Ex-pat joke no. 465 - How do you end up with a small fortune in France?

So we spent the week generally alternating between despair and blind optimism, medicating our mood swings with liberal doses of wine.

We spent ages looking for information regarding regulations affecting chambres d'hotes on the internet (with some success), laughing hysterically at the radio programme which was about how little information was available for people wanting to start up small businesses in France, and inquiring from as many sources as possible as to what the rules were.

The Mairie weren't sure about the regulations, neither were the tourist office (although they did send us copies of the regulations pertaining to c d'h, which do not mention the kitchen) but at least both were friendly and helpful.

The most useful advice we had were from people in the business (in particular these guys at lay my hat (a forum for people in the business)). We were reassured, and now feel much better.

We spoke to Bill who runs a cheese stall in our market (who also runs a chambres d'hotes) who gave us some useful information.

"You know the only way to end up with a small fortune in France," he said

"No," we said, intrigued. "How?"

"Start off with a big one," he said.

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