Carmel of Being Franc



I am a partner, a mother, a stepmother, a laugher, a singer, a dancer, a gourmande, a wine-lover and… frank!

In 2010 my partner and I decided to move from Ireland (my home sod) to his native France; Burgundy to be exact. My stepson stayed in Ireland but we had our nine year old daughter in tow and another baby on the way. We had to quickly pick through our life in Ireland and organise it into boxes. That was the physical element of the move. The emotional element was a completely different kettle of fish!

We left loved ones behind with no idea as to what the future would hold for us. I left my job in theatre administration behind with no notion of what lay ahead of me professionally.

Possessing very little French and having never travelled, I quickly discovered what my own inner resources were and how to use them (successfully or not!). I also quickly discovered that more often than not I didn’t have answers and I turned to other people’s experiences for solace and guidance. Reading,my life’s indulgence, became a very useful tool to help navigate through our new daily life. I could read anything- from plays to playlists, books to blogs and from newspapers to paper bags.

Carmel of Being Franc
Plant of Being Franc

So why blog when I know that there are so many more blogs, people, books, and articles out there?

Firstly- I genuinely enjoy writing and communicating with people. Writing for me has always been a pleasure and I hope that I can maybe solve a riddle, inspire a dream or tell it like it is for somebody out there in the wider world. Writing, for me, is a way to relax and find solutions. I also enjoy being useful! It was such a mammoth task for me to move with my family to France and I hope that if there is a grain of practical info here, it will be used and make somebody else’s life easier. If I can help someone, then this is a worthwhile experience.

Secondly- I miss communicating in my own language and in my own way. I can speak French quite confidently now, but there are days when I wish I could play around with words and not always search for the literal. When you are trying to make yourself understood, or you are desperately trying to understand someone else, your own personality steps aside to make room for practicality. Words play a functional role. You forsake embellishment for fear of laying unnecessary obstacles in the conversation’s path. It is a matter of cutting out the pretty things I could say, to simply getting down to brass tacks. Writing for me is a means of injecting my life with more of the pretty things. I am generally never without something to scribble on (yes sometimes that can be a napkin) and while I am no great philosopher or bard, I enjoy the process of scribbling. This is my playground. (All opinions are my own. If I share something it is because I genuinely find it interesting, important or food for thought)

So bienvenue to the story of a French life. So where did this French life begin…