Archive for May, 2010


The FC’s parents like to breakfast in bed. Each day of my visit in Wambrechie, while the FC enjoys “overnight” bachelor party festivities with a friend, Frederich wakes me, inviting me to join he and his wife in their bedroom for coffee, jam and croissants. Of course I don’t actually lie in the bed with them, I sit at a little antique desk facing the bed and we chat. I also take time to admire their eccentric quarters; lovely colourful fabrics, exotic woody antiques. Their large bedroom is located on top of a renovated barn, in another building, with vaulted ceiling and rustic exposed beams. Frederich, a former antique dealer with a skill for renovating, did most of the work himself. And it’s not too precious either. You can knock stuff over and nobody goes into a panic. You feel like you’re in an artist’s studio not your boyfriends’ parents’ bedroom.


Eventually Priscilla, the FC’s mother, will rise from her reclined Matisse-like position on the bed to pull a photo album from the shelves. They have an amazing collection of family photos; trips to Greece, Turkey, Italy, ski holidays, gallery visits, photos of the FC and his sisters playing on the beach in Giens. Priscilla has everything carefully ordered and laid out on the page, and, in addition to making sculptures and designing clothes, she’s a talented photographer.


Flipping through the photos, it’s clear, she and Frederich have translated their artistic ways into family life. Bohemians with kids, they’re both original and traditional. It makes me understand why I like the FC so much. He has the same blend of values. How lucky am I?


May 8th, 2010 Uncategorized | 5 Comments


“Coucou!” That’s what the French say upon entering a room unexpectedly. It’s like saying hello, here I am, good morning, good afternoon, wake up and put your pants on, I’m coming through. It’s a greeting and a warning all at once.


I’m back in France with the FC, taking a much-needed break from the house renovation. Tonight the FC is attending a bachelor party for a dear friend and I’m alone at his parent’s country house in Wambrechie, a small village in the north of France. Though it was gloomy and overcast, I decided to cure my restlessness and go for a walk. As I strolled down the lush wooded path to La Deule river, a cuckoo bird starting calling. Coucou! Coucou!! The sound was so clear and pronounced I was afraid it was someone hiding in the bushes pretending to be a bird. On edge, I arrived in the lonely town square where a gang of French boys implored me for a little smile. “Un petit sourire Mademoiselle? Un petit sourire?” Frightened, I quickened my step and headed straight back to the house. Now I’m here, in the FC’s childhood bedroom, writing this post.


“Coucou!” It’s not just a hello, it’s a warning. It’s also time passing. And madness. I suddenly find myself afraid and full of questions.


What am I doing here? Why does the FC love me so much? And more importantly, when will it all come to a spectacular and catastrophic end?


This blog started as a question “What’s the recipe for love?” Maybe it’s just faith. You have to believe that you’re not crazy. That the feelings you have are right and true, even if you don’t know what the future holds, and even if you’re afraid that, at any moment, disaster might enter the room and say “Coucou! Wake up. It was just a dream.”


Title image is “The Cuckoo Bird” an oil painting by Meghan Trice posted on Flickr.