France has been my home for over 20 years now! I grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands and, without a doubt, my love of France and the French language dates from my childhood. Many ancestors on my Mum’s side were from Normandy and Brittany: Mum is persuaded that France runs in my blood! Whatever the explanation, I just had to study French at University and I was able to combine my passion for France with my interest in law to do a combined Law and Language Degree, studying in England and France.
After qualifying as a Barrister and practising for a short time in London in Criminal Law, my love of France and French won the day and in 2001 I got a job heading the Legal Department of a French Property firm in London. In 2002 my French dream came true and I moved to France! Since then, I have lived in the southwest of France in a département called the Gers. A rural county, our nearest big city is Toulouse and Spain is only a couple of hours away. It is the heart of the ancient region of Gascony with Auch as its capital.
From 2002, I worked as a freelance translator and interpreter specialised in real estate and related matters such as probate, wills, companies etc. In 2005, I founded my own Estate Agency, Compass Immobilier, which I continue to direct to this day. I also received certification as a Property Valuer which is closely tied in with my work as an estate agent. This extensive professional experience in the industry is invaluable for the services that I provide as a translator, interpreter and consultant. Over nearly 20 years I have been directly involved in thousands of property transactions and running a French business with multiple offices and staff. Being in a rural area, some of the transactions include land and agricultural properties and businesses.
In 2019, demand for my services was high in the soon-to-be post-Brexit world amongst friends and acquaintances. That year, I helped numerous people with their residency permits as well as various other administrative and official situations. At that point, I decided to go back to studying because, pourquoi pas?! So in 2020, I started an MA in Translation. Balancing studying with full-time work, my young daughter and family life was a tough call. It took me a bit longer than hoped to complete the course (Covid didn’t help either…) but my dissertation is in and the final results are eagerly awaited!
As for my personal life, I am married to a Frenchman (the Maître in my name is not some lawyerly affectation but my married name!) and as just mentioned we have a young daughter. I am a nature and horse lover having learned to ride when I was a little girl. I have three horses at home although, like many horse owners, I don’t get in the saddle much these days! My main hobbies are reading, walking and swimming (I have a newly discovered passion for wild water swimming!) and I love skiing and trips to the coast (which always remind me of Jersey!). We like to travel as much as possible, particularly around France. We have three cats who I love to bits even though I am a dog lover at heart but sadly I do not have a dog at the moment. Living my life here in France, with its ups and downs and huge variety, as well as helping others with their lives means that I have a wealth of very diverse knowledge that I can draw on to help my clients. From water divining to social security audits and a whole host of things in between!