One Tuesday evening, I answered the phone to my mum squealing for me to turn on BBC 2. I reluctantly complied and soon realised what the source of her excitement was as I saw the chef Raymond Blanc nostalgically bumbling around France in his decrepit car. In this particular episode, he was in fact touring my second home, my French Yorkshire, the Franche-Comté. This little known corner of France has been my summer for as long as I can remember. I have lazed in La Loue river and cycled through the Forêt de Chaux under the blistering heat of the French sun, shouting my bonjours to the aging population that inhabits the mellow pastures of rural France. Famed for its Comte cheese, Jura wine and being the birthplace of the scientific genius Louis Pasteur, the Franche-Comté is a gem of a region lying a stones throw away from the Alpine border of Switzerland.
2012, however, has marked the end of my summer holiday. The Franche-Comté is now my permanent stay. I have waved goodbye to my family home in Yorkshire as my new life-loving parents upped their roots and planted them in French soil. No longer a home away from home, the Franche-Comté is my new home. My parents have joined the mid-life crisis crew and instead of buying a villa in Spain, they have opted for a caravan in the least know region of France. Far from being glamorous, they will be sharing a “feel and hear every movement” mobile abode until they find a suitable ruin of a house to invest their new lease for life in. For them, they are living the dream that has been brewing since they first set their eyes on the Franche-Comté.
As much as it pains me to see them, and my house, move to the continent, I will at least have the relief of not having to search high and low to find them their Comte cheese fix in England, but will instead see them swimming in their dairy delight in its natural habitat. They can finally satisfy that itch that has been burning for too long and the Franche-Comté is the most beautiful and soothing niche they could have found. So, Bonjour Franche-Comté, may you long be my home!