Funny to look back and remember the naivety and lack of knowledge, both linguistically & culturally and the distance travelled over the years. Timeline reads\;
- 1980 Honeymoon on BMW motorbike touring Brittany & camping. Tourist phrase book, no school French we read ICI as a company name, tracked down an old military 'Camping' and couldn't understand why all the farm sites were 'a la ferme'...closed!
- 1987 Train trip to the south of France euphemistically named 'Mediterranean Express' stopped at every siding
- Ongoing car and camping trips down, across, via most regions. Linguistically faltering our way through, 'boisson v poisson' and 'demain v deux main' and so many other confusions.
- 1993 Basic French course & feeling very confident. Finding out why we were so oftern laughed at when booking; 'machin means whatsit/ thingamy' and 'Ron sounds like rond'...hence, "one room for Mr Round Thing"
- 1995 decided in to buy a place, took to 2006 to find the funds & decide where.10-6-06 purchase and a meaningful date. As Ron pointed out to the notaire, "this time we won"!He was not amused.
- 2007/8/9 Cauldon College French courses & finally GCSE 2010 at the same time as I passed my Headteachers qualification, NPQH and equally proud of both.
- 2010 Stayed for five months & discovered the strength of pictures & humour in improving communication."Vous voulez la chienne Ron?", "Non merci je suis complete, non beaucoup le mange"......Franglaise!
- 2010 a hospital stay which improved my confidence whilst treating my sunstroke, after that nothing could be linguistically that scarey, "Je suis mieux..."
- French friends ever helpful, always supportive and thanks to Nicole, Evlyn, Valerie, Jean Claude, Patricia and all the others, I could not have do it without you!
So how long have I been in France? 30+ years and can I speak the language, well let's see how I measure up!
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Bon courage Pauline!