Brits in France: Expat shares her reality of living and working abroad – 'disgusting'

3 mins read

Roughly 200,000 British expats are thought to have set up camp in France. The Channel 5 documentary Allo Allo! Brits in France follows three groups of Britons as they move to the European country.

Kate moved 20 years ago and has been making a living by cleaning swimming pools.

“I fell into cleaning by accident really,” she explained.

“I started really small, I only had four swimming pools and here we are, 20 swimming pools later.”

As her cleaning business grew, Kate enlisted the help of her friend and fellow Brit abroad Jenny.


Both women explained they work maintaining 20 swimming pools.

Despite the success of their work, Kate shared it is not always glamorous.

She continued: “When I do the swimming pools and there’s all the renters arriving, and they all say ‘ah, you’re living the dream.

“‘This is what we want to do. We want to come out to France, we want to live here.’

“But actually the realistics of living here is you’ve got to earn some money.”

Kate and Jenny showed viewers a day on the job which included a pool which appeared to be filled with insects and grime.

Uncovering a pool to begin cleaning, Jenny exclaimed: “That’s absolutely disgusting in there”. Kate agreed.

The English expat detailed she that has found some interesting creatures in the pools she has worked on.

“I can find all sorts of stuff in pools,” Kate continued.

“So far this year I’ve found three hares [and] one huge lizard.”

She added: “It’s funny what you end up doing in a different country. I never thought I’d be looking after people’s swimming pools.”

While there may be some unusual finds during her job, the women shared their appreciation for their job.

Jenny explained: “It might seem like hard work to some but not to me.

“It’s really satisfying going to a pool, giving it a clean and by the time you leave it’s perfect.”

Kate agreed, and stated: “I feel so much more alive working outside, it’s exhilarating, it’s fun, you feel alive. It’s great.”

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