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A little bit of background

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McArthur 2012In the UK I was a mother of three and an IT Trainer, my husband Gary was a Lecturer in Horticulture and between us we ran a Guest House on the Kent Coast.

We moved to France in 2004 and now I’m a mother of five, we have several different businesses and we live in a large watermill, which we will be renovating for the rest of our lives.

What we do for  Living

Since moving here we’ve started several businesses from scratch. We developed a property letting business in our watermill and we started a Landscape Gardening business. In 2009 we started up a Garden Centre in our local town and are now branching out into selling rare seeds. In our spare time (huh what’s that!), we run a Gardening Club for the local English speaking community and we occasionally host French students to help them improve their English.  Oh and let’s not forget I write articles for gardening and french life magazines and books on our life in France.

Our Children

Our three eldest children were born in England. The eldest was fourteen when we moved (a difficult age to move countries), so he stayed in education in England and is now in his final year studying for a Masters Degree in Chemistry at Bristol University.

Our second eldest was ten when we moved to France and had been educated up to that point in a state primary school where we lived in the UK.  He went straight into the final year at a State Primaire in France with very little French.  It wasn’t an easy to start with, but he’s progressed through the French system well passing his Brevet at fifteen and his Bacalaureate at eighteen. He’s now in his first year at University in Montpellier studying for a degree in Biology.

Our third son was two when we arrived.  He started at the local Maternelle and so he’s only known French schools. He’s now ten and in CM2 (the final year) at the local State Primaire.

The two youngest children were born in France and so I have lots of experience of the difference in Pregnancy, Childbirth, Parenting, Healthcare and Family life in the UK and France.

Our fourth son is seven and is currently in CE1 (the second year) at the same Primaire. Finally our fifth child (a daughter at last) is five and she is in Grand Section (the final year) at the local Maternelle (preschool).

Education is always a primary concern for any family considering a move abroad.  We’ve had the fairly unique opportunity of experiencing educating our children through preschool to University in both England and France.

Why I started Writing

Several years ago I decided to share our experiences of living in Fance as a family by writing a book. I had found it impossible when we were in the process of moving to France to find the information I wanted on what it was like to live in France as a family.  After several years of living here and going through the various stages of integration, I found I had so much to write about that the book has now developed into three. The first covers our story of why we moved to France, how we did it and what it was like when we got here. The seconnd focuses on subjects affecting expat Family life in France – pregnancy, education, health, babies through to adolescents, childcare, holiday clubs, activities etc. The first two books are nearing completion and will be published shortly.  The third book is all about out experiences of starting and running businesses in France.  Weve also started several businesses in the UK so have lots of useful information and comparisons to share. I’m planning on completing and publishing this book by the end of this year.  I’ve got so much information in me I think I might burst! Hopefully some of it you will find useful, interesting and/or entertaining.

If you are interested in hearing the latest news on when the books are published, then please subscribe to the mailing list on the side bar.

What you can expect from the Blog

My blog is an extention of my books where I discuss topics from the books and share additional information and ideas not included. If this sounds interesting to you then please check back from time to time to see how I’m progressing, if it doesn’t then sorry, but you can’t please everyone. Any ideas for topics you’d be interested in that I haven’t covered so far will be very welcome.

I started my original blog several years ago and it covers many topics, not all related to France.  I’ve decided to revamp the blog and focus it on Life in France and my writing, hence this new website.  I’ll be moving the relevant posts over to this site over the coming months, organising them into more useful categories and adding new posts.  If you can’t wait for all that then please do take a look at my old site to get a taste of whats to come A Mother in France Blogspot

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