My family finds me strange.
Whenever the decent weather finally arrives in Scotland each year, most of us greet it with relief and our spirits lift. I react in almost the opposite manner. In the cold of winter, I have given little thought to the nicer places I have lived in my life but as soon as warmth hits, it is as if suddenly I remember how wonderful it is to be in the sun and I sink into a sadness that comes from missing France, wanting to be back in France with Thomas and my kids, being greeted every morning by that type of light that you don't get here in northern Europe. I smell the smells and imagine the warm streets dusty from lack of rain and I desperately want to be on the first plane to Besançon, to the Dordogne, to Aix, to Brittany or to somewhere on the south coast. No one gets why my mood falls as everyone else's rises.
This year Marcel has booked to go on holiday to Bordeaux with his friend Andy, and I am desperately trying to work out how to stow away in his luggage without being discovered!
It's fascinating. These days people often like to drop into conversation with me how much they dislike France, assuming I will jump to agree given I divorced my Frenchman. I guess they forget my kids are French citizens so I might find that offensive. They don't question why I have spent the past 15 years talking to my kids in French, if I dislike it so much. They forget I lived in France and did a French degree because every part part of me feels a deep love of that country and affinity with it. I couldn't have gone to live in France with my ex, not because of France but because I couldn't live with my ex! If my current husband suggests retiring to Bordeaux or Grenoble one day twenty years from now, I'll have the house packed up before sunset that day!