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So Long Marianne

I’m a simple soul.  I prefer to have a positive spin for most things and I tend not to be deterred or detained by obstacles.  There is generally a way over or round them and it just takes a little old-fashioned patience and a dollop of bluddy mindedness to get to the other side.

DSCF0229I married my beloved HB² not quite five years ago in our village in the Cantal and set about working towards the next phase of my life which was to be a life in Massachusetts because that is where he is based.  Simple.  Except that the process of getting Lawful Permanent Residency is not simple.  And if you stick with me, you will learn that simple as I am, if there is a way to eek some drama and comedy out of a process or a situation, I am truly and simply your leading girl.

 

Whilst we waited, I settled in France.  It was the sensible thing to do.  We had bought a little house there (these days named, at least in my head, la Maison Catastrophe) and it made sense for me to give up my corporate London career with attendant regulated holidays and be in a place we love, and free to travel and be with His Brainship as frequently as possible.  We waited and we waited and we waited.  The process was as appealing as digging ones own eyeballs out with a spoon and as swift as paddling a canoe upstream with that same piece of cutlery.  Such is life.  Rules are rules and resisting them is both foolish and ultimately futile.  We waited.  We occasionally uncovered evidence that the great beast that is this bureaucratic process actually did have a pulse and it would lurch into life and ask a question or demand information before lapsing back into its apparently dorment state once more.  And we did as we were asked and always with a smile and a twirl.  And between smiles and twirls, we waited.

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During this time, I nested and rooted and felt at home.  In France.  In 2016 the kindly beast allowed me a special visa so that I could spend the year in the USA but travel in and out freely.  I had a lovely time and I felt quite homely .  When I left in December I felt rather sad.  Back in France I ingrained and entrenched some more and I began to assume that the permission to enter the United States and live there as a ‘Lawful Permanent Resident’ (Green Card holder as it is known in the vernacular) would never arrive.  I qualified as an English Teacher.  My French improved incrementally and raised itself far above it’s previous Spanish Cow default, for living in a city (Grenoble) rather than in the middle of truly no-whereland (Cantal) with far more opportunity to interact beyond the basics of shopping and passing the time of day with the Monsieur le Maire and the old lady opposite and I felt entirely and completely settled and content that I could count down the days to my husband’s retirement and that all shall be jolly and well in the meantime.

 

The phone call came at 3 a.m my time and a voice uttered ‘areyousittingdown’ to which I wittily, it must be said, responded that I was lying down since it was the middle of the night.  If I had been sitting I would have fallen off my chair.  As it was the bed was capacious enough to prevent me from rolling onto the floor.  That pesky Juice Man had pressed the green light and all systems were go for the last lap to the finish line.  That it was a lumpy bumpy descent I will write of another time but the fact is that I sat for days feeling bewildered.  Of course I was thrilled that finally I would be able to live with my love and be what we intended when we married …. to.geth.er.  But all of a sudden I was facing leaving France.  And that, as one of the positive batalion of my friends named Philippe is sweetly fond of saying ‘Urt me in ze ‘eart’. 

 

So for now I have left France.  I will be devoting Friday to France from now on ‘FrenchFriday’ if you will and bringing you the stories that have remained untold from my tenure there.

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And to kick off my other series, ‘MeltingPotMonday’ which will bring your stories from this side of the pond, The Bean will guest-write the first instalment.  She has been quite disarmingly insistent that her version of events needs to be told and is highly excited at the opportunity to flex her pokey little paws on the keyboard.

 

To note is the fact that all the pictures in this post have featured before on my blog.  I am currently away from base and it proved a step too taxing for the hotel internet to allow me to upload new pictures from my iPhotos library

PS:  The title is from one of my favourite songs by one of my first and everlasting loves.  Marianne in the context of this article is the National symbol of the French Republic portraying a Goddess of Liberty and representing that liberty and reason which in the end is really what we all should strive for, n’est-ce pas?  So long Marianne, keep my place at the table, I’ll be back before too long.

And your bonus, with the added quite gaspingly delicious noisette that when I was at school, my enviably beautiful and absolutely aspirational classmate Sara Trill announced to those of us that affected intellectual by hanging out in the library that my father was the image of Mr Cohen himself – I took this as the highest praise by proxy (and let’s face facts, gauche girls like me had to grab the crumbs where they fell), and blushed decorously whilst purring internally for days.  Months actually.  Possibly my whole life through if I’m honest …..

And because this is a post about feeling forlorn about leaving a favourite, and because WordPress in their infinite wisdom have cancelled their weekly photo challenge making me and so many others a little wan and sad, and because their last challenge is ‘All-Time Favourites’ and I don’t have one, I will instead include this in the veritable feast of entries to be found here and bid one of the best things about WordPress adieu with a heavy heart.

 

151 Comments Post a comment
  1. munchkinontheroad #

    Looking forward to French Fridays!
    🇫🇷 🥐🥂

    Like

    June 9, 2018
    • I missed the first one yesterday but when I actually write it next Friday I will give good reasons. Or at least they will be taken as such! I know how much of a Francophile you are so I will hope not to disappoint you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      June 9, 2018
      • munchkinontheroad #

        Your posts never disappoints👌

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2018
  2. I shall look forward to the French Friday stories – and welcome (again) to our side of the pond!

    Like

    June 9, 2018
    • I failed miserably to get the first French Friday out there but I did have reasons (not excuses, please note) …. hopefully your anticipation will not be misplaced when I get the stories out there!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 10, 2018
  3. So awful that the bureaucracy (for want of a better word) separates families in seemingly gratuitous ways – what a protracted unsettling time you have been through. Despite having to leave France, it must be great to be living together with your husband (and with the Bean with you both too) and having a chance to explore and settle a bit all at the same time. Can you get good coffee where you are and good bread too?? I hope so 🙂 I love your photos. I am trying to be philosophical about the WPC being axed but it is a shame it has ended. Best wishes for the future sans France, though only temporarily I gather.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2018
    • It was a trial, that’s for sure and I’m afraid it is a commonplace one in this world of ours. Leaving France is a wrench but as another reader commented ‘somewheres are always trumped by someones’ and the most important thing is that we 2 plus The Important Bean are all together. The exploring will be and is already a joy and France will wait awhile 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2018

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