I’m a storyteller. I tell stories. Stories of my home in France and stories of my travels. To be precise I’m mostly to be spotted in le Cantal, between the two great mountain ranges of the Massif Central – Les Monts de Cantal and Le Massif de Sancy which dominate the Auvergne region but for the last year, I have lived in Grenoble the city known variously as the gateway to, or the capital of, the Alps. It’s a marvellous opportunity to dunk self in a chic little cup of urban French life and in my mind I sashay elegantly and effortlessly effecting a constant that is so much more hip than hick … the success or failure of this tenure is for others to judge and is occasionally chronicled here for posterity.
I tell of my wanderings, of the people I meet, of their lives, of their animals and of the land. I tell of things long ago and far away. I tell of things I’ve seen or been. The stories are all real so all I actually do is observe and translate. My role is l’étrangère fitting in and trying to merge into the background like David Attenborough so as not to startle but rather to witness reality. Not journalistically, you understand. I binned the idea of being a journo back in 1980 when as a higher muck-a-muck PA on The Daily Telegraph with delusions of being a reporter it was pointed out to me that I needed to cut my teeth with the rest doing flower shows and funerals for the Toadswallop Gazette or the Blubberhouses Evening Post …. being a gal-about-town on a fast-track to greatness I quickly moved on from THAT idea. More like a mediaeval raconteur. Without the lute or the mismatched tights.
When I started this blog it was to give me a space to write those stories. Over time, things inevitably develop and alter. I published my first book in France, ‘Russians Love Their Children Too’, in early 2015 . And, if all goes to plan which in my experience it seldom does, the next will be in print in the next 12 months. So the stories are being hoovered up for the books and the blog takes up the slack and provides me a place to be fairly formless – mostly it is a sort of ‘Eat Pray Love’ meets Gertrude Stein on the set of ‘A Year in Provence’ with the cast of ‘Allo Allo’ skulking and bickering in the background … sometimes you can expect food (often prepared for one because I often face the challenge of cooking just for me which is far harder than feeding the 5,000 ever was), photographic posts with lyrical or poetic commentary, a bit about buying houses in France and renovating them which are hot topics in world of me, a random spritz of the actuality of living in a Foreign land by yourself with no buoyancy aids in a place where no-one speaks your native tongue and you speak theirs ‘comme une vache Espagnole’ and occasionally something about the realities of loving across 3,000 miles of Ocean. I will still spin a story or two your way – old habits die hard …. now there’s an idea – let’s morph Maria von Trapp with Bruce Willis. By George! I think she’s got it!
So welcome! Let the feast commence. You can find a little more about me here
One thing though. Photographs. I only use my own and occasionally those taken by friends and family when they are with me and always credited. I don’t use stock photographs however tempting it might be to gussy the blog up with a fantastic professional picture that is vaguely in context. Good, bad or indifferent I prefer authenticity.
If you are new to my half-baked world then may I gently suggest a meander through the archives. My most recent posts all appear in the sliding bar at the top and every single post is archived by date in the side-bar. The ‘pages’ at the top are a selection of stories covering things which captivate me – in truth I don’t really know what the difference is between a post and a page – perhaps someone clever might enlighten me though the truth is I tend to do things my own way and so long as I’m not doing any harm I see little value in worry. HB² is the chemical symbol for my husband with two brains and The Bean is our dog.
Words and photographs are Copyright © Osyth and may not be reproduced without my permission, which I am happy to grant for non-commercial purposes, provided I am credited as the writer and or photographer, with a link to this blog. To discuss commercial rates use the contact information in the footer.