Saturday, 19 May 2012

Potager progress

I though I would share a few photos of the vegetable garden, things have been pretty slow getting going here in Brittany and I think in retrospect that I was far to keen to get stuff into the ground and growing. I have talked to a number of people in this area and it seems like It's not worth starting planting until late April. So next year I shall take notice.

However things are moving at last and the potatoes at least are looking pretty good, just had a few of them touched by the frost, I've planted 7 rows of them mostly Charlotte so I'm hopeful for a good crop.

The broad beans that we started off in pots indoors and planted out in March have been overtaken by the beans that I planted directly into the ground soon after so that's a mistake that I won't make again in the future.

In addition, I have also planted out turnips, peas, garlic, carrots, shallots and broccoli which are all up now and beetroot, parsnip and cabbage.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The joys of the French tax system

We have been living here in Brittany now for 9 Months and are really beginning to feel at home here and part of the place. We made the decision, early on, that if we were to live here we had to commit ourselves fully.

We know a few people here that have been here for years but are still running around in right hand drive  UK registered cars, seeing a UK Dr when needed and still on the UK tax system, by doing this I doubt that they have to get involved with the French authorities hardly at all but there are obvious downsides to this, for instance, insurance implications on running a car here, having to go back to the UK to see your Dr etc.

This is not for us, so we have come to that point in the year when we have to fill in our first French tax return, it is also in our own interests to do this as the tax thresholds are higher in France than the UK plus, being on a pension we should get our Tax d'habitation and TV license reduced to zero.

However this is not easy, apart from the fact that there are 2 forms each 4 pages long in French to fill out showing all worldwide income, the forms are not available until late April and have to be handed in by the 31st May.
We went to our local tax office the week before last to collect the forms only to be told that they didn't have them yet but would be available in a week. So this last Thursday a week later we went back only to be told, not yet come back next week or we could drive to the larger tax office 20 mins away to collect them now.
So we decided to drive into Carhaix yesterday to collect them only to be told not yet, next week!
So the time left to complete these is diminishing quickly.
Cest la Vie!