±A - Join Our Community

JOIN OUR FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

READ OUR GUIDE TO MOVING ABROAD
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

COMPARE QUOTES AND SAVE MONEY
Find the best health insurance provider or foreign currency transfer specialist by comparing free quotes

±A - Listen to the Podcast

LISTEN TO THE EXPAT FOCUS PODCAST
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

EXPERT FINANCIAL ADVICE & SERVICES
From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners
Become a Partner. Click Here.

Rosemary Border Rabson

Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

All Saints and Armistice Day in the Morvan - and Movember in the UK

Posted by: marelebas on Sunday October 30, 2016 (20:59:39)   (562 Reads)
Hallowe'en is a non-event here in the Morvan. Look up Hallowe'en in the big Harraps dictionary and you will find La Veille de la Toussaint, together with an explanation in French, as if Hallowe'en were an esoteric Polynesian custom chronicled in National Geographic. Aldi and Atac, our local supermarkets, have a few packs of supposedly spooky sweets on display, but in 11 years at Maré le Bas I have never opened the door to a troop of trick-or-treaters.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Fun in the Morvan and a Flea Circus in Suffolk

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday September 29, 2016 (20:29:19)   (633 Reads)
Charity Cottage did everyone proud in September. Stuart from Canada and girlfriend Alice from Yorkshire would ordinarily have stayed in the main house, but on their proposed arrival date I was having cataract surgery in the Polyclinique. I had no idea how I would be feeling after the operation, so I cooked and froze several days' grub the day before, and we agreed they would sleep in the cottage and eat with us.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Paradise Lost, Paulownia And The Burkini Ban

Posted by: marelebas on Monday August 29, 2016 (19:17:24)   (828 Reads)
I am typing this on (British) August Bank Holiday, in a sizzling heatwave. Our trees, notably the paulownia adjoining our patio, are shedding their leaves. When the paulownia flowered for the first time in 2015, I emailed Carmela Delcros, who had planted it as a tiny sapling when she and Georges built the house 22 years ago. No flowers this year, but we collect a barrowload of handkerchief-size leaves daily.

Was there a Paulownia in the Garden of Eden? Carmela also planted a fig tree...    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Burgundy by Bike, Delays at Dover and Sex on the Beach

Posted by: marelebas on Thursday July 28, 2016 (22:13:06)   (767 Reads)
Our next visitors to Charity Cottage are due on 13 August. Keith, his son and his son-in-law are coming by car – with three bikes on the car roof. They emailed us several weeks ago, asking about interesting places to see by bike. As always, I was happy to do a spot of research.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

A Centenary, a Climbdown, Some Puzzled Locals and a Unique Railway

Posted by: marelebas on Monday July 04, 2016 (21:31:52)   (659 Reads)
July 1 2016 – 100 years since the murderous Battle of the Somme began. Most families have tales to tell. Here is mine. My Uncle Harry served in the Royal Field Artillery. There are few contemporary photographs of them in action – understandable – but here is one.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Weasels, Fuel Shortages, Anniversaries and a Prang in the Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Saturday May 28, 2016 (14:31:28)   (847 Reads)
How do you take a scrupulously honest and fully documented insurance claim for 2000 euros, and pay out 599 euros? No problem if you are the weasels we inherited when we arrived here in 2005. They lied, they prevaricated, they lost the papers, and all the time they promised their best attention at all times.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Dandelion Wars And A Stay In The Polyclinique

Posted by: Scar on Tuesday May 03, 2016 (12:31:32)   (1164 Reads)
Yellow is my favourite colour. In spring in the Morvan the forsythia, cowslips and primroses are a feast for the eye. On the road to Nevers (more about that anon) we pass huge fields of oilseed rape.

It has many uses: as a vegetable, as animal feed, and as oil for lubricating and cooking. Here rapeseed oil is called colza, and I buy it because it reminds me of Suffolk, where a lot of it is grown.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Spring Roars Through The Morvan

Posted by: Scar on Tuesday March 29, 2016 (10:23:57)   (1081 Reads)
In March I spoke of the rustle of Spring. Now it is roaring through the Morvan. In the UK cowslips are a protected species. Here les coucous are common as daisies. When we first came here I transplanted hundreds of cowslips to safe havens under the trees to save them from the mower. The locals laughed uproariously. 'Elle transplante les coucous !' It was as if I'd transplanted dandelions.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

The Rustle of Spring in the Morvan

Posted by: Scar on Tuesday February 23, 2016 (12:49:17)   (1408 Reads)
The wonderful solo piano piece The Rustle of Spring by Norwegian composer Christian Sinding says it all.    more ...


Columnists > Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Hearts and Pancakes in the Morvan

Posted by: scar on Monday February 01, 2016 (14:42:11)   (786 Reads)
As I type we are gearing up for La Chandeleur. Expat Focus faithfuls may remember my February 2015 piece, February Frolics? and recall that February 2 is La Chandeleur, Candlemas, when pancakes are obligatory. This year Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, falls on February 9, just one week after Candlemas. In our household, however, any day can be Pancake Day. The recipe is similar to Yorkshire Pudding, whose invention I described in my 2013 Christmas story, Angels Unawares.    more ...