• Expat

    What You Need to Know Before Moving Overseas

    ‘Steve and Mary from Nuneaton are following their dream, of buying and renovating a period property in rural France. The cottage we are showing them needs a bit of work, but we think that with a bit of updating, it could be stunning. Neither of them speak the language, but they came to this area on holiday last year, and fell in love with the natural beauty and the carefree lifestyle. Mary is an artist, and Steve is a graphic designer, and both hope to set up thriving home businesses in France.’ I quite like watching property shows, particularly A Place in the Sun, but usually spend the episode shouting, ‘NO! Don’t do it!’ at…

  • Expat

    Buying from US iTunes Store

      *UPDATE* After the stories of children running up huge bills with in-app purchases, I thought I should mention that these instructions work equally well if you are looking to limit the purchases of a child on App Store – set up an account for the iPod or iPad and put money onto their account. They can only spend what is on the account, and so learn to budget their money. Also good for older kids, when relatives don’t know what to get them for Christmas or birthdays. You can buy iTunes vouchers in supermarkets or online.    Most expats come across this problem at some point. You want to…

  • Parenting

    Compulsory Education Checks for Two-Year-Olds

    According to The Telegraph children may soon undergo compulsory development assessments. Great idea, but a closer look at the plans reveals that all is not as rosy as it seems. At present the Early Years Foundation Stage, which was introduced by Labour in 2008 is the framework for checking development of children. It has come under fire for being overly bureaucratic and too complicated and so the new plan is said to simplify and reduce the burden of paperwork. We are all in favour of reducing paperwork, and allowing the nurseries and childminders to get on with doing the actual work for which they are being paid – caring for…