French Citizenship

We read in The Connection someone was turned down as a French Citizen because they were true is this? We understood from our Mayor that if you are over 60 they aren't as hard on you re language...we're thinking about becoming FC's with all the nonsense re UK coming out...

We do have gites registered with Ministry Tourism so I'm not sure if we actually are retired plus are tax payers here & have been for past 15 years...I certainly haven't worked as hard ever in my life!!

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Not really Peter,

as I mentioned most of the tensions have gone now, and we are sharing a house in a reasonable to good level of compatability. Plus at 76 years old now, and with increasingly shakey financial circs - notably if IDS does spread his slime over us, which seems likely, I don't think I have the energy or the heart to want to start all over again. Plus daft as it sounds I don't WANT anyone else, and I have been totally faithful to my wife for 40 years, and I have no knowledge or hint that this hasn't been reciprocal, so throwing it all away is not an option for me, just because I don't get a kiss or a hug any more.

Who knows maybe the improvement of the last year will continue? I hope so, but it is surprising what you can get used to, as you know from your own experience. .

No, I can handle it as I have handled most things in my life. I think (like to think?) I am a pragmatic realist. Of course if my wife decides she has found someone else - and I have no hint that this is true at ths time, then it is always possible things could change for the worse for me - but that is something to consider when and if it happens.

It's called life isn't it? Good and bad and bits in between.

I understand all of that Norman but instead of an 'existence' why not make the break (both of you) and have some kind of life ? OK, you will no doubt raise the financial aspect but this can be sorted one way or another. It seems to me a bit like the female (or male in some cases) who is with a violent partner. Why put up with it when moving out has to be better than that existence ? A cliché but 'life is far too short' so make the most of it !

It seems pointless to me for you both to 'exist' like this without any kind of relationship. Een being alone has to be better than where you both are now surely ?

I would not want to start life over and do it again. I have had a gifted life in many ways, been privileged beyond belief but emotionally it has often totally drained me.

Brian, you have plumbed the emotional depths far more than I ever have, so almost certainly has given you far greater understanding than me. I wouldn't have wanted the learning curve you have gone through though.

I did indeed feel the emotional and non-tangible things you describe, which is probably why I was so shocked with second wife serial adultery, and also the latest situation. If I hadn't had that I probably wouldn't have cared or been hurt so much in both cases. But, life goes on for however long ordained and some things to me at least seem so final as not to be worth beating my head over as I could not and cannot see any way back, and one thing I am not is a masochist.


one thing I have learned, a bit late, is that I do a lot more than I ever did in the house. My wife cooks the main meal of the day, and I do the washing up. I feed myself for breakfast and any evening repast. She looks after the floral part of the garden, I mow the lawns. I wash the outside of the car, she cleans the inner part (as she uses the car more than twice as much as me, I think this is fair).

She sorts out the laundry and I do it and put it out to dry, and bring it in when dry.

She irons her clothes, but not mine. Ditto re making the beds - she looks after her parts of the house and I look after the single room I now occupy, which includes making and changing the bed linen. She looks after her bathroom and I look after mine (not to her standards though).

Where in my capabilities I do the general household repairs, but nothing major.

I feed the cat and she cuddles it! If it makes a mess at all, I clear it up.

She does the household admin and banking, being French makes that much easier. In any of the more technical areas of French she takes the lead.

She stays with he sister 2-3 days a week and I totally look after myself.

I also produce my books and my Newsletter in thr fond hope that these might produce more than the dribble of income currently produced. I also do the social correspondence with friends and family - including hers.

This or these arrangements have certainly eased the tensions, and I do not find onerous in any way, so apart from the literal 'human touch' we seem to have found a way of living together apart which seems to function. One certain thing is that none of it has anything to do with love.

Yes Jeanette but what's all that to do with 'love' ? Love conquers all apparently so it doesn't matter who assumes which rôle. Equality of thought and devotion to each other come what may is how real love works, well it did for us for 30 odd years..We all have responsabilities in whichever relationship irrespective of gender, financial or physical participation and these responsabilities can be carried out with or without 'love'. I know which one I prefer.

Not working/staying home/doing housework... Different cultures make that work well, when partners have clearly defined territories of influence. Managing a home and family as a separate territory ....from being breadwinner, working in providing for family/community outside of home a whole life time of difference and light years away from 'not working/staying home/housework....(thinking about my daughter in law...☺)

I am one up on you but the first attempt is about the same. I have stayed friendly with all three. One who died in 2013 was more or less part of my family now, plus some of us have just finished editing a book in memory of her with contributors who were either influenced by her, she by them and in any case all considered close to her. In her case it was the passion at first then the shared cause but on reflection I would never say love rather than a strong feeling of common cause. It was that that allowed us to make an entirely pragmatic decision to separate and then divorce with us living and working in different parts of the world. So we became colleagues and kept the strong friendship. My present OH was actually the student of one of her closest friends who came to do some work with me, then came again and again and so on... That ex was our guest about 10 weeks before she died as she had been many times before. Number 3 was a 'car crash' that lasted no time but we were both old enough to see the light. I have also lived with several others. Now, I don't count myself as a Lothario or the like, just somebody who was probably inconsistent when I was younger who teamed up with equally inconsistent partners so that we inevitably drifted apart. There have been ones I have always been so incredibly sorry not to have endured with. Regrets do not make enduring relationships. What is certain, each time one of us has become 'dependent' on the other in any sense or placed parameters on what we were doing (such as telling me I was travelling too much...) spelled out the beginning of the end. So, part of this indefinable things is probably limitless tolerance with certain reasonable no goes and no does in the package by mutual consent. Not that I didn't or any of them didn't either, but then they were a test of my own tolerances, especially if I had a bad conscience or not. I do not just mean the obvious at that. I do not know where it began exactly, but I have always had as many female as male friends (perhaps when I arrived in England and there was one Canadian, one Pakistani and a traveller in my class, all girls, the only people who immediately accepted me as an 'incomer'). I have always treated male and female as equals, indeed to the point that my roving eye that looks for qualities as well as well as the 'je ne sais quoi' has looked at both sexes although I never had a relationship in that sense with any bloke but have never felt ill at ease with gay men, including the most gorgeous beautiful ones. However, I never felt what I think love is for a man either. Anyway, I also do not know where it began but rather than equality I do not react to difference, therefore perhaps not needing to equalise. Men and women of any kind are equals anyway, with that leveller just part of my normality I have the balance to coexist but need another ingredient. That is what we consider to be love, where the equality goes beyond that to creating something far more symbiotic. However, it is indescribable and I believe can only be felt and when it is felt people know it.

Love, whatever it is, exists and is abstract. I realise a lot of people comfortably co-exist, others simply habitually live together. In all instances but one I was also put in the position this thread addresses, which was the possibility of changing or doubling up nationality. Philosophically, perhaps having done a serious study of citizenship contributes, I actually have great distaste for the whole notion of nationality as it stands. Enjoying full citizenship rights where one lives permanently strikes me as something that should be the standard without jumping through hoops. Pragmatically, I understand the reasons why it is the way it is. In that sense I have no regrets about not having acquired another nationality and since the relationships have all ended am quite relieved.

Peter, in fact as you know I have been married three times, which I suppose says more about me than anything. However this last one has lasted 40 years now, although six years ago I was kicked into touch with the old emotional 'heave-ho'.

In all three yes it started with lust pure and simple, but there obviously was more to it than that as I wasn't 'going without' in any sense of the word. The first was a youthful folly that lasted all of six months before we both realised we had made a terrible mistake. Took three years to get out of that one.

Second fail was simply through the serial adultery of my wife. The current one exists in name and some friendship but that"s all.

One thing each of the ladies had in common was ultimate pragmatism. Looking back I realise that I was the 'romantic' not them. None of them were dependent on me financially although the current one did travel large chunks of the world with me, but was always my paid secretary, and not as 'my wife'. I thought it was a good life and pretty close to five-star most of the time.

Then although I had a longer career than most in my industry - just over 50 years age did finally slow down the work flow at just about retirement time. As mentioned we had anticipated good pensions from our contributions in Australia which were wiped out, so that was a financial shock*. Not being complete fools we did have reserve funds and we had bought our home outright and ditto with the car etc., and we had no debts whatsoever - and the financial management I place squarely on my wife's abilities, not mine.

I thought we were doing OK, until out of the blue came the old heave-ho. I was (justifiably) accused of being obsessional about my work, and as I am still trying to restore some income level this is still true. Secondly I didn't 'own her' - and I had never even thought about it in that light - but I supposed the possessive 'my wife' is indicative of that? But the cruncher was 'you can't force someone to love you'. All these points are inarguable on logical grounds, and as such impossible and pointless to fight against.

There was not enough money or I suspect (at least on my side) too much enthusiasm to try and start separate lives, so we now, after a few torrid years seem to have reached some equanimity and a shared house. I don't think she found anyone else, I just think she felt life was passing her by which was more pronounced after the peripatetic one we had enjoyed for so long. She now has her sister nearby, and both have taken up and are showing a remarkable and unsuspected talent for art which seems to be fulfilling for them both. They now also share theatre, cinema and other cultural delights that do nothing for me, such as Modern Dance, so although I am certainly sidelined and solitary except for my Skype contacts, it will probably suit until I fall off my twig in a very few years.

I still produce my books, albeit a little slower than before, I still do the odd painting of military subjects. I still read avidly and even voraciously and work at developing my collections of DVDs and books.

There will be few if any tears shed at my passing when it happens, and I genuinely am pleased about that, as I have patently not been the best of human beings in my life, as has been pointed out. But I am content to die with that fact as I am now to live with it.

Sorry that was a longer answer than anticipated, but this happens sometimes with simple questions requiring compound (and boring) answers!

* Just out of interest I have just been appraised of the latest on 'pensions' from Australia, although apparently has been in place for some while - I am sure IDS has taken note. Now there is no such thing as the 'Right to a Pension' in Australia, no matter how much or for how long you have paid in. Pensions are now assessed on 'individual need' and nothing else. This was tried whilst I was their under the title of 'the Means Test' which literally took stock of your assets - house, car, savings, investments, clothes, and all other possessions. If the net was (and now IS) considered to be over a certain amount you have no claim to a Pension.

So this is another 'catch-all' for those thinking of returning to Australia to claim their 'rights' - they no longer exist. Maybe yet another thought for those planning on a return to the UK? With a creep like IDS in charge, don't hold your breath!

Bravo Brian well said.

In a nutshell, yes. Isn't love the 'lost leveller'? I say lost because too many people forget equality because even couples so often compete.

It's the old eros/philia/agape classification isn't it - the difference in nature of the 3 had the Greeks thinking like mad (& everyone else in the intervening centuries). I suppose the rot sets in when people aren't equals, for example I don't see a huge difference between marriage & prostitution if one partner (can be either) doesn't work. But then I can't personally imagine not working & just staying at home & doing housework etc & I find it difficult to imagine how anyone could get any satisfaction from doing that.

Norman, love was my undoing too often. I learned the hard way. I lived part of my life, probably 4 out of 12 months a year with somebody. She had a child, I already had one who she was happy and willing to adopt. So we decided to get married so that I would have the right to permanent residence in her country, eventually take nationality. I took our relationship for granted because the initial passion had passed. We had two boys, one two and a half, the other four months old for whom I had an enormous responsibility which dominated things. I also had my work overseas and back in the UK so would both be away from my family a lot yet have my precious freedom. So we did some hard thinking and resolved being married would be good for practical reasons. Two days before we were due to go to the place to do it she sat down in a chair with a headache. That was the last thing she ever did. A post mortem showed an aneurysm in her brain that had just done for her in seconds.

I got over it but missed her. When our son had his accident and died aged 17 I suddenly realised how much I had missed her and that I used him to surrogate her. I had been married a long time in between but to somebody who was a friend on reflection. I realised that what I had considered just missing her was dismissing my feelings. I had loved my long gone partner and it took our son's death for me to realise it. It took me a long time to get my head around that but now I often reflect on it and will say it or discuss it openly. It is coming up 43 years and I still miss her. I don't wonder what the marriage would have been like, simply mourn the best and closest kind of friendship possible, people loving each other. There is something far more symbiotic than just friendship in it too, so the great mystery for me is feeling that part of me was missing which despite being happily spliced (yet) again with my daughters who I adore, I still want to talk to her, just be there with each other saying things. Love is abstract, not definable but when it kicks you in a soft place you know it.

I can only speak for myself Norman. I had 33 years of married bliss until her premature death. We were in love and the more we were together the stronger the love became. Her cancer years brought us even closer together if that was possible. We both came from 'modest' backgrounds with very little money floating around so no financial incentive for either of us to get together

A personal question Norman and I understand if you wish to remain silent but why did you marry your lady ? If it wasn't 'love' then was it pure lust or friendship or what ?

It is a very good question. I can recommend a good book (it would bring me about €2 extra income) in which nationality and citizenship are explained, they are two entirely different things. One is born with one, but acquires the other. Citizenship comes with majority and our ability to participate fully in the society we live in, except one might have spent their entirely life in one country whilst being a national of another thus certainly without full franchise in either in many cases. I don't actually care but wish to have options open, however if necessary I would very willingly drop the UK nationality. However that is full of problems such as the possibility that one might then exclude themself from such things as pensions to which they are entitled. Dual nationals theoretically have the nationality of the country they are born in as their primary one. There are exceptions, diplomats or premature births during transit are very simple examples. There is a lot of cock and bull said about paternal lineage and nationality, forget it. Parents choose to register their child with the authorities of one or both parents beyond the place of birth.

Mind you, Véro has raised a cloud of wasps above the jam here since she obtained the right to her third nationality last year when her stepfather adopted her. I think she knows I would jump in with this one, but then she very carefully chose her words in order not to exclude herself should she take on numero three.

Hi Peter,

well we all have our viewpoints,but I have yet to see or hear a definitive definition of 'love' that has stood the test of time. I accept love between parents and children as being altruistic and sincere, even though I never experienced it personally.

But 'love between adults? No I don't believe in that although I accept 'mutual attraction' and certainly 'lust', which can sometimes (often?) be confused with the magical and imaginary 'love'. The latter certainly and ultimately doesn't last, although I also believe many think it does only to be finally disabused. Usually in my experience when the money runs out.

I DO believe in Friendship which I suppose is a form of 'love' but as my friends are predominantly male and I am not homosexual I don't confuse one with the other.

Miserable old git? Absolutely.

PS why are all these ads appearing on my posts?

Véronique, in principle I completely agree with you, if only we had politicians who also had any of the same!

Frances makes a good point about what can happen in the future, and it never occurred to me that Australian politicians would wipe out my pension at the stroke of a pen either.

Now my personal mantra is never to trust anyone, least of all politicians, and take every opportunity to protect yourself as there is no-one who will do it for you.

Sad but true.

Laughing again....Dickie Bird, you should be a counsellor, you have such a wonderful way with words....sounds as if you have a harem where you are.....hi, the conversations don't half get serious and personal on here....a few retired militants aussi!

Norman, you're becoming a miserable old git !!! Love does exist and it's very much alive and kicking well, in these parts anyway !!