer and as we’d gone multi agency, I instructed them to remove the sold sign from their board. I advertised everywhere that I could … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure – Part 9

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan After returning from our Easter trip we were very down and despondent and immediately began discussions with a friend who could organise the use of a lorry with the thought of a trip in July. … Read More

Part 8 – Fruitcake’s French Adventure.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan There then followed many months of uncertainty and stress, viewers getting our hopes up then coming up with bizarre reasons for not going ahead (one decided, after two visits and a coffee morning, it was … Read More

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres

Guest post by @prasanna “Beauty doth of itself persuade the eyes of men without an orator.” — Shakespeare Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres Chartres Cathedral remains supreme in Christian cathedral culture. It is the incarnation of the Sacred, par excellence, whatever … Read More

Dune Cottage – A short Story.

By Fruitcake @barjan John Savage was really looking forward to his week away, he’d been working flat out for the last 6 months to meet all sorts of deadlines and it had intensified since the new editor had taken over … Read More

Fruitcake’s French Adventure Part 7 – Preparations.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan The day after our exciting day of finally purchasing our beloved ruin we had to make preparations to return to the UK, tidying, shopping, filling up the fuel tank etc. Called into the young couple, … Read More

The Challenge

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan Andrew woke with a start from his doze on the beach, as something was pulling his sleeve and a strange voice was pleading with him “Please come and help us, we can’t manage on our … Read More

United We Stand

Hello there my fellow community brothers and sisters of this world! Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to our supportive members who have helped shape and grow our community, as well as offer a very warm … Read More

Continuing saga of Fruitcake’s French Adventure – Diary of Events twixt Compromis & Acte

Blog by Fruitcake @barjan Saturday 1st April We have been back from our cottage for only one week – it seems longer – we speak of nothing else, our lives are spent either thinking of our last trip or planning … Read More

The Train – A short story.

Guest Blog by Fruitcake @barjan THE TRAIN The guard blew the whistle, the doors closed and the train glided out of the station, Mary settled back in her seat ready to enjoy the gentle swaying of the carriage and the … Read More

The rest of our first stay.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan The day after our signing (also our wedding anniversary) we awoke to a lovely, sunny, crisp, frosty morning after a really cosy and warm night, it turned into a really warm day. After breakfast we … Read More

We’re Off at Last!

We were up at 3am Sunday morning and, after a quick bowl of cereal, made our way to Dover to sail at 5.30am and thankfully we had an uneventful journey and a lovely crossing to be followed by a very … Read More

Part Three of Our French Adventure

We decided, as we are allowed to camp in our one room with slimy green walls, that it would be great fun and quite symbolic to sign the Compromis on my birthday actually in the house and I made all … Read More

The Next Stage of Our Adventure…

THE NEXT STAGE OF OUR ADVENTURE by Fruitcake. Having decided to buy the house with the one room with green slimy walls and a ruin attached, there then followed weeks of frustration, as the English agent in the agency- we’ll … Read More

The Sense of Feeling Good

Smell New mown hay, ripened corn, blossom wafting on the breeze, old fashioned roses, lavender, fat ripe peaches and strawberries. New born babies, fresh milled coffee, honeysuckle really sweet, laundry dried on a sunny day, the sea, and bluebells in … Read More

You have got to ‘Lurv the French’!

Bonjour…Ca Va…?? It has often been said/thought by many, that ‘If I had a brain, I would be seriously bl**dy dangerous’…!!!….. ….and today is absolutely nay exception….!!! …..This morning I nipped to the village to grab some diluting juice for … Read More

Maisie & Doris

A short story by Fruitcake @barjan Maisie & Doris strolled along the sea front, as they often did on a fine afternoon, sometimes they would stroll in companionable silence, just enjoying each other’s company, sometimes, like today, they would find … Read More

What is it my love?

A poem by Fruitcake @barjan Her eyes are red rimmed, she’s been crying it seems, the love of my life, the girl of my dreams “What is it my love? You’re upset I can tell, I love you my darling, … Read More

The Start of Our Adventure…

After our friends bought a holiday home in the Mayenne, we realised that it could be possible for us to realise our dream to renovate an old cottage and have a piece of land. Two years of saving every penny … Read More

How to open a bank account in France

Opening a personal bank account for EU passport holder as a resident in France is not too difficult. There are eight retail high street banks in France, as follows: Crédit Agricole (CA) BNP Paribas. Société Générale. Caisse d’Epargne (CE) Banque … Read More

Humour even in death

Over dinner last night we got to talking about all the people that had sadly died this year, and as often happens you pour another and start to reminisce of memories past, and remarkably how even in death humour can … Read More

The Infamous Carte Vitale

Oh dear me! The infamous carte vitale. Absolutely essential if you find it necessary to access medical care. A prime example of French bureaucracy at its best. Essential in the sense that without it you’re not registered with the French … Read More

Selling a car in France

For those who are selling a car in France – it can be a little confusing as we just found as the legalities are a little different to the UK. I have listed them and put links in where appropriate. … Read More

Computer Disc Clean up and Defragging

Many of us run computers and have no idea on how to keep them running smoothly. offers a search box in which you type in your operating system and whether its Disc Cleanup or Defragment you wish to run … Read More

Learn From Mistakes

When I left school at 15yrs old I was encouraged to work in an office – I hated it! Mum said I could hand in my month’s notice on condition I found another job before the month was up. “What … Read More

The Clock Upon the Wall

By Andy Kennedy While I was lying in hospital with nothing to do I was watching the second hand on the clock up on the wall. As I watched it ticking its way around I thought, that’s my life ticking … Read More

Trees and Wild Spaces

Brittany reminds me of Trees and wild-spaces. I would like to post a tribute to trees by the fabulous writer Herman Hesse. Image: Huelgoat from a visit some years back. I love the trees there. The magic of bolders and … Read More

I’m a little chicken

Me Pam Ayres Bit I am a little chicken, I trot about all day quietly a-pecking in the normal way I ‘ave some corn each day and me oats about once a week The corn is quite delicious of the … Read More

A broken ankle and fantastic care in French Health System

A miserable dark Monday evening around 9pm, pouring with rain so I decided to walk a neighbour back home who had been visiting us. In just a fraction of a moment I was on the deck – I had walked … Read More

La Pierre Le Bigaut

La Pierre Le Bigaut – Huge Annual Charity Cycling Event Callac – Brittany – France – 25th June 2016 Europe’s 3rd largest cycling event starts every year from the Place du Centre in Callac. The Pierre le Bigaut event draws … Read More

The Donald

I am amazed to see that poor ole ‘The Donald’ is losing on this site’s poll. Having spent five months in the States, October through February, and I listen to American radio every day, it seems to me that many … Read More

The love of dogs.

When I arrived in Finistère with my husband and son I wondered how I would go about making new friends, we had two french families we knew well but didn’t want to live in their pocket. I saw an ad … Read More

Costa Ingles

I have been gone from UK for just over eight years now apart from a weekend visit to take a relative back. My reasons for leaving were the same as many and judging by what has been happening since I … Read More

La Bonne Vie!

Well! We moved to north Morbihan at the beginning of November, 2015, amidst horror stories about French bureaucracy and bureaucrats. About the way they treat people, the way they suddenly go off to another department, the way they suddenly close … Read More

Lets Just Grow Old Gracefully

There was a time when we just used to get old. We still do. There was a time when getting old was just part of the natural process of life. It still is. They used to say “Don’t mind Auntie … Read More

I can laugh about it now…

Last year around this time our toilet started to evacuate at a more slower speed than normal. This did not impress me one bit. I let it develop hoping the toilet fairies would fix it one night but no luck … Read More

Enquire Within Upon Everything

Enquire Within Upon Everything was a how-to book for domestic life, first published in 1856 by Houlston and Sons of Paternoster Square in London. The editor was Robert Kemp Philp. It was then continuously reprinted in many new and updated … Read More

Guest Blogging

Would you like to write a blog for United in Brittany? If you have something to say then we would love to hear it! Life in Brittany can bring some pretty interesting tales so if you have a story to … Read More

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