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What have we got Toulouse: A family moving to France
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What have we got Toulouse: A family moving to France

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This is the true story of an ordinary British family who swapped their run of the mill life in Southeast England for a far from ordinary life in a Mill in Southwest France. Nikki McArthur aka ‘A mother in France’ opens up a window to her world and invites you to journey with her through the positive and negative experiences of the process of moving, settling, making a livi ...more
Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published April 4th 2020 by A Mother in France
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Julie Haigh
A wonderful, wonderful book-I loved it!

I was delighted to beta read this lovely memoir about moving to a new life in France. First impressions were great, and what a gorgeous cover too. This is a bit different to some of these types of memoirs I have read before in that Nikki and her hubby Gary are not retired: A young family’s story of moving abroad in this case. It’s great news that there will be more-a series to look forward to, and I will certainly be reading all of them.

Nikki and Gary had a
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Rebecca
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating and informative book this is whether or not you are planning to move to France. Nikki McArthur and her husband had always dreamed of living abroad and in 2004 they took the plunge and bought the Moulin d’en Mas in south west France, near Toulouse. It was a huge property and in need of extensive renovation but undaunted they took it on. They faced a number of difficulties with their restoration and it’s still a work in progress.
I admired their drive and determination and also
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Sandra McKenna
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir of an expanding family leaving the U.K to search for their dream home in France.
Nikki and her husband Gary finally purchase a massive rundown mill-house, and set out to convert it into a family residence and holiday apartments.
There are plenty of highs and lows on the way, but they are determined to make this work for them and their growing family.
This was an enormous project, and top marks to them for making it work; lots of people would ha
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Patti Wilson
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A joyful read

I've read many expat books and some read like a long news story. All tell and no show. But some are gems full of interesting stories. This is a gem. From selling up in England to house hunting to raising a large family, this book covers it all with great writing, wit, and enjoyment. The author takes us back on her journey with creative writing showing us with descriptive scenes as she explains her family's experiences in France. I loved this book.
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E.J. Bauer
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I seem to return over and over to the 'move to another country and set up house' style of memoir. This one was a little different as the family was young and still expanding, both parents needed to work and earn an income, language and finances were quite daunting and the property they invested in was massive. I am in awe of their drive, determination and tenacity and I want to visit; to see the mill by the water, watch the dogs and children play, explore the beautiful countryside and learn how ...more
Mr Stephen Foley
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came to live and work in France 7 years ago and live in a suburb of Toulouse. I wish this book had been available to me then as some of my experiences mirror those of the author.

Well written and I recommend this book to British expats old or new.
Valerie Poore
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
What Have We Got Toulouse is a really interesting and informative book about a young family's move to France. Armed with heaps of courage and a growing number of children (they start with three and end up with five), Nikki and her husband Gary decide to move to South West France to fulfil a long held dream of living abroad.

This is a no holds barred account of the ups and downs of their first few years in a country where they didn't really speak the language well enough for comfort, but still fo
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alan
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading this book. It is inspirational and a enjoyable read. The McArthur family are amazing and seem to have loads of energy and commitment to achieve great things. Gary built my natural pond in France near to their house,Moulin d’en Bas, he has been so helpful.
I highly recommend the book and should you ever make use of their services you will not be disappointed. Alan Hardy
Linda Hawkswell
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Moving abroad with a Young Family
What an interesting book especially for anyone with a young family moving to France, lots of useful tips and advice.
After a holiday n Greece Nikki and Gary decided that one day they wanted to move abroad to live and work. A few years later after working hard and raising a young family they were in the position to start to realise their hopes and dreams. After much research they realised they would be better off settling somewhere with easier access to the UK. Off
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Susan
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Gary and Nikki took a trip to Greece they decided that is where they wanted to live one day. Soon. Life sometimes gets in the way. First no money and the job situation didn’t let them save any. Three sons later where they ever going to realize their dream? The resale market was looking good and they decided they should sell up now and head to Greece. But it isn’t always easy to move to another country so when things didn’t work out you keep looking until you find a country you can move to. ...more
Lorraine Turnbull
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sat and started to read this yesterday evening and couldn't put it down.
Having myself just moved to France a couple of years ago I was interested to read another persons story and this did not disappoint.
I love the build up to the move, the back story, so to speak. Nicks and Gary have not had an easy life and they yearn to move to live a new life in the sun. Many jobs, and a couple of kids later they finally find their special place and boy, oh boy, they have their work cut out for them.
Seasone
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Alyson Sheldrake
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an enjoyable, real-life story of a family and their move to live in rural France. Nikki is a natural story-teller, you really feel as if you are travelling along with her, and her descriptions of the landscape, the enormous rural (and run-down) house that they bought, and the many escapades and challenges that they faced as a family, are entertaining and beautifully written. Having moved to live in Portugal, I can relate to many of the incidents and the way of life described in the book. ...more
Ruth Beville
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know the highs and lows of following your dreams to move abroad then this is the book for you. The writer does not shy away from being honest about the pitfalls and pluses of moving abroad, from issues with bureaucracy, health, schooling , opening and running a business, and all whilst juggling learning the language raising a family, keeping animals, writing a blog " A mother in France" and renovating a home.
beautifully written full of humour I would recommend to those who want to
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Vicky Parsons
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So entertaining... must read

Wow...I enjoyed this book so much, moving to France later this year so was helpful and entertaining...such courage and determination , they deserve every bit of happiness
Helen Jurie
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be a very honest description of an expats life in La Belle France 🇫🇷
Patience is required when dealing with any administrative organization. It is an eye opener for anyone who has previously lived in either the UK,Australia or NZ and dare I say those efficient counties of Germany and Holland 😉unfortunately I cant add Italy or Greece 🥴, how slowly the wheels turn in France and how many hands everything has to pass through before a resolution.
Toulouse is an ideal position clo
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Susan
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
The author seems like a lovely woman but the way she tells her story is so dreary. It starts out with page after page of all sorts of disasters and problems. And a far too long and involved story (that I ended up skipping over out of complete boredom) of her parents owning a flat in a B&B the author and her husband were trying to sell and issues with the local Planning Board. It just diluted the point of the story which was the move to Toulouse. Too many dull details about tiny little issues tha ...more
Debra M
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Four reasons why I read the book

Four reasons I decided to read "What Have we got Toulouse." 1) I have been reading several ex-pats books lately because we traveled to Provence two summers ago. 2) I find it interesting to learn how to assimilate in a new culture and new language.3), I always love play on words as the title of the book 4) My cousin and his wife moved to Toulouse 2 years ago.. I enjoyed the book and admire the family's tenacity.
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Lisa Overman
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful family adventure of moving to France

An honest and heartwarming story of a family and their four children moving to France. It’s filled with interesting and challenging moments of their journey and life in France. Definitely enjoyable.
Molly Cox
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book . Full of admiration for this family
Janine Sutter
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interesting and informative

I really enjoyed reading about their move to Spain with a large family. Starting two businesses at the same time is major!
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In 2004 Nikki McArthur (with her husband and three children), traded in her life as an IT trainer and Hotelier in the UK, to live the good life in rural South West France. She now has five children, is a freelance Proof Reader, runs a Retreat and Holiday let business, Garden Centre and Landscaping business, and has also found the time to pursue her love for writing.

Nikki is currently writing a ser
...more

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