Monday, April 11, 2005

Just another Monday

On my own again today as Lynne heads off to Nimes for her twice-weekly French classes. She is into this big time, and between her classes in Nimes and her Open University course she is fast leaving me behind in the language stakes.

When we arrived in France three years ago (part-time originally - we only moved out here for good at the start of this year) I had three years of schoolboy French from 25 years ago on which to rely, whilst Lynne had very little. I managed to pick up a lot in the first year with the extensive interaction with local artisans as we renovated the house.

But now I am back to speaking only English on a daily basis (all of my clients are English-speaking) and I get to interact rarely with French people. And I can tell that my French is suffering big time, whilst Lynne's is coming on in leaps and bounds. Whereas I used to be able to hold a passable conversation, I now find myself stumbling over the simplest words and phrases again.

I really don't want to be one of those sad bastard English ex-pats who think they can just come over here for the cheap booze and nice weather and not bother learning the local language and customs. There are too many of those already in France, and the fact the Britain is also full of people like that from other countries was one of the reasons we decided to move here in the first place. That and the fact that as a British taxpayer I was expected to support those people, since precious few of them seemed interested in finding work or paying for their own food and accomodation.

Nope... I'm gonna integrate if it kills me....

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