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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Home is where the heart is!

When people hear that we used to live in France they nearly always ask "Whatever made you decide to come back?".  People seem think that it must have been so much nicer than here.

Yes it was lovely - we had a super house in a big garden and the people were all very welcoming.  We had lots of friends and a busy social life BUT....

It wasn't where I wanted to be - I felt that I would never be other than an immigrant, my roots were not there and it held no history for us.

Just because it was France didn't mean we had wonderful weather all the time either and in fact the climate was very similar to here except that when it was hot it was hotter, when it was cold it was colder and when it rained it rained more heavily.  The thunder storms were a force to be reckoned with and losing one's electricity or the computer modem was a regular occurence whereas in UK our storms are normally much less ferocious.

On my trips back to visit friends in the UK I never refered to where I lived in France as "home" and however much I felt I should it just never really seemed like home to me for after all home is where the heart is and my heart had never really left England! 

I think I always felt that it was not a "forever" move and more of an interlude in my life and I doubt if I would have had the courage to go if I felt there had been no coming back.

Now that I have come home (notice how easily that word tripped off my fingers!) and am living where I used to live before my marriage all those years ago I have a real sense of belonging.  Even though my husband never lived in this area he used to visit me here and after we were married we continued to come on a regular basis to see my mother so he knows the area too and we can say "Do you remember when..."

Living as I do now with scenes such as these practically on my doorstep the question I ask myself is not how could I come back but how could I ever have left!!

I didn't know how much my country means to me until I left it behind and how much I loved it.  Now of course I miss the friends we made in France but I never miss France itself.

Sometimes heaven is right under our noses if only we realised. Perhaps what is needed when we think we want something new is not something different but a different point of view instead.

Am I sorry we went?  No!  Not at all because I have made a few really good friends who I would otherwise never have had the priviledge to get to know, I have learned how different our two cultures and customs are but also how similar in many ways and now at least when we sit in our rocking chairs (metaphorically speaking) by the fire we shall never say "I wonder if we might have liked it"!  We gave it our best shot - we integrated well ,in fact I made many really good French friends - we go back to visit and the cafe owner and the lady in the market rush out to kiss us (well me they just shake hands with my husband of course!) BUT... Home is definitely where the heart is!


  1. A lovely post - and you're so right about home being where you feel most rooted and comfortable - and it's so beautiful! But, as you also say, great you did it and have those experiences and friendships. Have a good weekend! Abby x

  2. How wonderful to feel like you are exactly where you want to be. As you say we are lucky to live in such a beautiful country and most certainly the views on your doorstep are fabulous.

  3. What a beautiful area you live in! I being a military child traveled all over, but always considered the mountains of North Carolina home as that is where we always went back to no matter where we were in the world. Family and childhood memories are there along with my still living 93 year old grandmother!
    You do have the best of both though, valleys and the beach!

  4. You are saying all the things we feel...but selling a house in France is very difficult right now.

  5. Hear hear! For 6 years, we planned and dreamed of living here and I would not leave Glastonbury for the world x

  6. I think people who leave their country and migrate to live in another are very brave. I guess you would only do such a thing for a better life or to give your children a better life.
    It's one thing to visit and even dabble in living somewhere else for a while but as you say home is where the heart is, the place you always see yourself going back to. I'm glad you're happy you're in the right spot!

  7. How true. I have lived and travelled in various parts of the world and always feel I can relax as soon as England is back in sight.

  8. I can't imagine living anywhere but England - though husband has sometimes wanted to live in Spain (not in the heavily ex-pat areas) as his Spanish is almost fluent. This country is not faultless by any means, but it suits me.

  9. Lovely post Jane and of course you are so right, home is definitely where the heart is!
    France is nice to visit though, that's for sure.
    Vivienne x

  10. Jane,

    What a delightful post.
    I love France....spent many holidays....driving from here to there.
    I know in my heart I could never live anywhere other than the UK. Like you my roots are here......and happy roots they are.
    I have lived in the farmhouse for nine years now, when I drive home I always feel the same, happy. I cannot wait to get back to where I know I belong.

    Your images are lovely and I agree 'why on earth would you want to leave'

  11. What a delightful post Jane - and your photographs are fabulous - and although I have never been tempted to live abroad I can see that some might. However so often the grass is greener on this side of the fence.

  12. I think we've all got a secret dream of living aboard. After I visited Sydney, I was determined to move out there, but my husband at the time, wasn't as sold on the idea. Italy has always held a certain charm for me too - or is it the ice cream that's the real draw!

    Sorry I didn't talk more about my cousin's little boy in my post. He was diagnosed with A L L (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) when he was 2. That was 3 and a half years ago. He finished his treatment last week. It's been a very hard, painful and confusing time for him (and his family). He's such an amazingly brave boy, who has had to go through procedures and treatments I wouldn't wish on anybody. His immunity is still very low at the moment, but (touch wood, fingers crossed) he'll now become a normal, healthy little boy. Obviously there could be problems in the future, but for now, our whole family are just happy that this period in his very young life is over.

  13. Perhaps if you hadn't left for France you might never have raalised how much happier you were in England. You do live in a stunning part, I'm not surprised you feel content.

  14. You're so right when you say that heaven is right under our noses sometimes. I'm glad you've found your "soul place", and am sure the precious memories you have from your time in France will never fade either.

  15. You do live in a wonderful part of England. I like to visit other parts of the World but I always want to come home too.

  16. Lovely post. Isn't nice to be content where we live and not always hankering for something else.
    Anne xx

  17. it certainly looks beautiful where you live, travel is wonderful but its great to be home, though i might try to live in the uk for a while!

  18. A vintage post Jane, written from the heart. It has really resonated with me for a host of reasons. Thank you! Lesley x

  19. 100% percent agree Jane, there really is 'no place like home' :) Beautiful post and pictures x

  20. I know exactly what you mean!
    I've always wanted to leave the city and now I realise it's not that bad anyway because it's home (as long as I can escape to the countryside every now and then)

    PS. I know and love the book depository; thanks so much for the surprise! Any suggestions on novels? Thanks again! By the way, my address here is no longer valid.


  21. I know exactly what you mean. I've lived in New Zealand and Singapore as well as Australia. I loved living in Singapore, but it's not anywhere near as nice as living here.
    I've been toying with the idea of moving from here, but after a few days to where I was thinking of moving, coming back here to beautiful weather and fabulous vies, top that off with friends coming to stay here and telling me I'm mad to move. I think i'll stay here and make the most of it. I've decided I can always go and visit any place in the world, but I can never live in such a beautiful place as this. It's not perfect, but it's where all my family and friends live and I'm lucky to be able to live in such a lovely area.

  22. A really interesting insight on living abroad, which is something I hanker after a LOT! I enjoyed getting an 'insider's' view! Lovely photos too. In fact I've just spent some very soothing time reading some of your posts - your photos are a good reminder of why England isn't maybe as bad as I sometimes feel it is! The grass isn't ALWAYS greener...

    Thank you for your comment on my blog today. I'm going to start any minute now... :)

  23. This is a BRILLIANT post.... I really enjoyed reading it, thank you.
    As a frequent visitor to France (and someone who would like a house there - as well as here) I found your insight useful and interesting.

  24. Whenever we have been to France, I have loved it. However, we only ever went to Normandy/Brittany, since neither of us are heat lovers and prefer the more British type of weather we got over there. I don't know if I would want to leave England permanently and I think you have had the best of both worlds by going and then coming back. At least you are not left wondering...........

  25. What a wonderful post - both the thoughts and the images of your local countryside. I'm not sure I could live enywhere but here either.

  26. A lovely post! I can completely understand why you wanted to come back, I don't think I could live permanently in any other country but Scotland. That's not to say that I don't love visiting other countries, but home is definitely where the heart is! :) x

  27. Hello Jane, I am finished with school work now! Your photos are lovely and I am not surprised that you feel the way you do. Although I live on a noisy council estate, I am always glad to be home!
    Lucy xxxxxxx

  28. Lovely photos of your lovely part of the country. I agree that home is where the heart is and even though living elsewhere might bring all kinds of pleasures and enjoyments, it's that hankering for roots that I'd find hard! When I was younger I used to imagine living in other places and rather liked the idea, but as I got older I just liked to visit and then go home again!
    Helen x

  29. I think you are so right when you refer to your time in France as an interlude in life. We have often played with the idea of moving abroad, most notably to France which we love. Less so, since we moved to Suffolk which we love also and feel very at home here. I would see any move abroad as an adventure, an interlude like you say and perhaps not a forever move.

    Thank you for such an eloquent post Jane - as ever you have a knack of putting things in perspective! And home is definitely where the heart is.

    So sorry to hear of Thomas's troubles. I hope he continues to make a good recovery - bless him.


  30. My husband and I used to dream of retiring overseas, perhaps Ireland or?? But we have come to realize, as have you, that we really do love our own "home sweet home" here in California where we both grew up and have lived most of our lives.

  31. Morning Jane, Ive read for a little while but not commented before. This post really strikes a chord though. As a child I lived in another country, my parents always felt like you- an immigrant, and yearned for home. There are strong ties to ones own country, deep in our core.

    you wrote...
    Sometimes heaven is right under our noses if only we realised. Perhaps what is need when we think we want something new is not something different but a different point of view instead

    how true that is too. Sometimes its as simple as looking from a different angle at what you already have.

    Leanne x

  32. Two statements: "my roots were not there and it held no history for us..." and, "Perhaps what is needed not something different, but a different point of view instead." I think you said it all! (Are the photos of France or the UK?--I am assuming the UK and that is the area you live in?--beautiful!)


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