Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Viv Booth

Paying with Fish

Pages: 208 Ratings: 4.8
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Living close to the beach promised long, relaxing days, reclining peacefully and contemplating life, not prolonged screeching and jumping along the sand with a live crustacean taking residence in your pants.

Life in France for Viv is not what was expected. Perception based upon memory and recall alone is just not up to scratch. Who knew about the live lions parked in open containers in rural car parks. What about the monkeys tethered to grass verges eyeing you suspiciously? Why do horses have their heads poked through town house kitchen windows? Are they hoping for sustenance for the long night ahead? Just what is this obsession with drains blowing smoke up sewage pipes and making the colour of water especially grey? And just because there is a bus stop, can it be presumed that any type of vehicle has ever stopped there? Residence in rural France might just be a tad more tricky than first anticipated.

Viv Booth was born in Oldham in 1957, the youngest of four children. Move forward fifty years and you have the meanderings of a short, slightly overweight, middle aged woman living in France, predominantly alone. Not a totally uncommon occurrence but pretty damn unusual for a Lancashire lass.

Customer Reviews
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Terry Booth

    A northern lass and her husband decide to leave their life in the UK to purchase a new home in France.
    This is a heartfelt tale of the adventures of Mr & Mrs C in their new adopted country. The ups, the downs, the bizarre and some very amusing encounters with the local villagers.
    All told in Viv’s unique style.
    A great read.

  • Gary Pyke

    In Hollywood, when anyone moves abroad they either find redemption from their current life, the delight of a new one or finding the love of their life. But, life's not Hollywood. Life when abroad for normal people (and I say that in the general sense) is; trying to fit in, unexpected happenings, miscommunications, misunderstandings, trials and tribulations of trying to get things done in a culture you weren't brought up in or have had years to understand. The British abroad expect, un-rightly so, for the culture to orientate to them, so that when they are speaking loudly things happen and stuff gets done. What 'Paying with Fish' illustrates perfectly is that it's not like that at all.

    So what is it like? Finding a property abroad is like kissing lots of frogs in the hope that one turns into a prince. That the locals who live there all the time, don't just love you straight away, it's more that they put up with you and whisper between themselves in a language you don't yet understand. That there are unwritten rules that no matter how long you are somewhere they are always hidden until they are not. No matter how much you stick at it and people visit, there is still a pull home.

    'Paying with Fish' vividly goes into all this and more. It's not the sanitised version that the movies give you. It's the day-to-day trials and tribulations of living abroad that make life so interesting.

    A must-read for anyone considering that escape to a chateau or that apartment at the top of an unseen staircase with a 1970s nightclub vibe...

  • Alison Croft

    I loved this book! It was such a warm, witty and honest account of Mr and Mrs C’s life in France. From their initial purchase of an apartment by the sea in Finistere to a permanent residence for Mrs C in the Vendee. Highs, lows and hedgehogs in the pool are all accounted for along the way, but I fell headlong into their story and was very sad when I reached the final page. I would highly recommend this book, Viv Booth has a unique writing style that makes it an absolute page turner. I can’t wait for the sequel!

  • Rosemary Ogilvie

    Lovely book, easy reading and full of pitfalls and laughs on buying and living in France.

  • Phil Carr

    What a wonderful light-hearted rendition of the adventures of a lady who boldly approached this great adventure of living in a foreign country and the challenges it presented. Reading and chuckling my way through the chapters and how the journey was approached and dealt with at every turn, resonated with me personally as I experienced some of those occasions with the author. It's an insightful window of that period of time and the light-hearted way in which it is conveyed with an almost whimsical tone. For anyone wishing to follow the same path to living in a foreign country, I recommend reading it as a guide to those challenges that may be faced and how to overcome them with laughter, wine and playing with fish.

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