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It is the end of half term and I am getting ready to get back to London. Catching up with friends and family in France is becoming more and more difficult. The gap between me and them is increasing. I go to great lengths to avoid hurting their feelings and I keep very quiet all the time, but they don’t seem to reciprocate and usually subject me to a shooting of questions: why did I leave? Why don’t I intend to come back? Why would I want to live in such a rainy city? Come on, I should know that France is the centre of the universe, the country that invented human rights, impressionism and Camembert.
And, as you know, I keep complaining that I am being patronised in England but, over here (in Saint Tropez), I am being lectured at every possible opportunity. I feel trapped because I am usually offered something really nice to drink and some nibbles, I start to relax and there we go, the down putting begins. In no particular order: I need to lose some weight, get a haircut, stop scratching my nose, change dress because this one shows too much cleavage, check my restaurant bill more carefully because they added 3 Euros of service charge last time, stop blogging because it is a waste of time, pay more taxes in France because it is my duty, become a civil servant to have a job for life, spend more time in France, and so on, and so forth.
It is a miracle that I have managed to remain reasonably sane with such treatment. To be fair, Nurofen helps. That, and glasses of rose wine.
Don’t get me wrong : I spent a whole week on the Mediterranean sea, the weather was gorgeous and the food would have tempted a saint (ah, the taste of olive oil on fresh fish…). It was great. It just hurts a bit to see that I can’t really share what’s on my mind as openly as I used to. Maybe it is all part of the growing old (and wise )process.
Don’t say it out loud, but I am almost missing the way people are telling me that I have a French accent in London.
I am not sure where I belong any more. Yep, time to go home. In London.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London