A Year in Provence
It is exactly one year since my plane circled twice before landing at Nice airport. Waiting for my cases, the sound of foreign voices chattering excitedly left me in no doubt I was in France. Not for a holiday, not for a visit, but for real. My overwhelming thought was 'How can I make this work?'
Like many women on the Riviera, I had upped sticks, tied my little bundle over my shoulder (well, not literally, for goodness sake, this is me coming to France for at least a year. Is there enough luggage in the world, I wondered?) to seek my fortune.
Actually I was coming as a novice trailing wife, but that doesn't sound quite so intrepid.
Well, with your help and especially with my dear friend Anna's, I have made this work. I am, as they say, living the dream. Of course, my dream was not to have the red Ferrari or laze by the pool. My dream was to write and voila!
In the past few months, I have met so many women (and men) doing so many incredible things It has been enlightening. We are frontier women here, real women with our own tales of adventure, of overcoming adversity, of generously sharing experiences and expertise. We fight our way through crippling bureaucracy in a foreign language, we risk life and limb getting behind a steering wheel, we cope with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that French and Italians throw at us.
I feel I have served my probationary year. I can give Gallic shrugs with the best of them. I can throw my hands up in horror and tut when someone cuts me up on the road. I can almost figure out which queue to join in Carrefour. I can imagine continuing in this crazy, beautiful part of the world.
I have spent a year of proving myself in Provence, it was not a year in the Merde, nor am I a Scotswoman in the Campagne, however I do have a taste for olives and I am doing my best to reduce the wine lakes.