mon coeur de campagne

living a simpler, rural French life

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Love Actually


The downside of living abroad, for me, is the distance away from family and friends. The last time we saw our son and daughter was Christmas so when they said they wanted to spend Easter with us in France we were delighted.  And  suggested that they travelled on the Eurostar and we would meet them in Paris.

That was before the Terrorist attacks in Brussels. I was working in London when the underground and bus was bombed and that terrifying experience began the chain of events that eventually saw me fulfill my dream of living a rural life in France. The escalation of terrorism across the world is frightening. The  extra police and army presence in Paris is slightly reassuring but it was with a feeling of trepidation that I set off via car and metro to the Gare de Nord.

Being Easter Saturday it was extra busy and I was surrounded by a mixture of nationalities, grandparents, children, friends and lovers all waiting expectantly  for their loved ones. The excited chatter soon faded away as the train slowly pulled in.

There was an almost unbearably sweet moment of anticipation broken only by the shriek of a guard’s whistle. And then carriage doors were flung upon spilling passengers and their luggage onto the platform.  I pushed forward standing on tiptoe to grab that first precious glimpse of my son and daughter. 

It seemed like forever but then suddenly there they were! I was hugging and being hugged. Surrounded by other joyful reunions. Together again. And just like in the song ….love was all around. Xxxx


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A Bend in the Road

 I’m usually a glass full kind of person but my positivity has taken a nose dive.

 Life, of course, has plenty of ups and downs but when you are living in another country it can be a lot harder to deal with. 

Missing family and not being there is tough. Yes we have Skype, texting and phone calls but nothing beats a hug.

Realising that not knowing the “rules” makes us vulnerable to costly mistakes.

Not getting to grips with the language, I try hard but my level of understanding is not good enough when the sh**t hits the fan.

Despite all that – the positives still far outweigh the negatives – so I’m looking forward to what is round the next corner.