Category: Useful & Sensible Stuff
My wife was interviewed a couple of months back by one of those “Come & Live in France” magazines on the subject of moving to France with young children.
I’d quite forgotten she’d done this until the publisher concerned very sportingly sent us a copy. I’ve never really looked at one of these mags before, so it was quite an education reading through it.
If I had to pick a single adjective to describe it I think I’d choose “gushing:” rather a lot of sparkling imagery of roses around the door, chirping crickets and sipping of chilled white wine on sunny evenings.
Which is fine by me: give me cheery optimism over gritty realism any day of the week.
(As an aside, it’s easy enough to get me spitting feathers, should you wish to have me do so. Simply start a sentence with “Of course I’m a realist” and the sincere belief that this somehow improves the worth of your opinions and I’ll be hoiking up enough to fill a duvet in seconds.)
Notwithstanding, I’m not entirely clear in my own mind if magazines like these are there to provide an actual practical guide for those wanting to shift HQ to the southern side of the Channel or whether their purpose is more to entertain by piquing the aspiration, as it were. If the former, then I fear the depth of advice leaves something to be desired.
Still, I’m not going to improve matters a great deal.
I really have no great longing to go into any lengthy explanation of my reasons for being very happy to be living here or to justify my profound belief that my lot has greatly improved. I will say that my life is a whole lot less stressful, but then I used to trade oil for a living, a profession in which if one did not have a peptic ulcer, bulgy eyeballs from the rocketing blood pressure and at least the beginnings of a serious drink problem then one simply wasn’t trying hard enough, so I’m hardly the best example from which to draw any conclusions.
And I will offer just one nugget of free advice that I think was not adequately emphasised in the publication I read: if you are planning to move to France, make an effort to learn French.