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Who am I

IMG_2218My name, and it is my given name, is Osyth. One day I’ll bore you with the story. Not today though. Today is an explanation of where I’ve sprung from. Leonard Cohen has a wonderful line (it’s in ‘So Long Marianne’) – he says ‘Oh you are such a pretty one – I see you’ve gone and changed your name again!’ Well when I am rich and famous, doubtless people will trawl around and find I’ve had lots of names but Osyth has always been constant. Though she was the shy one hiding in the shadows. Now she is taking tentative steps into the light. I like the light. I have written for as long as I can remember and for almost as long people have said ‘you really should write’ – so here I am revealing my hand, taking petits pas and rather enjoying the feeling.

I am English born though I have blood from each stripe of The Union Jack plus a dollop of French from my ancestors who crossed with Guillaume (le Conquerant for the avoidance of doubt – that William indeed) in 1066 and as rumour has it, and I care to cling to, a smattering of Guyanan slave blood too. That I was born in England does not make me English you see. I have moved around the place so often that it was impossible for me to put down roots. Unkind observers said I was running away. Perhaps I was but I do think that to run away you have to be running FROM something and I never quite worked out what that was. There are stories and stories and stories and I will share them if you will listen.

For now all you need to know is that I moved to Le Cantal, one of the least populated departments in France, indeed one of the least populated areas of Europe,  in 2013. And I loved it like the love of my life. But things change or at least they alter and in 2017 I moved to Grenoble. And I loved it like the love of my life. Eighteen months after that I moved to the USA. To Massachusetts. And I didn’t love it, not even a smidge. I fell down a toxic rabbit hole and it took me many waxings and wanings to climb out. Now, rejuvenated and regenerated I am ready to embrace the now. And here’s the thing. I realise that in that dark, throttling despair, I never ever stopped believing that all you need really IS love. Roots follow.

85 Comments Post a comment
  1. If that was the first page of a book, you would have me hooked 🙂

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you Lynda … I really appreciate that! 🙂

      March 14, 2014
  2. Hi Osyth, found my way here via Jenny at So glad to benefit from her excellent taste! Love the writing and love the photos. (I’m with you on avoiding stock photos – let’s here it for authenticity!) I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. I love France, too, so finding this blog is a real treat for me. Looking forward to following you!

    December 1, 2014
    • Aileen, hi to you and I am so sorry – I realised just now I had not approved your comment which was pure oversight … thank you so much and I look forward to following along with you! Bonjournee a vous 🙂

      December 9, 2014
  3. No problem, Osyth. Hard to keep up with everything!

    December 9, 2014
    • If you’re entirely discursive and chaotic it certainly is Aileen 😉

      December 9, 2014
  4. Hi Osyth! Thank you for your “like”! I am now following your blog and look forward to reading about your discoveries as you “re-root” in France. I haven’t travelled much and love learning more about the world; I am sure you will be a wonderful guide!

    March 21, 2015
    • Hey Mrs Felicity, or Mrs LowCountry …. I just took a look at who you are and what you are doing and instantly pressed follow too …. definitely my sort of place and your Frog was just so intoxicingly fresh and sweet and I wanted to stroke his little head right then and there! I hope you enjoy my journey, I am sure I will enjoy yours – bienvenue!

      March 21, 2015
  5. Very lovely intro.! I haven’t seen you for awhile!

    August 7, 2015
    • I have come to England for my daughters wedding in two weeks and the past week has been hectic to say the least … I hope to get back to writing and reading now that I have sorted most things 🙂

      August 7, 2015
      • How exciting! Congratulations and have fun!

        August 7, 2015
  6. Hi Osyth! Landed here through Lynn’s blog and looking forward to exploring! I love the slide-show banner, brilliant idea.

    December 26, 2015
    • Hi there and thank you for the follow …. Lynn is uber awesome and I live her … When I’m out of my festive bubble I’ll take a wander round yours and I’m sure you will have a new follow me follow too!

      December 26, 2015
  7. What a great About page…so interesting! Like you, I have stripes from different parts of the Union Jack, but not Scotland in my case. I also followed the link from Lynn’s post and from what I can see, she’s right to love your blog. Your writing is certainly entertaining, with a nice touch of humour that always appeals. 🙂

    December 28, 2015
    • Thank you so much! No Scotch (stet mispronounciation which really irritates those from Scotshire) is acceptable …. Lynn is frankly brilliant and I am very humbled that you are enjoying my scribblings … btw I am on the move at the moment so will take a look at yours when I touch base in a couple of days. Because I am sure it will be more valuable than my tripe 😉

      December 28, 2015
      • I’ve just read about your flights to New York etc. on Lynn’s blog, so I quite understand! 🙂

        December 28, 2015
      • Life’s a bit of blinking nightmare at the moment but soon to be calm and then there will be more blogging and more reading and more commenting – I so look forward to interacting with you too 🙂

        December 28, 2015
      • Blinking nightmare’s one of my favourite sayings! I have a lot of them, too.

        December 28, 2015
  8. I have a smattering of (North) African and Alsacian – we could be cousins!!

    January 2, 2016
    • Now that is a fabulous mix and a culinary delight too I’ll bet 🙂

      January 3, 2016
  9. It was once a culinary delight and a Turkish colleague of my husband’s almost cried over my stuffed peppers that reminded him of his mother’s. Something happened when I got slim and I stopped cooking. Silver linings!

    January 4, 2016
  10. Thank you for liking my post and I enjoy following your petits pas. Especially after reading about your connection to William. Turns out that on my maternal grandmother’s side we go back to the same William. She was a Vernon. I have some vague recollection that we came from the illegitimate side….. I would think we had quite a bit of company! I don’t think it was talked about a lot 😉

    January 7, 2016
    • How interesting …. I think there was quite a bit of activity on the wrong side of the bed 😉

      January 7, 2016
  11. That’s a wonderful introduction, Osyth! You have a lovely blog and your writing is mesmerizing. Following you to read more 🙂

    January 12, 2016
    • That is very kind 🙂 Welcome and I hope not to disappoint 😉

      January 12, 2016
  12. Today I will listen when you write and I will see thru your visions of the past, present and future. Please forgive me for any loss of attentiveness, because I am struggling to move from this current state of affairs to my future. JANE

    January 28, 2016
  13. At one time I ran from expectations. It required me to continue living the life of others, keeping my desired paths on a never ending holding pattern. I never found out why. Maybe that’s for the best.

    April 21, 2016
  14. Love this. great stuff, am looking forward to ” digging in ” and reading more.
    One thing.. on your Telegraph days , did you know Simon O’Dwyer Russell?

    June 15, 2016
    • I’m happy to please. Yes, I knew Simon. He died and I was very very sad … we lost too many of the real journalists but given the amount they drank in the Cheshire Cheese I suppose we should not be surprised. Long may they ride wherever they landed 😀

      June 15, 2016
      • Yes, tragic re Simon. Too, too young. Anyway your life sounds very exciting now. Lots of different places you visit. Am looking forward to catching up. thank you

        June 15, 2016
      • Thank you for finding me and I hope you will enjoy the ride. Those ghosts of Fleet Street permeate my words daily. Funny. The way it is.

        June 15, 2016
  15. Your writing is quite captivating. Oh, and I read the entire post in a British accent because I imagine you have one. 🙂

    September 25, 2016
    • Oh, thank you, Kiki! That is very kind. And yes, a particularly English accent …. Even my English friends tease me and ask if I’ve got Royalty in the closet …. I don’t!

      September 25, 2016
  16. Hi Osyth, it’s great to know about you. I really loved the way you write…the words come so effortlessly. Also, I’ve a weakness for Cohen…his voice and the melancholy in most of his songs… 🙂 glad I landed here…thanks to Terry for connecting us… 🙂

    September 29, 2016
  17. What an interesting name, about page and story. Add to the fact that I love the countryside and small towns/villages of France and England and I’m hooked and interested in hearing some of your stories…:)

    November 21, 2016
    • Thank you …. and welcome, I hope not to disappoint! My name is actually my middle name and there is a story (of course) which I will share some time. It is pronounced with a long Oa as in Oaf rather than a short O as in Odd.

      November 22, 2016
      • I’m sure I won’t be disappointed and I look forward to hearing the story of your name..:)

        November 22, 2016
  18. I see we have some things in common. I moved to Spain 2 years ago all the way from Canada. I look forward to reading about your life in France. Best of luck with your books.

    February 15, 2017
    • Darlene, how kind you are to take the time to read and comment and to be kind enough to follow me. I will certainly visit your blog in the next few days having very much enjoyed the post I read earlier. Moving to another country is an adventure, for sure and I will certainly be interested in yours …. Spain nearly had me and my four daughters when they were all aged under 10 and I was a newly single parent. I often wonder how it would have turned out! Canada is all for me to discover though I did wave at it last September when staying in Vermont! France is really my home now but the world is in such a stew that I may actually find myself relocated to the US permanently as my husband is a citizen and has worked there for 28 years — it is, as they say, complicated …. à bientôt and I look forward to riding along with you

      February 15, 2017
    • I almost moved to Spain when my daughters were all under 10 and I was newly a single parent. I often wonder how different their upbringing would have been. I am delighted that you have taken the time to stop by and comment and to flatter me by following my blog. I will take some time out in the next couple of days to explore new followers properly and I have a hunch I will be following you too! Moving to a new country is certainly an adventure and I look forward to finding out more about yours! A bientôt and bon journée a vous 😊

      February 15, 2017
  19. I like your style! I am glad I met you,

    March 17, 2017
  20. Now, that is one of the most beautiful and engaging introductions I have read across blogs!! Osyth, blessed are the people who have you in life 🙂 I’m glad we could connect via virtual world.

    April 4, 2017
    • Thank you so much. That comment has made my day 🙂

      April 4, 2017
  21. Ali #

    I have enjoyed your comments on other blogs….so I decided to investigate…

    April 7, 2017
    • Well my goodness … how lovely! Thank you for taking the time to investigate and to leave a comment and I do hope you will drop in again. It would be lovely to welcome you to my little half-baked paradise!

      April 7, 2017
  22. Sounds like you have quite the interesting mind, Osyth. 🙂
    Which part of England do you come from? I was born in Sheffield, but now I’m in York.
    Kindness – Robert.

    April 28, 2017
    • Robert, I believe all minds are interesting 😉 I’m from Oxford but these days I live in Grenoble. York is gorgeous – I could envy you 😊

      May 1, 2017
      • True that. There is interest in all things, if only we can find it. 🙂
        Hope Grenoble is treating you well.
        Kindness – Robert.

        May 1, 2017
  23. The nomad taking roots is something I completely understand. I love your writing style and I’m looking forward to following your progress in what is, for you and I, uncharted territory.

    June 16, 2017
  24. This is a great introduction and I am very pleased to meet you.

    Like you, when asked where I am from, I can only give the closest approximation which is “Planet Earth.”

    I have been very lucky to have travelled to around eighty countries in my life. I have lived in some, worked in some, stopped over in some and even run away in some. It is true: as a teenager, I was a serial runner-awayer. This meant that I learned more outside of school than I ever did inside.

    If you want to hear more, you could read my “About” page and browse through my “Titbits” page on my blog, which consist a number of very short pieces guaranteed to make you chuckle out loud.

    I shall explore more of your blog when time permits. It looks very interesting, and so do you!

    June 26, 2017
    • Pleased to ‘meet’ you Lance and thank you for being brave enough to follow. I will take a look at your blog in the next few days but it certainly appears that you have a kindred heart beating!

      June 26, 2017
  25. Hey Osyth, it’s very nice to meet you, I’m very glad we found each other. I very much like the way you write, you help me with my English and I can help you with your French. Bises 🙂

    August 13, 2017
    • Deal! This makes me very happy …. my French is in dire need of help *vache espagnole* 😉

      August 13, 2017
  26. Thank you for this wonderful written lines!

    August 22, 2017
    • Sry, English is not my first language: of course I mean « these lines » 🙂

      August 22, 2017
      • Please don’t apologise … it is so kind of you to stop by and leave such a lovely comment 😊

        August 23, 2017
  27. I think I ran away to France for good this year. We bought our place in 2015 after some stressful times. I have travelled to France many, many times and your area is beautiful. We chose cow country – Limousine and I changed my name too. I kept my Scottish name and added my French part to always remind me of the country I love the most.

    August 29, 2017
    • The standing joke in Cantal (which is also true) is that there are 3 cows to every person. I adore it. Though I must say I am enjoying Grenoble too. France is good for soothing spirits. I know. And I hope it is working its magic on your and proving balm to the soul. I love the fact that you have given yourself a French name to remind you of your beloved country. The Scots and French of course have quite a history, much of it played out in our respective areas 🙂

      August 29, 2017
  28. If you can be bothered to read my humble collection of whotnots then I simply have to read your marvellous ensemble (from the small selection I’ve seen so far) I look forward to sharing your joys!

    September 21, 2017
    • I’m certain I am going to enjoy yours very much indeed! I’m flattered that you can be bothered with my discursive ramblings 😊

      September 21, 2017
  29. Osyth, I just read a few of your recent comments on Susan’s French oasis blog and decided to pay you a visit – and now I’m going to stay 🙂 Like you, I’m a born story teller, a good listener and a (nearly) eternal optimist. So, I think we might get along just fine.
    I live on Ile de France, a bit too close to Paris for comfort but it was Hero Husband’s work, nearly 9 1/2yrs ago to bring us to this place; only, after 18 months, when we had just crippled outselves to buy a ‘museum’ house, the company got sold to his former employer in England….. If that sounds complicated I shall refrain from telling you the rest. I’m quite homesick for our native Switzerland and hope that a job shall be offered to my nearest and dearest so that we can move closer to our famiies and mothers (both very aged).
    Now I’ll go and sub 🙂
    Love, Kiki

    November 23, 2017
    • Hello Kiki, how lovely to meet you! Oh gosh, your story sounds suspiciously like mine …. I can never find the words to explain clearly what a strange life my husband and I have (he’s based at Harvard MA and lives there, I live here c’est compliqué and not what we want but how it is ….) I know just how you feel about being away from aging mothers (mine is 85 and very independent but it doesn’t make it easier) and daughters too. I won’t move back to Britain but I do miss my family. I shall pop over to your blog shortly and I suspect I will follow – you seem far to much like me to miss out! Love to you xx

      November 24, 2017
  30. Fiona, I just wanted to let you know that I HOPE being able ONE DAY to have so much free time at my hands that I can roam freely through your life’s stories at leisure. I only follow you a very short and limited time but I feel so many similarities that I’m intruiged to know more. You’re an excellent ‘story-teller’ (in the best and most positive way bien sûr), but what I like even more, are your insights, feelings you lay bare, musings…. I only wish that my eyes hold out (on?) – there is still SO much to see, to take in, to marvel at. I feel I’m too young to concentrate on the wise in-sights ‘only’, although my mum is an excellent example! As I won’t ever – not even in the best possible scenario – be as wise as her, I better concentrate on what I can still see 🙂

    December 21, 2017
    • Wisdom is earned and learned through life and only if you are open to it. I am certain that you will be every bit as wise as your mother when you reach her age and beyond. I am very flattered by your kind words. I just write from my heart. I am glad what I say touches you.

      December 22, 2017
  31. Hallo Osyth, i was wandering and wondering -as per usual- and ended up here. Must’ve been a reason for that. Liked your intro lots, thank you for standing out.

    February 20, 2018
    • And hello to you too! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the page …. happy wandering to you!

      February 21, 2018
  32. A pretty nice place to take root in. Nice blog. Thanks for the like on my page.

    February 26, 2018
    • Yann it was my pleasure and I’m glad you like my blog. Thank you for following. I do a triage of new followers monthly and I am pretty certain I will be following along with you at that point …. I did like what I saw 🙂

      February 27, 2018
  33. a beautiful name! more & more, we’re seeing that we’re all somehow related <3

    May 23, 2018
    • We really are … 6-degrees of separation they say and I wholly believe it. Thank you for the compliment on my name. My Grandfather saw it often on the fishing boats in Brittany when he was a young man … she is one of the Patron Saints of the sea apparently. Lovely to see you and I now feel I must drop over to your sight and see what else we might have in common 😊

      May 23, 2018
      • <3

        May 23, 2018
  34. Thanks for dropping by you’ve got some cool stuff going on here so I’ve decided to follow you and see where we are going. cheers

    April 9, 2020
    • Well that is very kind and frankly quite exciting! And I’m going to follow you too …. you clearly have good taste 😉

      April 9, 2020
  35. You are evergreen,
    Always in the present!!

    July 10, 2020
    • Thank you for that thoughtful comment. I will take time to look at your work too. I am sure I will be glad when I do.

      July 11, 2020

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