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French words on Brexit cherished

I appreciated the supportive comments of Alain Rousset (president of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine) that you ran online – and those of Emmanuel Macron televised on Brexit day, on what was a very sad day for us Brits who love our adopted country.

Those of us who made this choice to spread our wings and live in Europe feel they have been clipped.

I have gained so much in cultural, environmental and human terms since I arrived here in 1989.

I married here, to an Englishman, in 1995, assisted by a whole amazing village who supported us and joined in the celebrations.

Some stayed up all night to help a wonderful maire prepare and deliver onion soup at 4am to our bedroom [a French tradition] and to all 100 guests camping in the garden.

From 1999, I worked for both a private company and the Education Nationale at various levels, working with, and managing, French colleagues and meeting other nationalities too.

I then had opportunities to become much involved in French ways as a councillor.

This is my home and I love it – despite the little frustrations, quirks, strikes and demonstrations.

Those words of comfort after the three years of Brexit shock and uncertainty that we have lived meant a great deal.

Those of us who know what it really means to “live” in Europe felt very sad.

I have no desire to ever live anywhere else, and express my gratitude to the people who have so openly and cheerfully shared their beautiful country with me.

We’re so lucky, and have been for the last 30 years

Pauline Johnson-Smith, Rouillé, Vienne


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