Strange how the familiar and trusted and the unfamiliar & uncertain can trade places. You think you've got a reasonable handle on things, weighed life up, tried to be honest and fair with others and then suddenly, things change.
We have travelled all over France for more than twenty years, acquiring the language. Since 2006 we have been learning the French language formally, take regular lessons, both here in France & back in the UK and, in 2009, I was extremely proud to get a GCSE.
Now this may not be my highest academic achievement, it was only a C grade, but this secondary modern girl, from the council estate, who was given no advantage of a language at school, did good. And so its been a case of applying, listening , learning and admiring and French friends have been endlessly patient and hugely encouraging.
So this stay in France was set to follow predicted lines and yet here we are suddenly feeling hugely linked with the country & the language. Communication can be problematic when you are not permanently in one place. The gaps of time when you speak French can mean you have to start all over in confidence. but this visit our own language has proven a greater test than our adopted tongue.
Every French encounter has been relaxed & understandable, we have felt hugely accepted and genuinely welcomed; our language confidence has increased and so has the pleasure in communication. So as 2012 draws to a close the lesson learned has been the true meaning of trust, expect the unexpected .We have a family of French friends here and some very special English ones; you all know who you are.
For those people thank you and have a great 2013.