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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.

 

197 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
  4. Ah French Fridays, I love it and am looking forward to them…I am so happy you are back on my side of the pond. How wonderful to be back in the arms of your loved one. I am sure he missed you more than you know. I was ready to give the ole nasty government a call and tell them I knew you and vouge for you and the Bean, how silly to put you through all the months of BS. Oh well don’t get me started on our governments BS and hoops we all must jump through these days. Just so happy your here and its summer!! Sorry I have been absent, been a little preoccupied with emptying a house of 44 years. I did get a small twirl in on the solstice….XXXXkat

    Liked by 2 people

    June 22, 2018
    • Hurrah – I twirled too! I was in The Berkshires for the night as it was our anniversary on Friday – I’m not sure what the people made of the bonkers woman in the garden of the little inn dancing by the light of the moon but who gives a damn?!! French Fridays will commence this week hopefully … you have been emptying 44 years of life in one house and I’ve been up to my neck in yardwork but I will get there – we will and now I can wave at you much more easily with no pesky ocean on the way!! XXXXXXXX

      Like

      June 24, 2018
  5. Meant to mention I love the singer, he sounds like he could be related to Bob Dylan…xx

    Liked by 1 person

    June 22, 2018
    • I’m a Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens girl through and through. Poets all of them and I do love poetry!! Glad you enjoyed the song – it remains a favourite chez moi and fortunately hubby feels the same!!! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      June 24, 2018
  6. I wish I could tell you how much I like this post, but I am wordless right now. Love, love the song.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 25, 2018
    • I know that feeling. My words are coming like treacle from a tap at the moment. It’s this world. When one gets so far past anger and sadness one finds there is a place that is just a devastating abyss. That. I’m glad you enjoyed the song. I love Cohen for his poetry and his turgid drone of a voice. Of all those we lost in 2016 his was the death I felt most keenly ….

      Liked by 1 person

      June 25, 2018
      • I love Cohen as well. What a poet and wordsmith he was. I love “The Window” and listen to it often. The perfect song in the evening, with a glass of wine, looking outside.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 25, 2018
      • Good taste, Lady Bug! It was our wedding anniversary last week and my husband gave me a volume of Cohen’s lyrics and poetry …. he could not have given me a greater gift. I’m glad you have the gift of his music too – it is surely the balm we need to the anger and sadness inherent in this time we find ourselves in ….

        Liked by 1 person

        June 26, 2018
  7. I know how it feels to be leaving a place which you have called home; but i guess home is where you are with your family..your husband…and even if it means from the other side of the world then i think its still home..

    I wish you goodluck ..

    Liked by 2 people

    June 25, 2018
    • Thank you so much Mich. I think the lady who wrote ‘somewhere’s will always be trumped by someone’s’ has it perfectly. The fact is that I do love France but I am more happy to be with my husband here than on my own there!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 25, 2018
  8. So, the very first time I dip into your blog I am reminded of Grenoble—thanks for the nostalgia trip. I lived four years in Geneva and we combed the environs solidly. Thank you… and enjoy your new phase of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 26, 2018
    • My pleasure. My husband lived and worked in Grenoble throughout the 80s so it was natural for him to be asked to revisit the Institut there and do a tranche of work for them. I stayed on and was there 18 months in total. I miss it. But this next bit will be lovely too. It’s all a question of finding the purpose in the way things are, not looking back with the rose tints on and the silver linings have a habit of presenting themselves when one is not looking. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment … I would be interested to learn more about your time in Grenoble, of course and I am thrilled that you are foolish enough to follow my blog – I’ll try not to disappoint and will take time to explore yours too. I generally take a morning a month to really do justice to new followers. À plus!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 26, 2018
  9. Ali #

    I enjoyed this little adventure, and I love your spirit, which comes across so clearly. ‘So long, Marianne’ is also one of my favourites. Such a useful ditty to him whenever you are leaving a situation!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 27, 2018
    • Ali, you and I both! I have hummed the song a goodly few times in this old life of mine 😉 I’m so glad you enjoyed this and just as glad that I am fortunate to have a life full of different experiences, some of which are best when the time comes to hum the tune 😊

      Like

      June 27, 2018
  10. What a wonderful post! Leaving somewhere is so hard, it tugs at the heartstrings even when we are moving on to greener pastures new. To be with your husband, to be together is such bliss, as though everything is right in the world. Happy times. Katie xx

    Liked by 1 person

    July 8, 2018
    • The reader who wrote ‘somewheres are always trumped by someones’ got it perfectly. It has been very hard but I am with my one true love and that makes up for any sorrow at leaving the land I love. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2018
      • Absolutely. It’s all about the person. I’m so glad and happy that you have found your true love. Heaven. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2018
      • 💕 😊 💕

        Like

        July 9, 2018
  11. What an incredibly lovely read! Plus I love that you used the word ” Forlorn”. No one uses it anymore and I find it winsome!
    Perhaps you’ve helped me find the next Manic Mondays prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

    August 2, 2018
    • Thank you, Laura. The forlornness stayed a while and I have found it hard to write recently but I feel the clouds clearing these last few days. I’m so glad you love that word …. I rather love winsome too!

      Like

      August 4, 2018
      • I agree! So much beauty, interest and at times hilarity in language that is so seldomly used anymore. ☹

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2018
      • My husband has been re-reading every single one of Agatha Christie’s books on his train journey to and from work …. he is having a blast with the words and keeps trying them out on me over dinner. I think we are duty bound to keep language alive, those of us who love words. And your challenge is a wonderful way of doing just that. I will join in when this blue funk wafts away sufficiently for me to have coherent thoughts and it is dissipating nicely now as I knew it would. With great change comes a degree of stress and anxiety and I know you understand that very well having gotten to know you a smidge through your writing 🙂

        Like

        August 4, 2018
      • Indeed I do! Been navigating those same waters lately as well. When I can, the writing helps…distracts the focus but mostly, ” I get by with a little help from my (blogging) friends. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2018
      • Well ‘You Got a Friend in Me’ … so there!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2018
      • 💕

        Liked by 1 person

        August 5, 2018
  12. Beautiful blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 5, 2018
    • Thank you, that’s very kind. You definitely have the right attitude if your name is anything to go by. I will explore deeper and I am sure I will find that yours, too is a beautiful blog 🙂

      Like

      August 5, 2018
  13. Osyth, I don’t seem to find any other #frenchfriday posts. Come on girl you need to get stuck in and write one 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2018
    • Suzanne – you are exactly the bluddy bullet up the bum I need! Thank you. I do need to get writing again. This mist of malaise has gone on long enough. Friday. Promise. Or you can shoot that bullet for real!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2018
  14. Oh, my–what a time to be moving to America! Keep your spirits up, and keep that house in the Cantal!

    On an unrelated note: I was recently the happy recipient of the gift of a copy of your father-in-law’s book on cheese. What a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 16, 2018
    • Have no fear – that house is a lifer! I am so happy that you have Pat’s book (‘The French’, I assume rather than ‘The Great British’) …. it is a treasure and I say that with no bias whatsoever. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy 😊

      Like

      August 17, 2018

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