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About Us

Hello, my name is Chrissie, welcome to my blog.

I am a 62 years old Silver Surfer who will very probably make a pig’s ear of this, but, sometimes, a pig’s ear can turn into a silk purse! One can but hope!

Since March 2007, I have been living in France with some members of my family, in fact, there are three generations of my family living in France. But, the majority of my family members still live in the UK. Having said that, I have family living all around the globe, eg Australia, New Zealand and Germany. However, don’t ask me about exact locations, I haven’t got the foggiest!

I have been married to Tom for over a quarter of a century. As he sometimes reminds me, a prison life sentence could be shorter than that, with parole! Tom is 65 years old with a very droll sense of humour that he has developed through the years, but he does need it, he lives with me and he is in very poor health. In fact, neither of us enjoys good health, Tom has emphysema and I’m a diabetic with a dicky ticker! What the heck, others are much worse off where health is concerned.

We love France, it is a beautiful country with so much space and such a lot to offer, if it were not for the bureaucrats and a Napoleonic judicial timeline that strips human rights like an onion skin!

So, what is my blog about? It’s about living life as hobos in France, with no human rights. What human rights am I talking about? That’s easy, the right to a home that’s not a tent, the right to peaceful enjoyment of a home that’s not a tent, the right to at least adequate healthcare, the right to be heard, the right to live our autumn years as we planned during 79 combined years of working hard and raising our family. Sadly, all those rights have been layers of onion skin since July 2007!

To reiterate, we love France, it’s a wonderful environment in which to live – as long as you belong here! More about the latter will unfold through the pages to come. Suffice to say, the following words will live with me and my family for many years to come, “This is the reality for you in France, Madame.”

This is a serious blog. But, I am often told by folks that I have a really good sense of humour! Let’s see if those folks are right!

Thank you for reading, so far!

Kindest regards,

Chrissie

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50 responses to “About Us

  1. fly in the web

    February 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Susie Kelly, author of several books about her time in France, who has the No Damn Blog site, gave me the link to your site.

    I don’t have a ‘big’ blog…125 followers…but would you like me to put up a post about what has been happening to you?

    Obviously i’d send you the post for prior approval.

    We’ve been and are going through the mill with the French justice system, so I do know something of where you’re coming from.

    I do blog about the French legal system, lawyers, etc… here’s one link

    http://real-france.blogspot.com/2010/10/lambs-and-wolves.html

    which might give you an idea of my views!

    Best wishes

    Helen Devries

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Helen, yes please, share with all and sundry – and I will share your blog! With my blog, I set out on a mission to search for and locate others who have fallen foul of the unfair, antiquated French judicial system. My family and I feel certain that this is the right way forward. Hence, in June 2010, after our (third) avocat refused to follow instructions to the same end, I filed a complaint against France for the breaching of our human rights, at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg. I will be telling the story about how that evolved further into the blog. The Case that I filed has not been thrown back at us, contrary to what several ‘legal beagles’ told me would happen before I filed! Obviously, the ECHR can’t hear our Case until the Cour de Cassation has been given opportunity to make judgement. We have been waiting for a Cour de Cassation Hearing date to be determined since November 2010, it took nearly 9 months for the Bureau d’Aide to agree our application for legal aid. The wheels of justice in France have two speeds, frustratingly slow and full stop! I will start reading your blog now, Helen, thank you very much for contacting us. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
    • Verity S

      November 20, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Helen Devries, I would like you to put my details on your blog also, here is my case: Thankfully I have found your page and can say that I’ve been through a very similar situation with notaries and the authorities in France too. I have been ripped off by the previous mayor, the notaire and the buyer of a property which I sold on my land. The old mayor who ripped me off has a history of doing bad business and that has been well documented in the local newspaper. I was duped by an employee at the Mayors office who sent a letter to the notaire and the buyer (but not me the seller) saying in French that the building was illegally constructed. The notaire knew this not to be the case because she was in fact my notaire on buying my whole property and she had in fact all the correct construction paperwork. This affected the selling price which I lowered to one third of the price it was valued at. When the sale went through, I didn’t receive the 10% that I asked for and that was in the contract, nor did I ever received any funds for the sale. The Conditions of Sale that I insisted that the notaire put in were in fact deliberately not put in the final contract even though she stamped and signed and agreed the conditions. I have asked for receipts and the signed Bill of Sale and fully executed contracts and the notaire tells me that she has lost all the documents. I did get her to sign a letter saying that she had lost the documents but since then she has sent me a letter to say she doesnt want me to contact her again. Incidentally on a particular occasion when I went to the land registry I saw that a portion of my land had the name of the business partner of my notaire on it and I managed to get them to change that back to mine. On the last visit to the notaires I asked her about her business partner and I mentioned his name being on my parcel of land and she said she knew nothing of it and that he had retired the day before. I have received no money for the sale of the building to my neighbour either, no documents but I have since found out and have received admittance from the mayors office to say that the building is in fact perfectly legal and that they made an error. There is more to this story, Im certain that this is also a claim for racial discrimination (the French notoriously hate the English and I have since found out that this happens to most English here where they get over taxed ands ripped off) and I have witnesses to certain comments that were made regarding me paying 4 times more tax than my French neighbours. This is a case for fraud by several parties who have colluded along with racial discrimination. If anyone has any similar stories or advice on where to take this matter then I would like to hear from you. Also if anyone has been ripped off by Credit Agricole or BNP (they bought out Abbey National) then please do let me know the outcome or any lawyer with experience of dealing with them. If anyone knows of a good lawyer who has experience with this kind of thing and who has won cases like this for Brits, and who speaks good English they do let me know. You can email me at escapethesystem@hushmail.com Kind regards, VS PS. I am a documentary film maker and I would like to get as many Brits together as possible who have been ripped off by officials in France, maybe we can put in a class action.

       
  2. fly in the web

    February 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Fine…I’ll do something and send it you….on here, or by e mail?

     
  3. Sarah

    February 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Chrissie, I’m horrified by your story, but not entirely gobsmacked. I’ve had dealings with the French justice system too, through divorce and that was a horrific eye-opener. Justice? What justice.

    The skulduggery and rampant dishonesty that you have encountered is a disgrace. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. I have sent a link to your blog here to another forum in France, the Survive France Network http://www.survivefrance.com
    I hope you get the support you need and deserve.

    I’m also from a link provided by Susie Kelly on Facebook.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Hello Sarah, I’m so sorry you have also been treated badly, divorce is a difficult enough time without the judiciary twisting the knife. I follow survivefrance on FB! I was a moderator on Total France until very recently, but that story will be a part of my blog a number of pages down the line! I also help to run the http://www.hobosinfrance.com forum (HIFF). I honestly don’t know what we would have done without forums and access to British communities in France, as will become clear with time. I sincerely hope your life is now settled, and that your dealings with the French justice system have now come to and end. Thank you very much for your support. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
    • Verity S

      November 20, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Hello Sarah, I would also like your Facebook link too as we have been seriously ripped off in France and we need to find a good trustworthy lawyer. I hope you can help. My email is below.

       
  4. Alison Kroon

    February 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I can only comment on my efforts to get a carte de sejour during the year
    in lived in France on a teaching award. It was just plain terrible and had me in tears at times! All funny in hindsight but not at the time! In fact, writing about it in my blog kept me sane.Good luck!

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Hello Alison, coping with French bureaucracy is a nightmare at the best of times, I can imagine what it was like for you. We have lived in France for nearly 5 years, we still pay full property taxes here, and my son pays cotisations (equivalent to NI/Income Tax) to RSI. Tom (MOH) and I are both well over retirement age, we both have UK pensions and we have submitted the correct documents to CPAM for our healthcare needs to be met, but the bureaucrats refuse to give any of us carte vitales because we don’t (can’t!) live in our French house that’s not a home! So, we have needed to pay for all medical treatment in France, to date. Tom has emphysema, I am diabetic with a cardiac condition – nearly half of our pension money is spent on medication/medical appointments every month! Thank you for your kind wishes. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  5. James

    February 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Hello, I just read your blog and am so sorry that all your dreams turned into such a nightmare. You seem so strong for how you are dealing with things. I hope you get some sort of justice soon.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 7, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Hello James, many thanks for your interest and your comment, such support is exactly what we need to help us to keep going! Our strength is in the fact that we stay together, we pull together, and we support each other. Every week, at least one of us shows signs of stress, distress and depression, but we rally around each other to maintain our resolve! It works. Thank you very much for your kind wishes, I hope you continue to read – there is a lot more still to come. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  6. Linda Howe

    February 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I cannot even be gong to imagine what you are going through. Have you thought of contacting some of the TV production companies? It would certainly worth a try and it may shame people into getting things done…

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 8, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Hello Linda, thank you very much for your message. Yes, my cousin, Pat, contacted the production team of ‘Homes From Hell’ about our situation during the initial few months before we had to leave the house. Perhaps I’m about to explode a myth, but our experience of the programme is that the producers are not actually interested in reality, they seem to be only interested in ratings and putting a programme together whilst making the least possible effort! The people from the production team who contacted me via email just wanted a video ‘walk through’ of the house and its surrounding environment. It became very clear to us that they weren’t really concerned about us, ie human beings, they just wanted a quick ‘scoop’ that, after editing for legal reasons, would probably have ended up as clippings on the floor. Once they had taken on board the fact that legal proceedings were under way, they lost interest. Some months after we left the house, I picked up an email enquiry from a different member of the team, but again, she was looking for videos and photographs – things we couldn’t give her, she was not asking about what was actually happening to us. I sent her a brief overview of what was happening, how we were living, nobody has contacted me since. So, the bottom line is, in our experience, a reality programme doesn’t seem to work when it is a case of stark reality! Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
    • Verity S

      November 20, 2014 at 9:51 am

      That’s a very good idea Linda Howe, I have just written to Chrissie and said the same thing. I am actually a documentary movie maker by trade and so I think we should all do this. Fortunately with Skype its not too difficult to do these days and we can put something very professional together.

       
      • hobosinfrance

        April 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        Hi Verity, I have been off-line for various reasons (I’ll be blogging about the reasons in the coming days, it might be helpful to others) and have resumed activity today. Yes, having read through your comments, I can see that you, also, have fought for justice in France, with little to no positive return or even the glimmer of a light shining a way forward. You have my unconditional empathy and heart-felt sympathy, and I say that with all sincerity. Having said that, your clear indication that progress might well be made by a group of us, rather than individually, certainly makes sense to me! Although, I have to say, I have been in touch with many folks, across France, who have suffered greatly due to the unjust actions of bureaucrats, legal beagles, and the judiciary, but, nobody was interested in working with other victims. They were frightened, feeling (and saying so) that they had to appear to be non-judgmental in their battles for justice. Furthermore, our Case went to the ECHR, various points we made showed clearly that we have been victims of racial prejudice in France. The ECHR didn’t want to know – the Judge was Belgian, he believed the Cour de Cassation Legal Aid clerk when she testified that we had not submitted correct documents, she stated that we had sent “empty envelopes” to the Legal Aid office, paying 5+ euros postage on each occasion and that amounted to hundreds of euros! Although we sent copies of everything to the ECHR, they ignored the facts! Blimey, can’t have one European accusing a European of another State of being racist! Heaven forbid – not even when the accusation is loaded with clear documentary evidence! The Belgian Judge filed our Case for breach of human rights under B for Bin, that was as far as we got! If you’re still ‘out there’, Verity, I hope you receive this. C X

         
  7. Pip

    February 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Chrissie,
    Don’t know if it will help but can’t do any harm but I’ve put a link and a short intro about your site here on my website about our village. It’s on the front page so I hope even more people come here and then spread the word.
    As a famous supermarket would say: Every little helps.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Pip, thank you very much for that, yes, each and every helpful step eventually creates a stairway! That’s what we need, right to the top! Come to think of it, I started reading your website some time ago, and I was enjoying it – I will return to read and enjoy the rest, later today! Bless you for your thoughtfulness. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  8. helenthemadex

    February 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Chrissie
    you blog makes very depressing reading, I hope that you will finally receive a fair and just outcome.

    I am another one who has had experience of the french judicial services through my divorce, it was an absolutely horrific experience, filled with dishonesty at every level. The way my daughters and I was treated was inhumane and totally unjust, and it continues still, the laws here have no consideration for human rights. My daughters young as they are gave me the reason to stay strong and fight and I am sure your family are the same

    regards

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Hello Helen, I am appalled that you, too, with your children, have discovered the huge hole in the French human rights ethic, it is truly horrendous that anyone should be treated inhumanely in this, supposedly, civilised country. Sadly, yours is not the first case I have become aware of in France, where divorce has been the starting point for a seemingly endless stream of unjust treatment. I so hope your battles lead to you winning your war. It’s good for us to know others are out there, keeping strong, fighting on all the way. Chin up, Helen, and thank you for giving us support even when you also need support. Please, keep us informed. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  9. Malou

    February 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    As I go through your posts, I really can’t help but feel so sorry that you and your family are not being treated well in the country that you really love. I hope that eventually the tides will turn and your lives back on the roll again. It is not easy being caught up in all these administrative bureaucracies that consume not just your time but your well-being as well from all the worries and desperations.

    Take care, Chrissie. In time, life will be rosy again. Keep the faith and the fight. 😉

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hello Malou, thank you very much for your support and your encouragement, it really does help us to remain strong. Yes, we have learned about French bureaucracy the hard way, nothing we read or heard before we moved here from the UK could ever have prepared us for many of the administrative complexities. However, the positive side is that learning the hard way generally means learning well! We have, on many occasions, been able to give benefit of our experiences to others here, and that makes the sometimes frustrating and near soul-destroying pedantics a little easier to bear! Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  10. Perpetua

    February 19, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Chrissie, I’ve been following your story on TF for some time, but seeing it written down like this fills me with a mixture of deep admiration at your courageous perseverance and horror verging on despair at how you are being treated. The fact that so many people recognise the level of fraud which has been perpetrated against you and still can’t or won’t do anything about it is simply beyond belief. I’ll put your blog on the list of blogs I follow which may help a few more people to hear about your struggle.

    Perpetua aka KathyF 🙂

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Hi Kathy, to be honest, the only time I have come close to panic was when I was dismissed as a TF moderator on the 27 December 2011. My first thought was, ‘How am I going to let folks know what can happen here when they’re filled with dreams of a home in France, and would never envisage this scenario.’ Although I didn’t (would not have been permitted, with good reason) use the forum as a soap-box, it was the right place to share the knowledge we have gained to help and signpost others. Hence, the reason why our son created and set up the Hobos In France Forum after my exit from TF, it’s so important for people to know all the facts before they put the first foot forward towards purchasing a property in France. Like us, the majority of folks probably think about the dreadful, ongoing situation in Spain and believe France to be a comparatively safe EU State in which to settle, but, as we now know, purchasing a property in France is just as fraught with danger of losing everything to fraud and corruption, as it is in Spain! Thank you, Kathy, for your continued support and encouragement, it is so very much appreciated. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
      • Perpetua

        February 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

        Gosh, Chrissie, I didn’t realise you had been dismissed from TF! How very ungrateful and ungracious of them after all your patient hard work

         
      • hobosinfrance

        February 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

        Hi Kathy, it was internal politics, I was apparently ‘too popular with the membership’, I refused to be bullied by the lead mod and his side kick, I was apparently ‘no longer doing my job effectively’ (because I couldn’t get on-line when we were in the tent), I was in ‘hidden’ mode when I responded to a post on the open forum (I thanked somebody for posting a Christmas lights link for my grandson!) even though there is no rule against any member being in hidden mode. I sent all the evidence to the HNM boss and requested reinstatement, but was threatened by return, a veiled threat of whatever if I ‘harmed the company’, for goodness sake! I was devastated to start, and I could have taken it to the Employment Tribunal in Bristol, but I have enough on my plate – and HNM’s reaction to my request for reinstatement was nothing short of hilarious! Crackers, really! I wasn’t given any notice, I received an email seconds after I had logged out of the forum at 11:03pm. Sacking by text scenario!! But, c’est la vie! It’s good to e-see you on HIFF, Kathy. Warmest regards, Chrissie

         
  11. source

    June 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Have you given any consideration at all with converting your current site in to French? I know a couple of translaters right here that will would help you do it for no cost if you wanna get in touch with me personally.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      June 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Hello source, sincere apologies for this late response, your message went into my blog spam box, I have just retrieved it. No, I don’t want to convert my blog into French, but I do intend to create a French version. I know French folks who are also caught up in a similar situation to ours and they don’t speak English. Likewise, many French friends who live in the village where ‘our’ house is located have expressed their wish to read my blog, none of them speak English. So, it is important that a French version becomes available. The biggest problem lies in the fact that many English terms do not translate easily to French! If you are reading my blog regularly, you will know exactly where I’m coming from! If you still think that my original blog, this one, can be translated without losing its identity, please come back to me and I’ll be happy to contact you directly. Thank you very much for your interest. Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  12. Gabriel Souliere

    September 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogging and site-building and definitely savored this web page. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your blog . You certainly come with outstanding stories. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your web-site.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      October 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Hello Gabriel. Thank you very much for reading at least some of my blog, I started blogging to get our story known around the world, that appears to have worked. I only wish I could tell you that my stories are fairy stories, but, sadly, they’re not, this blog is only the foreword to a book that I will one day publish! Now, that’s ambition! 🙂 I will pop in to your blog as soon as I have fully updated mine. Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  13. mmo guild

    September 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I didnt seek this, but I love this, found it enlightening! Keep up the good work!

     
    • hobosinfrance

      October 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you. My blog will continue for as long as it takes the French judiciary to award justice to my family and me. Perhaps, it will go on even longer than that, to the point when we hope the ECHR will make a judgement! Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  14. love this

    September 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Greetings from across the ocean! This is just what I was expecting, and you wrote it well. Thank you

     
    • hobosinfrance

      October 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Greetings to you, too. Thank you for taking the time to read my family’s real life story, much obliged. Do you know of others who are fighting for justice through the French Courts? I would be very interested in hearing from them if you could pass the word. Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  15. Brandon Barnhart

    September 27, 2012 at 3:09 am

    After looking at a few of the blog articles on your web page, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website as well and let me know your opinion.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      October 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Hello Brandon, it’s good to e-meet you. I have a fair bit of catching up to do, but I will check out your website as soon as I have fully updated the story about our fight for justice through the French judicial system. It’s so important for me to remember that others are in the same boat as my family and me, blogging our progression helps them to remain hopeful. Thank you very much for reading at least a part of my blog. Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  16. guild wars 2 gold

    September 30, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I came here looking for something else, but this interested me regardless. Inspiring stuff!

     
    • hobosinfrance

      October 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Hello. Your message dropped into my spam box, from where I retrieved it. Thank you very much for reading at least a part of my blog, it may also be of interest to you to know that our fight for justice in France is not rare! There are many such Cases proceeding now, many that have gone before, many that will no doubt arrive in the future, and even more that left the victims financially broke and unable to continue – they lost everything. I do hope you read our entire story, until we get to the end! Kindest regards, Chrissie

       
  17. Burton Haynes

    January 9, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I simply want to mention I am just very new to blogging and site-building and truly loved your web-site. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with good writings. Regards for revealing your website.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      February 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Hello Burton Haynes, thank you very much for reading my blog and for your kind comments. I wish you well with your blog writing, I’ll pop into your site later today. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  18. 98660

    May 10, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Thank you, this is a matter that is close to my heart. Where
    are your contact information though? My name’s Henrietta Tijerina and I’d
    get into this more deeply.

     
  19. kathythesane

    June 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Can’t believe I’ve just found you as I am meant to be on my way to bed! I shall read your blogs tomorrow. We are also in a long judicial process, however not half or a quarter of what it sounds like you’re dealing with.
    Will probably have more to say once I’ve read and caught up.
    Bon nuit.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      June 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Hello Kathy, my sincere apologies for this late response – storms knocked out our internet access! For once, I can’t possibly blame the French judiciary, lol! I see there’s another comment posted by you, so I’ll read that before I respond in full. It’s lovely to e-see you after such a long time, I do hope you and yours are well. Chrissie & family xx

       
    • hobosinfrance

      June 9, 2013 at 1:08 am

      I’m hooked, Kathy! Read, liked and am following! Definitely déjà vu for us! C xx

       
  20. kathythesane

    June 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Thank Chrissie 😀 I

     
  21. Osyth

    January 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    If I am right you are in Champagnac … that is very close to me in Champs sur Tarentaine. If you fancy a chat let me know. If you fancy a look at my blog you can do so without letting me know – or if you want the veil of secrecy to be thin you can like or even comment on the content. I currently rent an apartement pending taking possession of a house which we are buying further south but still in Cantal which I do consider to be my home .

     
    • hobosinfrance

      January 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      🙂 Yes, Osyth, our ‘pile’ is in Champagnac, not far from you at all! We have not been able to live there since early in 2008 – the gist of the reasons, and an overview of how we have survived hobo life throughout the years, span the contents of this blog, from the beginning to the current entry. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and, as my own blog is purely a precursor to my book(s), based on our lives as hobos in France due to Napoleonic law and shambolic vice caché law, I’m more than happy to do without anonymity! E-see you soon. Warmest regards, Chrissie and family (4 of us!)

       

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