having an article printed in the Daily Telegraph Expat Life section. I wrote it a while ago, but sick of all the vitriol that accompanies anything that might be perceived as negative about France I filed it away.
A couple of weeks ago I had coffee with Amodernmilitarymother who has just moved into the area. We talked a lot, as you would imagine, about blogging and writing and she reminded me of the words of Oscar Wilde; "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about" so I sent it off. Let them talk about me, does it really matter? No. So they printed it almost word for word, removing only a few words unfortunately including 'same merde, different shaped bread' (perhaps they thought it was too strong for the sensitive constitutions of some of their readers) and the fact that I went to University in Paris and had lived abroad many times before. The main thing they did was change the title.
I called it 'Moving back or moving on; why the end of the dream doesn't have to be the end of the world'. I thought it was quite clever, they obviously didn't! It talks about why we moved to France, why we left and how we eventually found what we were looking for much closer to home, the 'moral' being if it's not working out, don't be afraid to take the plunge and move back to your home country - or anywhere else for that matter. It does, though, go to show how the title of an article can influence it's 'flavour' as I think, with their title about being 'driven' back to the UK, which is nonsense as it was an informed choice, in much the same way that it was an informed choice to move to France in the first place, not that you'd know from some of the commenters who all know for a fact that we 'didn't do our homework'....<<sigh>>... it reads a bit differently. Is that the longest sentence in the English language!
I've read one or two of the comments and the tweets - about par for the course bearing in mind the bit in the article about how leaving France is seen as marginally worse that putting kitties in wheelie bins - The expat fraternity, or at least certain elements of it, has certainly proved true to type - as well a bizarre argument about someone who may or may not be a Japanese man posing as an Englishman. Don't people lead strange lives!
One of the more recent comments is someone I recognise from a French forum who makes a point of hounding anyone (s)he thinks might be me, such is the pointlessness of his/her life and seems to know more about me than I know about myself, including the fact that I lived in Agen. Umm, Agen was about 30 kms away from where I lived. I did go there a few times but lived there, no. The article he talks about showed two stock photos, one of Virginia Water, where I also never lived, although I did live nearby, and one of Agen. It's quite sad when people are so blinded by their own prejudices that they don't even bother to read things properly but that's life for you. Oh, and I've never touched a chainsaw in my life. God forbid, I'd probably chop my own leg off! That was a little flight of fancy by the journalist. I've got a mean axe swing though! (Edit: I see the comment has now been removed by the DT )
It's now No. 1 of the 'most read' articles, bizarre seeing as it came out over a week ago and until a couple of days ago it hadn't even garnered a single comment.
Oscar Wilde would be proud of me!
Guest post by womagwriter Keith Havers
3 days ago