Given the events in France over the past week I thought long and hard about whether to put this post in The good or the Ugly. Thankfully, and as should always be the case, The Good won out. Yes the actions of those tyrannical (or would it be more appropriate to say brainwashed?)few were very very ugly. But the good that came out of it was unity, people standing side by side, showing support to the French people from across the world, a fraternity if you will. Exactly what the French people believe in.
It enabled many people to say what they believed gave them an equality with all others, in a strange way gave many the ability to feel free and say what they felt. Again exactly what the French people believe in.
I am privileged to be able to live in this beautiful country. To be welcomed by the French people, most (yes not all – but hey that is wherever you live) who have been nothing but welcoming to us. From the postmen and women who chat away, to the people at the vide greniers that we visit, the neighbour in our last house who we never got to meet, but who collected our waste bins with his own and left them at the top of drive. The people in the local supermarket who were soooooo patient with us when we first moved to France because we could not speak French very well at all, neither did we understand many things, but they helped us so many times and must have thought at times oh no here come the English. Our neighbours that we have now, who wave and say hello every time we see them, and the lady at the bar we would visit in Ruille Sur La Loire who gave me the biggest hug when we told her we were moving to another region, and made me promise to go back and visit her if were passing through.
Yes there have been rude people but as I said they are unfortunately the world over, but the difference in France is that on the whole people interact with you more.
I respect the French people because they will not allow something to beat them. (For those people who are now saying something about the French being beaten in the second world war, were they? Say that to the people in every city, town, village and at times small hamlets where a memorial stands to those that died in the Resistance. Many so so young.) Yes they protest as is their right, they fight for what they believe in and I do not think that is wrong.
Hopefully what will come of the horrendous attacks on Friday is a unity throughout the world, we already seeing that at summits with regard to Russia; a strong urge for people to unite and stand together and say we will not be beaten, we will keep our “liberte.”
“Vive La France”