French Hiccups! Oh yes we certainly had plenty of those in the early days!!
In 1990 my husband and I were sitting in front of the fire on a cold February evening discussing with friends the thought of moving to France. The idea appealed to me immediately. I always knew since my teenage years that I’ll be living in a foreign country – I just never knew where – until that moment.
To explain to our friends, family and colleagues that we were going to leave England and live in France we had quite a lot of mixed responses. My mum, amazingly, was extremely supportive and suggested that I keep a space in my suitcase so she could come with us. She unfortunately never visited France. I discovered too late that she was in the early stages of cancer! Overall most of our friends were happy for us, but I was surprised at the people who didn’t like the idea that we were going to live in another country and leave our country of birth. Our family and friends were right because we couldn’t speak the French language, but I have to admit none of us doubted our intentions.
We left a few years earlier our first home where we had lived as a family for 10 years to another part of the country, where we were apparently happy, but I have often wondered if it was the right choice for us. At the time though it was for the right reasons. We loved our house in the country and my husband enjoyed his work. I was lucky to find work and we thought ourselves settled, but two years later we were on the verge of another move which would take away from England completely.
Did I mention that this discussion took place in February? Well believe it or not we were all in France, “lock, stock and barrel” – including our cats – by September of the same year.
For us the move to another country as France didn’t seem like a risk, but looking back …………….. !! We had two young children of five and nine and the intention of sharing a house with another couple. We must have been crazy!! Again we were bombarded with helpful comments such as, “You never know someone until you live with them!”, “Two women in the kitchen!”, etc., etc.
This story reflects the fact that these comments were totally ignored. We did learn later that we had in fact made a mistake and I think we all did sadly. But that’s another story – after all we are still here in France.