Well, it's been a while. I wasn't even sure I could remember my login. I guess some of you might remember me, given the handle. We are currently chickenless. In fact, we are currently without a yard, back or otherwise. Life has changed for us in a huge way -short version follows Feller got his PhD and got offered a 1 year post-doc in the south of France. So, we rehomed the chickens, left a son in charge of the house and cats, packed up the dog and hopped a plane to France (that was an adventure in itself as Feller came a month before me to get us accommodation, so I travelled solo with the dog). We figured over the course of a year, we could juggle my time in France in such a way that I wouldn't have to obtain a long-term visa (which would be a nightmare in the extreme due to not being married, or even able to prove long-term cohabitation) and we could keep our house (as the rent was very reasonable and not worth giving up). A few days after my arrival, feller was offered a second year on his contract. How could we say no to extending the dream job in the south of France (we are living between Nice and Cannes). Now we had a problem - we could juggle our situation for a year, but 2 years was impossible. Well, the easiest route was for Feller and me to get married (even though we were both adamant that would never happen - just goes to show, never say never). So, off to Gibraltar we skipped (it's like the European Vegas for quick, easy weddings). Feller has UK citizenship, so that made it really easy for me to be able to stay in France (the bureaucracy here is unbelievable - when I say really easy, it is all relative). Once we got married, I headed back home to give up our house, sort and store belongings, pack up the remaining cat (our 17 year old cat passed away shortly before my return) and head back to France. We've been here for almost a year and a half now and Feller's contract has been extended a further 6 months. Duckie came to live with us for 7 months and attend school here - she has been in French immersion since kindergarten - now she is in grade 8. My French is not good - I understand way more than I can speak, but I manage day to day without too much difficulty. The pets travelled amazingly well and have settled into French life just fine. Twm-cat has accepted apartment living and Maggie seems to have become more relaxed around other dogs since being here. They don't tend to alter their dogs here in France and while one hears of the UK being a nation of dog-lovers, they have nothing on the French. Dogs are accepted everywhere here. It is a given that pets are acceptable when renting an apartment unless it expressly says they aren't. Dogs go in almost all the shops with their owners. We've travelled by car extensively with Maggie-dog and have only had 1 hotel (in Italy) that wouldn't let her stay. We found Austria and Germany to also be very dog friendly. Oh yeah - eggs are not refrigerated here. Fresh milk is also not that readily available. There is a small section of it that my local supermarket keeps moving on me and isn't always stocked, but there is a HUGE aisle of UHT mile (YUCK). So, there it is - a rather long, short update on our crazy family life. edited to format - don't know what went wrong with original post, but it ate all my paragraph spaces.