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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. New to this forum,and really need lots of info. Been living in France for the past 15yrs and am desperate to move to the edinburgh area. moh is originally from scotland,and my two daughters were born there,but we don't have any connections around edinburgh,and have not been in an English speaking country for longer than 15yrs and are finding it difficult to find out what it's really like there. We don't have enough money to have a trip over,and have got a couple of dogs,a cat and a parrot. I will very reluctantly have to sell my horses to go back,but can't bear the thought of another year here. The three most important things are a nice high school for my teenage daughter,jobs and accomodation. Has anyone ANY info they may think might help us ? We would be very grateful for any feedback,possitive or negative! Thanks
 

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I dont think anyone can do this for you. You're gonna have to take a giant leap of faith if you feel this strongly. You certainly need to visit first - if you cant do that, then you are not gonna know what to expect and thats something no one else can really tell you. If its any help, alot of British are feeling like you are about France about being in Britain - I couldnt wait to get out of the place and have no desire to return, but thats me!. Theres high unemployment, high taxes, obviously its cold and very wet. But if you have a permentant address then you get free health cover. I guess you need to save some money as a buffer, look at property rental prices on the internet and then do it!

Jo xxx
 

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It sort of depends what you've been doing in France the last 15 years, but I strongly suspect you're going to need one of those EHIC (European Health Insurance Cards) from the French sécu in order to get yourselves back into the UK health care system - at least to start.

Ideally, you should be making at least a couple of exploratory trips back in order to check out the job situation for your lines of work and to try to pre-arrange accommodation, but if that's out of the question, you'll have to make do with some sort of temporary place to stay (hotel, bed and breakfast, holiday house) for a few weeks or months on arrival while you sort out the rest.

Why Edinburgh, if you don't have any connections there? Is there any other city or town where you have connections you could make use of while you're getting jobs and accommodation sorted? The problem is that if you make the big move to Edinburgh without adequate preparation, you could wind up in the same or worse condition than you currently are in France. Scotland has changed in the last 15 years. It might be just great for you, or it could turn out to be worse than France.

Don't mean to be dire about this, but do try to consider all your options. I've been in France (and had some really awful times here) for the last 15 years, but having visited my native country (the US) fairly regularly, I know I could never go back there to live now. Personally, I'd look into the jobs issue first, and go where the job takes me. (There's also half a chance a new employer might assist in paying for the move...)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankyou very much kingrulzuk! It's the sort of info i was in search for. I don't want to go back until the end of the year,and i want to spend as much of the time before i go with gathering research. I lived in Portugal for 2 years and loved it,but don't want to be in a foreign country anymore,so want to go back to Scotland. Had very good friends from there and lost touch,but still have good friends in Aberdeenshire,but we don't want to be that far north now. Thanks.
 

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Thankyou very much kingrulzuk! It's the sort of info i was in search for. I don't want to go back until the end of the year,and i want to spend as much of the time before i go with gathering research. I lived in Portugal for 2 years and loved it,but don't want to be in a foreign country anymore,so want to go back to Scotland. Had very good friends from there and lost touch,but still have good friends in Aberdeenshire,but we don't want to be that far north now. Thanks.
Hi Sherry,

I've lived in Edinburgh for three years, though I'm originally from Toronto, Canada. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.

About your horses, there are a lot of opportunities to ride casually just outside of Edinburgh. A friend of mine from Canada (who is a horse lover) came and visited and went just outside of Edinburgh a few times to ride during the days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi conolly15. Thankyou for your reply. I am not really a 'live in the city' sort of person,but would like to be in the country within travelling distance of the city for work etc.. My husband is a heating plumbing engineer/builder,and i am a braser (like welding). I have looked on the jobs online,and there seems to be jobs available,but i wonder how many people would be going for the same job?! Also,as i said,we have animals (2 whippets,a cat and a parrot) and having looked at the rented accomodation online,i am concerned that we could find somewhere that accept pets. We are a very simple familly as to regards accomodation. We don't like posh house's,and having renovated a few house's here in France are not affraid to rough it a bit. We are keeping our house here in France as a safety net,until we can be well settled in Scotland. I would also like to hear from anyone that can tell me about the crime. Our daughter of 13 has never known anything except the French countryside to live in,and knows nothing of the dangers of outside our little world. Nothing AT ALL happens around here! Some may say it's a dream to live in such peace,but me and my husband are not getting any younger,and being well travelled before kids etc. feel like we are wasting our lives away! How we long for a take-away!
Sherry.
 

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Hi conolly15. Thankyou for your reply. I am not really a 'live in the city' sort of person,but would like to be in the country within travelling distance of the city for work etc.. My husband is a heating plumbing engineer/builder,and i am a braser (like welding). I have looked on the jobs online,and there seems to be jobs available,but i wonder how many people would be going for the same job?! Also,as i said,we have animals (2 whippets,a cat and a parrot) and having looked at the rented accomodation online,i am concerned that we could find somewhere that accept pets. We are a very simple familly as to regards accomodation. We don't like posh house's,and having renovated a few house's here in France are not affraid to rough it a bit. We are keeping our house here in France as a safety net,until we can be well settled in Scotland. I would also like to hear from anyone that can tell me about the crime. Our daughter of 13 has never known anything except the French countryside to live in,and knows nothing of the dangers of outside our little world. Nothing AT ALL happens around here! Some may say it's a dream to live in such peace,but me and my husband are not getting any younger,and being well travelled before kids etc. feel like we are wasting our lives away! How we long for a take-away!
Sherry.


Hi Sherry,

As far as the animals go, you're right, you will find it more difficult to find rented housing that allows pets. The best thing to do is to negotiate with any particular landlord, and make it clear that you are responsible pet owners. Evidence of vaccinations, etc will help. The Landlord's only real concern is that the pets will destroy his property, so if you rent an unfurnished property you might have more luck with being allowed animals. There are a huge number of letting agencies in Edinburgh and also private landlords (on account of the huge number of students). Edinburgh also has a larger proportion of rented property vs privately owned than anywhere else in Scotland, so you will not have any shortage of availability. It'd probably be best if you made contact with some of the bigger Letting Agencies here in Edinburgh (DJ Alexander, Murray and Currie, Dove Davies & Partners, Edinburgh Letting Solutions, Albany Lettings, etc.) and have one of you fly up on a weekend and visit as many properties as possible with a camera. If you are looking to let outside of the city, like in Musselburgh or in Fife, I won't be much help as I've always lived in the city itself.

As for jobs, I'm not sure how the construction industry is doing at the moment. Certainly from a "walking the street" perspective there are a lot of stalled sites. That being said, the city is undergoing huge renovations at the moment with the installation of the tram network. As I'm sure you know, Scotland was hit particularly badly by the recession, and the recovery will be long and slow here because of Scotland's dependence on public sector jobs. Edinburgh has faired better than other areas of Scotland though. The JobCentre Plus website is a good one, but you're right, everyone uses that website to find work, and there is a lot of competition at the moment. If you have any private contacts in the industry in Edinburgh, that'd be the best way to go. Otherwise, you can arrange an appointment with a JobCentre when you arrive to meet with them and see what they can recommend. You'll need to get National Insurance Numbers from the JobCentre once you arrive anyway (unless you already have them). If you're British citizens you can also taking on Job Seekers Allowance benefits while seeking employment, which can be taken up by going into the nearest JobCentre.

As far as crime, I think the media blows it a little out of proportion. There are definitely areas of Edinburgh that I would not recommend a 13 year old girl go wandering through in the middle of the night, but the city is not so dangerous that you don't regularly see children walking or taking the bus to school unattended. As far as outside of the city, I wouldn't expect there to be much of a crime issue. Probably Scotland's biggest problem is alcohol abuse, and most crimes are related to that, so (obviously) as she won't be visiting the local watering holes I imagine she won't encounter anything too scary. The city does have a number of regulars at major street corners looking for money, and some of them can be aggressive. This is probably the only thing you might have to explain to her coming from the countryside. Also, remember, that Scotland is very far north and so it does get dark earlier here in the winter. By 4:30 pm in late January the sun is setting.
 

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Sherry - my wife and I left Edinburgh almost two years ago - what propmpted our move was a) a love of France and the French, b) a better climate and c) the problems caused by alcohol abuse - not necessarily crime, but just general anti-social behaviour on the part of the local youth. For example, not so long ago the fireworks concert at the end of the festival was at 10pm on a Saturday - now, because of drunk youths, it's at 9pm on a Sunday - not the same atmosphere. Last time we went to see the July 14 fireworks here one policeman on "crowd control" duties was busy reading a novel.

I just didn't feel comfortable in Edinburgh centre at weekends - and over and above the local youths there are very regular stag parties and hen nights - just not pleasant.

So many restaurant meals too were ruined by groups of shrieking females having a bottle of wine or 3 too many, or blokes having too many lagers.

I'm just back from Edinburgh accompanying some French rugby supporters - they simply could not believe how much alcohol the local teens, especially the females, were putting back.

Scotland is trying to put the genie back in the bottle in this respect - but this will take many years.

If you want to try to get back in touch you can always sign up for friendsreunited - you can search for your friends - someother members will know them if they are not members themselves.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I still have a national insurance number (as far as i know) I was wondering if i could get onto some sort of paid course,where i could get qualified for a trade? I don't know if i have the right for certain things? I tried to go back to Aberdeen in 1996,but i arrived there with no address,and without an address i could not find someone to employ me. I spent nearly 2 months living rough,and had to come back to France in the end. I was not entitled to any sort of help as i did not pass the habitual residency test that i had to take. They basically told me to go back to France,even though i was showing them my British passport! I was single at the time,so found it very hard. Now i am no longer single i think it might be easier for at least one of us to find a job,while the other one sorts out the other stuff. Ideally,if we could find a job from here that also has some kind of tempory accomodation with it,until we find something more permanent. I know it is going to be hard to try and get set up over there,but weighing up the pros and cons,it seems a better option over there than here. We have work here etc.. but we don't like France and more so the French. We are completly sick of speaking french,and having to deal with their attitude and everything that goes with french life.My husband is self employed,but as he is well qualified,should in theory,find it less difficult than me to find a job. I would just like to thank everyone for their comments,i find it very helpful.
Sherry
 
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