Thursday, October 4, 2012

Guest Poster Diane Croad on finding time for France

Good day everyone! Today is the first guest post (besides my wife's Fidelia's Friday posts) on my blog. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Diane Croad, a lovely Englishwoman and proud grandmother of 60-something years of age, who really should be 30-something! (She'll love me for that!)

Diane and I became good friends since meeting each other in the blogging world, and she has been a faithful follower of my blog ever since. Today she's talking about how she manages her time between native England, and France. After you've finished reading her post, you really should go over and check out Diane's lovely blog

Diane, it's all yours!

“We’re Moving to Paris.....”

The family arrived for their usual Sunday meal with us. (Daughter, son-in-law and six year old granddaughter).

During the course of the meal, everything was very relaxed, when my daughter looked up and said “oh, Mark’s got a new job with exciting prospects.”  We were naturally thrilled for them, until I asked where the job was.  “Paris”, my son-in-law replied.  There was a short silence whilst hubby and I tried to take this in.

My daughter had returned to work when my granddaughter was only seven months old, and I had looked after her for three days a week, taking her to and from school when she reached the age of five.

You can imagine, I am sure, just how much I was going to miss her, especially as she was now such good company.

Looking on the bright side, I was thankful that they were only moving to France, which is just across the channel from where we live in England.  They could have been moving to the other side of the world, like Australia, Canada, or even Malaysia!

I travelled to France to see them after a month, and my daughter took me to Eleanor’s school.  My granddaughter was sitting there whilst all the other children were discussing a project that they had been working on that term.  They were chattering away excitedly and my poor little girl was just sat there.  I just had to go up to her and give her a cuddle. “I can’t understand what they’re saying, grandma.”  My heart broke for her.

Anyway, the good thing was that, with a lot of effort, she picked up the language and now, of course, speaks French fluently, without any accent at all.  She will be fifteen in December, and has turned into a stunning young lady.  I have always tried to be with her for every birthday, and I treasure that time I was able to spend with her during the first six years of her life. 

We get on tremendously well and, in fact, just the two of us will be going on holiday to Gran Canaria at the end of October – at her request! To think that a fourteen year old wants to go on holiday with her 65 year old grandma means such a lot to me.

On the plus side of living apart from the family, I have visited Paris many, many times and what a beautiful city it is.  I have taken a Bateau-mouche up the River Seine, I have visited the stunning Palace of Versailles, seen the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum and visited the beautiful Monet’s Garden in Giverny, (Oh, and EuroDisney of course!) to name but a few.

Here is a photo of Eleanor and I taken this summer in Monet’s Garden.

I would like to thank Duncan for inviting me to be a guest blogger here today.  I always enjoy reading his tales of Kuantan, and seeing his wonderful photographs, and hearing all about his beautiful family, so this is a real honour for me.  Thank you Duncan!

Diane, you are very much welcome!

Don't forget to pay Diane a visit here!


  1. Hi Duncan - Hi Diane, Paris who would not like to be in paris, the city of lovers, well that's how I was led to believe.

    I was their once with a young lady for a weekend. ha ha and not a dirty one lol. But we had the most wonderful time and she loved the flirtatious french men. It's funny but I remember feeling so good that she was having a wonderful time. That the landmarks of Paris somehow vanished into the distance.

    I must return to get a good tour of the place. but when you are young you are not really interested in sightseeing, its cafe, bars and nightclubs.

    Oh well getting old - but one still has the memories.

    Nice post Diane - added your blog to my reader will check in on your post as you write them.

    Thanks Duncan hope you all are well.

    John for JB - Living the good life.

  2. Lovely post, now I know how Emma ended up in Paris :) and nice to meet you Duncan!

  3. Diane (Thisisme) is one of my very best blog friends and it's great to see her guesting over here. She is truly a fine lady with a beautiful family and an outstanding blog.

  4. I love the way of looking at life that takes Dianne. Your blog is beautiful, full of joy and tenderness. Greetings.

  5. Hi Duncan and Diane! How wonderful to read Diane's post that touched the heart. It would have been so sad to have a grandchild so far. I know that's how my mom feels being 700 miles from my son Elliot. I was able to travel to Paris when I was sixteen with my school. It was fantastic!

  6. Thank you for that lovely introduction Duncan. It was so lovely to be here on your blog today. 30 something indeed!! Yes, I will love you forever for that one. LOL!! Enjoy your day my friend.

  7. Hello Duncan! Nice to meet you! I've been a follower of Diane's since I first "met" her, about a year ago maybe? I don't remember who stumbled upon whom, but we're both glad we did! She's a sweetie and definitely does not look her Calendar Age. She's 30-something for sure!
    I love your photography and so glad to see you posted info about your camera. I've been wanting a new camera for a long time, but had no idea what I really need.
    Thanks for having Diane here today!

  8. Diane, how just goes to show how special your relationship is with your grand daughter.

    Long may it continue.

  9. I feel sad because my grandchildren live a couple of hours drive away. I'd hate it if they moved abroad. I'm so glad, Diane, you managed to keep your lovely relationship with your granddaughter.

  10. Thank you Diane...I know how you must have felt. I just can't be with my beautiful granddaughters in Malaysia every birthday, even every year and that makes me sad. I do have a great relationship with them through weekly Skype sessions. Lauren and I play wonderful imaginative games! Leah has just started to want "her" time with her English Grandma now too which is lovely! We're very blessed that technology is so advanced these days and that the world truly is a smaller place.
    When Duncan announced he was going to live in Malaysia it broke my heart in what seemed like a thousand pieces. I've visited a couple of times and am planning a trip next year (health permitting). I guess it's not the end just because he lives all those thousands of miles away, it's an adventure.
    I hope those darling girls will come to visit me in England one day.

  11. Nice guest post, Diane! That your granddaughter wants to go on a tour with you speaks a lot about the relationship between you two. You indeed do not look your age, still young and beautiful really! Anyway, we should all learn to use the adj "young" instead of "old" no matter what one's age is. For example, 60 year young or one day young baby. Imagine calling a one day young baby "old" already! Ha ha. If we all start to use the adj "young" to describe a person's age, we will all age slowly, because if we say that we are old already when we are not and am still young, our mind will just go along and help us to age faster, don't you think?! I am all for a reorientation. What do we all have to say?

  12. Hello Duncan Nice to meet you .. Hiiii Diane.. I have been a follwer of Diane's blog for quite a while now.. It is a fabulous blog, inspiration with fantastic photos. And she can make us laugh too :-)

    I used to live in Singapore as a child, for 3 years when my dad was with the Royal Air Force, don't remember much about it, but we do have lots and lots of photos.

  13. Hi Diane. Lovely post! It is a great idea babe to have this guest post. :D

  14. This is so endearing to read Diane, especially the part about Eleanor going on a holiday with you this month. It reminds me of my relationship with my grandparents; they've looked after me since I was born for ten years, and now even though we only see each other once a year, we talk every night on the phone and always go travelling together whenever we can!

  15. Interesting post Diane. Eleanor's request to spend her holiday with you speaks volume of the realtionship you have with her. Indeed that is an honour. I used to live with my grandparents for 11years and those were productive years. Even though I moved backto my parents when I was 12, my relationship with my grandparents never fade away. I've lost both my grandparents when I was in my early 30's and recently lost my father. Yes, I do miss them very much but I have my mum to care for and keep company. At least, my daughter is enriched with having two grandma's and a grandpa. That's the greatest gift I can give to her and you are a lucky grandma.
    Duncan, you're kind to introduce this guest post. It just come to show how appreciative you are of your blog friends.

  16. Wow, Duncan hit the ball out of the park having blogdom's superstar guest post. Diane and her beautiful family are such special people and I treasure her friendship. Great post as always girl.

  17. I would just like to thank everyone for all their lovely comments. What a lovely lot of people you all are.
    Joanna - I really do hope that Duncan will bring his family to England to visit you, and I'm sure he will when they're a little bit older. How wonderful that would be for you.

  18. Thank you to all who have visited and commented on Diane's guest post, including those who are Diane's followers. It's good to meet you and have you here on my blog! Thanks once again Diane for the lovely post!

  19. A great guest post! I look forward to visiting Diane's blog!


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