On the lines of the TV series "Who do you think you are", how do you view your self in France?

Following Carol, Brian and Andrew's recent debate regarding the merits of France and the UK, it set me puzzling as to how non French,native English speaking folk see themselves in France!

A potted history of myself first of all, to see where I am coming from -

British born, I was brought up in Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool until University. I then lived in Dundee, Scotland where I qualified as a doctor and then moved the Isle of Man, to work as a GP and am still here 35 years later. We have now had a holiday home in the Aude for 18 months and feel very comfortable in our village, Pepieux.

So, am I British, English, Lancastrian, or Manx? I personally see myself as Northern English born, specifically Lancastrian, but Manx and proud of it now. My wife is Scottish, and feels the same and my children, both Manx born are just that Manx, neither English nor Scottish.

On a similar vein, but replacing the Isle of Man with France, how do you see yourselves -a Brit or Irish or American abroad, or is your heart now French?

born in scotland, teenage years in london, and Sark , and adult life in france.

I find a remix of the "WATERBOYS" ISLANDMAN about sums it up.

Of my body, France is the spine , the backbone and the trunk.

Sark is my dreaming head.

Scotland is my heart.

I think it is both, if you are retired you want to take on a challenge rather than living in the same place, but no work, but the well qualified younger generation are increasingly mobile through their work.

Our eldest daughter has lived in Munich for 10 years, married an Austrian and has friends from all European countries and the States.

I was born in Lancaster, but have lived all over the UK and ended up with 20 years in the Cotswolds before we moved here to Soutern Burgundy.

It is a beautiful place and we are very happy here, sauf les fonctionnaires!

It feels like many people in the group have lived in other than their country of birth. Is this representative of our increasingly mobile world or are we here because of a sense of adventure that not everyone shares

That's true Jane, but 35+ years on the Isle of Man, means I've spent twice as much time here than I did growing up in Lancs, so affinity with Lancashire, more specifically the Fylde, yes, but Manx by 'time served'!!

Once a Lancastrian, always a Lancastrian!!

That's why you were born a Scot in this one, nobody else wanted you. Perhaps me too then, food for thought early of a fine morning.

Elizabeth I believe that I was French in a previous life....

ah well I have an advantage as I was french in a previous life

What did I miss? So Brian and Nick are sending virtual hug to Celeste and getting their kilts out! And well put, Celeste.

ah yes the rugby Celeste, that's a good barometer of who you feel you are : England -v- France, I don't really care who wins anymore, I get to win either way - and get loads of hassle/teasing/flack either way...!

What a question (a good one that is). Brian's partly answered for me; I'm European. Born in southern England, spent most of my time there in the south west but when we go back it's as tourists - my own family consider me more French than English as my OH and kids are French and on the 2 yearly visit there we all feel very foreign (OH only speaks basic English and we only ever communicate between each other in French). But amongst french family and friends here I'm English. So in the UK I'm made to feel very clearly that I'm no longer English and feel far more French. Here at home with my family I'm European, sometimes anglais, sometimes d'origine anglaise, it depends on the situation. Even if I ever get round to getting naturalised, I'll never be really French, technically yes but not like OH and the kids (having said that Emmanuel Valls was naturalised and he seems pretty french! In the same way my kids are half english but try telling that to their cousins in the UK or asking them if they feel at all English - they've only ever been there a couple of times!

And as I nearly went to live in Italy rather than France, I'll plumb for European.


You are lovely and get a virtual cuddle for putting it the way you so often do. By the way, I am known to put on the kilt and go to the local (Irish would you believe) pub for a rugby game when my lot are playing.

Glamis Street, Thistle Street just a bit further up of Mains Road all thereabouts with your teeth!

Got my teeth knocked out in a fight in the Hilltoon. Mains Street to be precise.

Found out another bloke was killed there a couple of weeks ago. Bloke obviously been perfecting his right hook for the last 20 years

Aye, the Hull Toon as we should say!

Hi Sheila,

Sorry to have missed you and Henry too - I was there with my Mum for a week, then 4 days on the IoM and back for a week with Marilyn and Grace ( Edinburgh next week!! )

We have the same sort of phrase on the IoM - 'come overs', but if you stay you become a 'stop over'!!

Cheers, Phil

Hi Phil. Interesting topic. Sorry we missed you and Marilyn on your last visit. Will catch up with you next time, I hope. For me, I'm Irish but loving life here in France. As we have chosen to live in a village, we will always be "blow-ins", and the same applies to French people who are not originally from here. That's rural life for you and would be the same in Ireland. We went to Café de la Promenade one sunny day after the worst of the winter was over, and the owner shouted out (in French) words to the effect of "Aha, when the Irish weather goes away, the Irish come out!" I will always culturally be Irish; politically, I am European. I don't think I will ever be French in my heart but I do love living here and have no desire to go back to Dublin. We are slowly but surely integrating here as best as we can and making friends.