Posts Tagged ‘expat’
If my blog bio wasn’t enough for you, here is some more information about me….
Franglaise Mummy pretty much sums me up: I lived in the UK for the first 22 years of my life before heading to Nice, France after graduating. I had a 3 month return ticket and aimed to spend the summer working in a bar, going to the beach and partying. In less than a month I’d decided to stay on indefinitely….I finally moved back to the UK 12 years and 18 days after going out there as a very different person at 22.
After deciding to stay on in France I set about looking for a serious job and becoming more “French” and less of an expat. Here is a brief summary of my life on the French Riviera age 22 – 34:
I lived in 1 city, 2 towns and 1 village, from the beaches of Nice to the countryside of St Vallier de Thiey which is over 700 metres above sea level and where we had snow every year.
I worked as a barmaid, I cleaned yachts, I cleaned toilets, I worked as a secretary for a man who I later discovered was involved in the Russian mafia, and who I saw on the news in handcuffs one night (whilst I was working for him!), I taught English in businesses, I worked as a PA again and this time my boss was put on gardening leave while the company investigated him for fraud and for stealing company money, I worked in marketing and PR, I ran my own luxury travel agency with my husband which nearly brought an end to our union! My final job in France was running my own business working for a woman who declared herself to be a witch and to know how to cure cancer, and doing some final English teaching to babies and children. After this panoply of jobs I was quite glad to move back to the UK and get a “normal” job in a marketing agency in London.
I had a 3 year relationship with my first French boyfriend, resulting in a mortgage, 2 French cats, an adorable set of in-laws who I still class as my family today and a broken heart. Despite this I decided to stick around in France and I’m glad I did as I then met my husband on a drunken night in a bar in the old town of Nice in December 2001. What I have got out of this relationship is another mortgage, a French dog, 2 English cats, my soul mate and our incredible and fabulous half English, half French daughters.
To everyone’s shock and amazement, in June 2010, fed up with the lack of job opportunities and never-ending petty bureaucracy in France, hubs and I made the huge decision to move (back) to the UK. In the next month we sold nearly everything we had, handed in notices, packed up a tiny van of a few key belongings, booked a one-way flight, had a few drunken farewell parties and headed to my parents’ house with L and our hopes high. I never thought that at age 34 I’d be moving back into my childhood home along with my husband and 3 year old daughter but that’s what happened as we job-hunted and then house-hunted.
In the last 2 years or so we’ve settled into our UK way of life very well and it’s made me realise that whether we live in the UK or France or anywhere else I will now be leading my life the Franglaise way.
So where am I at now? Living with hubs, L (our 6 year old daughter), C (our baby daughter, born in London in November 2012), Courage (French dog pronounced Koo-rarj), Ruby (French cat), Gavin & Smithy (English cats) in southwest London. I usually work full-time while L goes to school but I’m currently on maternity leave, looking after L and C.
This blog is about my personal experiences of the differences in pregnancy, birth and raising babies and children the French and the English way. I am not condoning nor condemning either way, merely stating how it is/was for me, which doesn’t necessarily mean that is how it is for everyone in the UK or France.
With that disclaimer I’ll sign off and say thanks for reading!