Blagging and Blogging in the Charente

A personal account of trying to find work in the Charente

Our resident wannabe-expert on the art of blagging and blogging your way through work, life and society in the Charente is working hard to keep you up to date with all of her latest news and advice.

Whether there are stories of success, or tales of tears to tell, she'll let you know first what's happening in the Charente from her perspective!

In the meantime, please finish the phone blog and scroll down for more blagging and blogging in the Charente...

Blagging and Bloggging on the phone

After convincing our nearest and dearest that downloading stuff off the Internet won’t bring the entire world of telecommunications crashing around their ears, we can now all pretend we’re on the Enterprise, talking to one another across time and space.

If you’ve never used anything like Skpe before (we hadn’t and it remains a fairly exciting novelty. We all still secretly pretend we’re Madonna when we put the headset on) be prepared to say things like “ooh, that’s clever” and “gosh, what will they think of next?” on a regular basis.

I phoned my best friend in Gloucester last night, and after the initial shock of discovering my voice emanating from his stereo had subsided (he didn’t realise that any speakers plugged into the computer would suffice and was beginning to reconsider his agnostic opinions) we had great fun finding out what it could do.

We invited another friend (who lives in Exeter) into the call (you can invite up to five other people onto a conference call) which was really surreal and we spent about half an hour saying as much.

Because we were all on loud speaker, there were eight people involved in the call, which got pretty confusing, but it was very amusing. Plus, you can use the chat feature, so if you find you can’t get a word in edge ways, you can type your message while everyone else is talking and make things even more bizarre.

And of course, if you all have web cams, then the possibilities are endless. We considered putting Skype onto our laptops, or even our mobiles, so we can still go shopping and have coffee together.

I think my dad’s hoping the excitement will wear off eventually.

But even if your friends and family aren’t on the net yet, it’s definitely still worth downloading Skype for normal phone calls. You can phone a land line or mobile from your computer really cheaply, anywhere in the world.

I can’t remember all of the tariffs off the top of my head (but you can see them all on their website) but I do know that to phone England is about a penny a minute, it might even be a little less.

You will need to buy credit to call non-Skype users, but we bought €10 worth months and months ago and we haven’t even used two thirds of it yet. It’s much cheaper than any phone company rates in France or England that we’ve found.

But if all of your friends and family are on Skype then you won’t need to worry about paying for a thing.

I’m a chat-aholic, so Skype has proved a lifeline. More to my dad than to me, as he’s the one who pays the phone bill (or doesn’t as is the case now. There is no bill… Sorry had a sudden Matrix moment there. It must be all the technology and talk of virtual experiences!).

I won’t keep harping on about it, I think free calls speak for themselves. If you do want to find out any more, then click on the link below and the people at Skype will give you all the relevant information without the inane drivel.

Happy chatting!



La Bonne Chauffe is a Great Night Out

Having decided that we really don't get out enough, Andrew and I thought we'd venture in a north westerly direction to see what was happening towards Cognac.

We were delighted when we discovered a live music venue called La Bonne Chauffe, pretty well hidden in the little town of Saint-Fort-Sur-Le-Ne...


A Bunch of Pheasant Pluckers

Not content with simply living on a building site, my Dad has now decided to go and work on one as well...it has been a real eye-opener in terms of highlighting a few key differences between cultures...

more on A Bunch of Pheasant Pluckers...


The Charente comes out favourite!

It appears that amongst Brits at least, the Charente is the favourite region to live in France. In a poll conducted by Bordeaux University, the Charente beat Aquitaine, Languedoc-Rousillon and Brittany as the preferred area to buy property, with many people opting for it as their main home...

more on the Charente comes out favourite...


Patience is a Charentaise Virtue

There is an old saying that patience is a virtue, and that being the case, I think people in the Charente are among the most virtuous souls around!...

more on Patience is a Charentaise Virtue...


Linguistic Skills in the Charente

I've been living in the Charente for nearly five months and I'm still looking for that golden opportunity to implement some of the Franco-linguistic-skills I was taught at school.

If all I ever needed to know was "where do I find the train station?", "is there a shower in my hotel room?" or "please may I buy a kilo of tomatoes?", then my life over here would be blissful. What they don't tell you in school is that there's often very little need for those choice phrases if you're planning on coming to France for any longer than a week...

more on Linguistic Skills in the Charente...


Small Steps in the Charente

We’re back off to visit the family soon as the festive season is very nearly upon us!

That means we’ve been here for just over three months and I’m still at the point where I get excited when I manage to hold down a thirty second conversational exchange with a French person.

I admit now that I moved over here with a somewhat naïve view of what I should do before taking the leap....

more on Small Steps in the Charente...


Night-Maire on the High Street

If ever you’re invited to meet the Maire of your local town, make sure you’ve mastered the art of talking about yourself and practise in front of some sympathetic friends...

more on Night-Maire on the High Street...


Mild Manners- Charente Style

Good manners are an excellent way of blagging your way into a new culture...

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Going in Head First

Well, today was quite fruitful as far as blagging goes...

more on Going in Head First...


The Long un-Winding Roads

It’s been nearly two weeks since my boyfriend, Andrew and I contorted ourselves into the spare cubic inch that was left in our Rover hatchback and set off to find work in the Charente...

more on The Long un-Winding Roads...

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