We Believe in France



On Friday I felt nothing but utter despair and immense sadness after the attacks in Nice, I can’t believe that such horrific acts could be carried out against innocent fellow human beings.

Last night I was standing watering the vegetable garden when the girls ran down to tell me supper was ready. Roddy was cooking on the barbecue and as Gigi arrived with half a glass of red wine for me, Hetty followed her with a tiny homemade pork meatball on a fork which Roddy had just finished grilling. Simple tiny acts of love.

I told them I would be up in a couple of minutes and they ran, half-skipping back across the lawn. Brown legs, bare feet, hair wet from the pool; a picture of pure innocence.

I stood with a huge lump in my throat, thinking; I hope our children, and every child the world over, will grow up to experience freedom some day and not grow up in a world of fear.


Today I feel more determined. I still have a heavy heart and my thoughts and prayers are still with those in Nice and those affected.  But I will continue to promote the fabulous lifestyle that this wonderful, beautiful country offers, and I will continue to share our simple happy life in France. Together, across countries and continents, I hope more than anything else that we can find an answer to end the atrocious violence and bitterness that humanity continues to spawn. xxx


111 thoughts on “We Believe in France

  1. I too believe in us all who dare to believe in the greater good, the greater POWER within us, yet around and above us.

    I love the French, I love Nice. May we all find out what the solution is to these problems, within us all.

  2. just speechless there is nothing anyone can say or do to understand this type of senseless aggression, stay safe, love to you all. Xx

  3. After reading your lovely blog post about the celebrations I felt the world had small pockets of unaffected enjoyment. I wish the general happy inhabitants of France support.

  4. I really don’t understand the ugliness that people are harboring. Life should and is a joy and I guess I will take comfort in knowing that will one day all will allow that to be in their hearts. I am afraid that much more sadness will come before that time. I will be back in Paris in September and I have no hesitation to enjoy that wonderful city.

    1. I think you are right. I hope if you are coming to Paris in September that you will have time to come down to the Charente Maritime and say hello, would love to meet and show you around x

  5. Thoughts and prayers especially for those directly impacted by the events in Nice, but also for those of us who can only imagine the shock and grief of their experience and grieve for and with them. The unrelenting bad news of the past weeks (e.g. shootings in the US, political travesties in too many nations, and the continued fear-mongering of so-called leaders) is taking a toll on all of us. So a little light in the form of your blog is a welcome respite in an all too frequently bleak landscape of life at the moment.

  6. Very true words, but it is not just France that is suffering, it’s the world, the shootings in the USA are almost weekly. Hatred is everywhere. God Bless you and your family

    1. We stand with France who has stood with us (USA) throughout our existence. May God protect and defend us.

  7. It is hard to process how something horrific can happen to a place that you’ve been or a place you love so much. It is the same feeling I have after the WTC was destroyed. I worked in that building. We need to pray for our world because it is hurting right now and needs to heal…

  8. The moment I heard what happened, my heart sank and I thought of you. I recalled your post about how you celebrate the holiday, knowing all those out on that evening were doing just that. Beyond sad…

  9. Merci Susan. Merci à vous et à votre famille de continuer à vivre dans notre pays en ces moments très durs.La France et les français ont besoin de la solidarité de gens comme vous qui aiment ce pays meurtri.Continuez à faire confiance à vos voisins, à votre village, à la Charente-Maritime pour profiter de votre belle vie dans votre petit coin de France.Après Paris, San Bernardino,Bagdad, Bruxelles, Orlando, c’ est Nice qui subit le terrorisme. Merci à tous les followers ( d’ Australie, Afrique du Sud, Canada, Grande-Bretagne, Nouvelle Zélande et USA ) de ce superble blog de penser aux victimes de Nice. Merci mille fois à Susan et à tous les OFOans !// Thanks you Susan. Thanks to you and to your family to keep living among us during these tough days for our nation. France and french people need solidarity from people like you who deeply love this scarred country. Continue to trust your neighbours, your village, Charente-Maritime and France to take advantage of your lovely life in your little corner of France.After Paris, San Bernardino,Bagdad, Bruxelles, Orlando,that’s Nice which is under terrorist attack. Thanks too to all the followers of this great blog,( from Australia,South Africa, Canada,Great-Britain, New Zealand or USA ) to have some thoughts for people of Nice Thousand thanks Susan and all the OFOans!

    1. Such beautiful words, there are so many foreigners in France that do a great deal of good. The world is a mixture of races and of peoples, most get along in perfect harmony. I admire Susan for sticking so loyally to a country that is not hers and writing so bravely about it. Peace will win eventually both in France, the USA, the entire world.

  10. Sending love and support during these tough and troubling times. I am praying for all those families that suffered during the Nice attack-unimaginable. Let us all go out into the world and be gentle and open hearted in our interactions with others and seek a more loving, caring world through our own actions, both personal and political.

  11. It is difficult to comprehend such evil, such hatred, and yet we see it everyday from street violence among ‘friends’ to the larger scale airplane into skyscraper or trailer truck into pedestrians. How can this be? What dreadful forces are at work to provoke humans to behave with such brutality? Theories abound. Like you, I have chosen to live a simple life while supporting causes and people who are attempting to address the issues that plague our countries, and clearly the entire world. Raising children at this perilous time must be our priority. My thoughts and prayers are with those who sacrifice their life to protect us. The recent events in Dallas still scream at me and now another tragedy. Tragedy is not a large enough word to describe this act. Let us do what ever we can in our own way, in our own little corner of the world, to neutralize the effects of these acts.

  12. I feel the same as you, complete despair at this world we have created. If only we can all do our little bit, thank you for brightening my day each day with your beautiful words

  13. I thought of you and your family when I heard the news. Because of your writings, and my enjoyment on reading them, I felt a personal connection to your beautiful homeland. I am sorry the celebration of your Country’s Independence Day was so marred. Blogs like yours help people like me stay connected and feel a part of your world. I probably will never get to French but I can travel there through your words, and I thank you. You are deeply appreciated here in the Ozarks of Missouri. Together we will beat this evil as we have in years past. God bless you and yours.

  14. It is so sick what happened and I’m keeping my friends in France and all of France in my thoughts and prayers. I’m afraid to even turn the news on these days.

  15. You were the first person I thought of when it happened. And it scared me. You had just given us the story and background of your beautiful Bastille Day. And how happy you were to share the holiday with your townspeople. Just as the people in Nice were doing.
    I am so sorry for yet again another trajedy. Why can’t we just love everyone and enjoy this very short time we have together in the here and now???? I am thinking how disappointed God must be in His people.

  16. As everyone has said, we thought of you and we will win the war of terror. Please keep bringing us news of your family and your beautiful writing.

  17. Thought of you when news came on. I feel the same as you and peoples comments above, so much despair in this world today. I am in Texas and we had 5 Police Officers ambushed 9 days ago in Dallas. Last funeral is today. Hopefully there will be peace in the world for my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thank you for brightening my day with your beautiful pictures and words.

  18. My first thoughts after hearing about Nice were you & your family. I am so happy to hear all of you were not there. What a heavy heart I have for this senseless act & for all the individuals who’s lives were taken & those injured. It troubles me deeply about man kind but we must continue on & live & give the very best we can. None of us will ever understand why! Again I am happy your family is well. France & it’s people are beautiful!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  19. You and your family were very much in my thoughts when I saw the dreadful news from Nice. Your beautiful post that day was so full of happiness and anticipation of the celebrations to come. My heart ached for all those innocent people and their families, whose lives were so cruelly shattered by an act of senseless violence. It’s good to read your positive thoughts today and to see your carefree children running back up to the house. Sending you hugs and love, dear Susan.

  20. Such a beautiful article about France National Holiday July 14th seeing the children with the beautiful latterens and walking through town. You have a way of bringing us there in your writings.
    Then with a wink of a eye such innocent families to be shattered with the act of violence in Nice.
    My heart pours out to the families and dear friends of France.
    You are in our prayers.

  21. I thought of you and your family when I heard the news here in USA. Thankful you are well and my heart breaks for those in Nice. And in all the world. Praying for the world to all Love one another.

  22. Very well said. Tragic that it needs to be said at all but entirely well said. My heart breaks for France, for those slain in Nice and for all the other countless victims of massed acts of terror and violence across the globe. It is absolutely essential that we continue to remind ourselves and others that love can prevail. And of course, it starts in our own homes and families. Thank you for this lovely post

    1. My heart breaks too, so much hatred, so many terrible stories, and last night the latest shootings in Louisiana, where will it all end? We have to pray for world peace and also we must all stick together and help each other, as you so rightly say, it starts at home, love and peace not war and hatred. X

      1. I used a quote from Mother Teresa as the title for a piece recently. She said ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’. I truly believe that the only way we will achieve peace is to be decent, kind and loving to all those we come into contact with and to be tolerant. And if we, as you are, bring our babies up in that footprint maybe, just maybe we have a chance. xx

        1. Very wise words, maybe there is a chance, I choose to believe that there is, but we have to teach tolerance at home and teach our children to love one another and help their neighbour’s, there is just far too much hatred in this world.

          1. Exactly. We can’t right all the wrongs in the world but we can give our children and those we rub shoulders with the example of love and decency and tolerance. Yours are fortunate children 🙂

          2. If only together, with our joint beliefs we could convince the rest of the world, if only it were so simple. It is so hot here, we spent last night on the beach, we didn’t leave until way past 10pm and still there were plenty of people around, it was peaceful and utterly gorgeous and I was reminded of all the simple pleasures that life holds.

          3. Un petit canicule …. save some for me – I arrive tomorrow morning for a couple of weeks at home. Real home. Because the lifestyle you and I are so fortunate to have in common is nothing more than being able to be home. You are entirely right in what you say. Hope seems a lame word right now but it is all we can do.

          4. Une vrai canicule! 40C today, meant to last until tomorrow night, then a dip down to the 20’s before it rises again. If you head to the coast at all, let us know, would love to meet up for lunch or dinner, there’s always a bed for the night x

          5. That is SO kind. I think this trip will be a bit tight but we will be back in November for 6-9 months so if you are not sick of me by then we would love to drop by and say hi 🙂 xx

          6. I love plotting and scheming a plan and of course I should have said that if you ever want to retreat to the Massif Central, you are very welcome. All of you 🙂 xx

          7. By which I mean, greedily I would love to come to you first. Plus the fact that our house is not even remotely finished and that’s just the maison secondaire not a maison familiale with all the bits – so many stories!!!

  23. It is so sad that our adopted country seems to be suffering so much and this time so many children too. I think we have all been touched by this again: wherever we are, these things seem to happen with increasing regularity. I have no idea what the solution is for these radical beings but we our hearts and minds are with France right now. Thank you Susan, for your lovely post.

  24. Dear Susan, I could see what you saw, when your beautiful, unspoiled girls went skipping across the lawn and you knew that for them, and all other children, we must not give up what we believe in, and not surrender what we enjoy, which is the love of our fellowmen and beauty of the lives we live in our chosen countries. If the purpose of this insidious violence is to divide the world through fear and hatred, we must more specifically do just the opposite! I do not understand at all, why the people of France are being targeted ? My thoughts are with you all ❤
    Jeanne xx

    1. Hi Jeanne, thank you. We have to all stick together, France is a target at the moment but the shootings in the USA, the crazy politics in the UK. There is so much unrest everywhere and we must pray for world peace x

    1. I wonder exactly the same thing. Innocent children killed, quite heartbreaking, what had they ever done wrong? I pray for the world we are raising our children in and for their future x

  25. Yes, we must work harder to promote peace. Evil cannot win. I won’t accept that for our children. I posted about it on Friday.
    I share your sentiment that the deaths of all those beautiful revelers in Nice must lead to a worldwide movement for peace. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you’ll come play along with Dreaming of France. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

  26. Susan,
    I love reading your blog about your life in France. In April of 2015 I visited Southern France and loved it. Love the small towns and villages. We stayed several nights in Nice and it is such a beautiful city. We stayed in one of the hotels that over looked the sea and as I looked out our window I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. I have pictures of the beach from our hotel window and we walked on those sidewalks where last weeks horrible event happened. I am so sorry that such a tragedy has happened to your country. I live in Texas and we lost 5 policemen last week and today in another state 3 were killed. There is so much hate around the world, it is so sad.

    1. It is indeed so so sad, not just in France but the world over and as you mention, the latest shooting yesterday in Louisiana, I pray more than anything for world peace X

    1. Hi Andrea, I know just what you mean, I wasn’t sure for a day either and then I woke up on Saturday morning and I received an email from someone asking me if we were going to sell and move now because France was so dangerous, it annoyed me so much and even though it was a day that was going to be horrendously busy, I knew I had to say something. I pray for everyone in Nice and those affected but I still believe France is a good country, a fabulous place to live. There is hatred all over the world, we must just do what tiny bit we can to change it. Susan xx

      1. You did a good job.
        We had similar questions – we’re moving next month to France. America has had similar attacks and, although ours haven’t been on the same scale, there’s been attacks and other things in the uk too. Here is safe now? Frightening times.
        God bless xx

        1. Indeed, where is totally safe right now? We live in frightening times but I pray for a peaceful future and I am very positive that we will find one at some stage.. Good luck with your move xxx

  27. HI Susan

    Late again, but we were on holiday in France when this happened. Couldn’t believe it. My son had been in the South of France for his work just a few days before. He’d also been up on one of the twin towers in New York a few days before that attack. It makes me shudder to think it was just timing that kept him safe. But we have to continue and to believe that good will be the victor in this world. I totally agree with you that the small simple things in life such as you describe here – time in the garden with your family and friends, the beauty of nature and lovely old traditions shared with a community, are what life is really about. It is our job to show our children the way – my job is done now as mine are in their late 30’s, but I hope I can show my grandchildren a way of being that might help them steer a steady course. Thanks for your post and now I shall read the next one! 3 in a row as it’s the first chance I’ve had since coming home!

    1. Hi Marian, I hope you had the most wonderful time, I know you had fantastic weather and I am sure the gardens were incredible, I have never visited and I would love to, one day! It’s such a sad world at the moment, so much hatred, but as you say, if we can just show our children the way, I believe there will be a positive future at some stage. Susan xxx

          1. I have had a studio in SW France – in La Montagne Noir (about 40 mins from Carcassonne) – however, there are so many areas of France that I love….the jury is out at the moment. I will wait for the right place to be revealed…meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy my visits. Janet. x

          2. Hi Janet, when you find the perfect place, you will know in your heart that it is meant to be. Come by and visit us in the Charente Maritime when you are next in France. Susan x

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