As you might expect from the land of polite greetings (there is even a way to say ‘Have a good end of the afternoon’), there are several ways to say ‘Happy New Year’ in French. But the one I am hearing most often, and the one that says so much more, is ‘Bonne Année et Bonne Santé’.

Good health is at a premium in our village as one family – the Bindés who live on our track – have had a rough end to 2013. First, lovely Robert the farmer had a stroke and is still suffering with eye pain and speech problems. Then, just before Christmas, his two-year-old granddaughter, who was accompanying Robert on a visit to the eye specialist, was sent straight to hospital with a suspected cancerous tumour. The little girl, now in hospital in Paris, had her eye removed yesterday and will now need chemotherapy.

Canet Beach, The Med

Looking at the photos of our new year visit to the Mediterranean to see the gorgeous Kibbey family, who have also moved from Norfolk to southern France, I counted six healthy children (baby Jack was being carried by dad).

Instead of starting the year resolving to change something I think I don’t like about myself, I am counting our blessings and making a promise to get the most out of every single day. As the mayor of the next village said when I wished him ‘Bonne Année et Bonne Santé’ this morning: “Ah yes, because when we have good health, we have everything”.

Wishing ‘Good Year and Good Health’ to you all.


Filed under: Happy Coulson

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