As a small child in England I think I always knew I was going to live elsewhere. Not that I don't like the UK, I love it, but I was fascinated by anything 'foreign'.
While at university in London, I found a loophole which allowed me to study two extra years abroad, first in Germany then in France. I was paying my own way anyway, so I didn't need to ask permission, off I went.
I loved my year in Germany, in the pretty town of Tubingen. Here I was the model student, to be found in the library, organising the students' union, performing theatre, you name it - I was up for it.
Financing your own studies at home is one thing, in a foreign country it becomes more complicated. I realised I was going to need help for the second year abroad, and amazingly won a generous bursary award that would fund my year in France. One condition attached, they got to choose the town I'd go to.
They chose Nice! .... What can I say? It was a tough call, but someone had to go so I packed my bags and headed off for the sunshine on the Promenade des Anglais ... for a whole year!
I bought a bike, found a flat on avenue Shakespeare (I promise that's true!), and signed up for classes. Unfortunately the French university system and I didn't quite see eye to eye, and after a few weeks I wrote a letter to my tutors in London explaining that I wasn't going to lectures any more but I would come back from France for my final year speaking excellent French. Weirdly they agreed.
Free from the student routine, I set about exploring Nice and the Cote d'Azur. I read all of Balzac, discovered markets, visited museums, discovered Raoul Dufy, learnt more about Matisse, sampled French food from the markets, got a part time job and made a lot of friends.
As a carefree young Anglaise alone in Nice it wasn't difficult to meet people. One evening while out in Villefranche sur Mer with friends, I found myself chatting to a charming French boy He worked for fun at a local radio station, he said he liked my accent - he asked if I'd like to do a jingle for them?
Of course I said yes, but I dragged an English girlfriend along for moral support! The next morning at 8am we turned up on our bicycles at the radio station beside the old port.
Some things can only happen when you're 21 years old. By the time we left the radio station we had got ourselves our own weekly show, on Radio Nice! ... and the fun began.
You can guess what's coming next.
The spring sped by, and with our new found friends at the radio station we were busy all the time. I don't know if it was inevitable, in any case it seems it was meant to be. I fell in love! A boy at the radio station who ran the news programme, plus a pretty cool jazz show. A Corsican no less.
Spring merged into summer, back in the UK my parents were growing restless, end of the academic year and I didn't return. I stayed in Nice all summer - well who wouldn't?
Come September I dragged myself back to London for my final year at university. My heart was still on the Cote d'Azur though and I found it hard to concentrate. My parents were amazingly generous, and they never tried to put pressure on me to follow one path more than another.
Letters flew back and forth from the South of France to the South of England. New Year saw us meeting up half way in Paris.
Final exams for university were in June. I put down my pen after the last paper and jumped on a plane. Off to St Tropez where mon cheri had got a job worked out for me and found us the dearest little house.
And so began my life in France, since then I have never actually moved back to the UK. We have lived on the Cote d'Azur, in Paris, and in India. After a few years we married , then had our four lovely children and thirty (did I just say thirty?!) years on here we are in Normandy.
C'est comme ça la vie!